Hotels

Oia

Imerovigli

Fira

Firostefani

Villages

If you enjoy sun, sea and sand - and a dash of culture and history - Santorini is the perfect holiday choice.

Santorini is a small archipelago of volcanic Islands, part of the Cyclades, in the south Aegean Sea around 120 miles (200km) south east of mainland Greece. The largest island is Thira which curves around the other Islands making a sort of lagoon. It’s very deep and a perfect harbour for boats.

Thira’s total area is only around 28 square miles (72 square kilometres) while the other islands contribute another 7 square miles.


Hot Stuff

Santorini is actually the site of one of the greatest recorded volcanic eruptions - albeit over 3,600 year ago! Known as the Minoan or Thira Eruption it is thought to be responsible for the collapse of the Minoan empire on Crete. The Akrotiri excavations are the best-known Minoan site outside of Crete.


Santorini was originally part of the Ottoman Empire but was reunited with Greece in 1820. It used to be known for its pumice quarries but they were closed in the 1980s to preserve the caldera and now tourism is its main industry.

The island has no natural rivers or lakes and rain is rare, and it depends on a desalination plant to supply its water.

Santorini Wine

In spite of its natural aridness, Santorini produces a world- famous wine called Vinsanto. It’s a strong, sweet, dessert wine made from the three native grape varieties - Assyrtiko, Athin and Aidani - aged in oak barrels, often for 20 or 25 years. White wines are dry with a citrus scent.

The native vines are planted far apart and their main source of water is dew. They proved resistant to the phylloxera (an insect that attacks vines) epidemic which decimated the European vineyards in the last century.

Vegetables

The Santorini climate and habitat also produces some distinctive vegetables such as sweet cherry tomatoes, Santorini ‘fava’, and eggplants (aubergines) which are also very sweet and can be eaten raw like a fruit. Katsouni are local cucumbers which, if left, can also be eaten like a fruit having a taste very like a melon.

Fly Me

Santorini is one of the few islands in the Cyclades to have its own airport making it very convenient for tourism. It’s situated a few miles south of the main town of Thira making it very central for getting to the other parts of the island.

Santorini’s Mediterranean climate, lack of rain, easy lifestyle and good access make it a very popular holiday destination. As well as a perfect holiday climate, it is steeped in history and offers good food, good wine and friendly hospitality.

Santorini today is a tourist destination without comparison. The lagoon draws luxurious yachts and the villages themselves visitors from every corner of the earth. The visitor can enjoy visiting and exploring historic sites dating back to Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine domination alongside those of much earlier civilisations. A must-see is the monastery of Moni Profiti Ilia balanced on the highest peak of the island. The main villages for visitors to the island and all with the instantly recognisable architectural styles of the island, include Emporio with views of the old windmills; Fira (Phira), the island's capital with nearby beach, Gialos; Imerovigli, a traditional village near to Fira but higher up the cliffs with nearby beach, Paradise Beach ; Oia, a beautiful village from which the most marvellous sunsets can see with nearby beach, Cape Columbus; Karterados, Pyrgos, with nearby beach, Gialos; and Perissa, a traditional wine producing village.

Many people visit it year after year - it’s no wonder Santorini is often called the island of wonders!