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White houses perched on a dark volcanic cliff edge, awe-inspiring sunsets, and luxurious boutique hotels: Santorini is an idyllic Greek holiday destination. As well as sun, sea, and spectacular views, the island offers fabulous hiking, shopping, and fine wines.
Santorini’s defining feature is its caldera, formed when an enormous volcanic eruption caused the volcano to collapse in on itself more than 3,500 years ago and giving us the islands we see today. You'll only truly understand the Greek island’s legendary beauty once you glimpse it from a boat. Layered volcanic cliffs with whitewashed villages and blue-domed churches on top overlook the vivid Aegean Sea.
For the best on-land perspective of the island's magical landscape, follow the pathways along the edge of the caldera – especially between Fira and Oia, via Imerovigli. A gentle stroll around Fira is an easy way to take in Santorini’s wow factor, too. Or head to the black, red, and white beaches along the multi-coloured coastline.
Alongside its spectacular scenery, Santorini’s history is equally captivating, stretching back thousands of years. The most impressive archaeological site is Akrotiri, a Minoan town preserved for millennia under volcanic lava. Ancient Thira is also fascinating, comprising the ruins of ancient temples, a theatre, and mosaics that date back to the 9th century BC.
Santorini holidays are hopelessly romantic, too. Make unforgettable memories walking hand in hand through Oia’s winding lanes, dining in one of the high-end restaurants, and ending your evening watching one of the village’s iconic sunsets. Equally charming are the traditional villages and vineyards of the island’s interior – exploring these is a wonderful way to escape the crowds.
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