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An active volcano (not to worry, the last big eruption was more than 3,000 years ago) as well as a dream romantic destination, Santorini’s stunning scenery is legendary. Villages and vineyards perch in volcanic cliffs overlooking a crystal-blue sea, and dazzling sunsets end each day in a golden glow.

Santorini hotels are open seasonally, April through October.

Santorini Hotels

More About Santorini


Undoubtedly the most extraordinary island in the Aegean, crescent-shape Santorini remains a mandatory stop on the Cycladic tourist route—even if it's necessary to enjoy the sensational sunsets from Ia, the fascinating excavations, and the dazzling white towns with a million other travelers. Called Kállisti (the "Loveliest") when first settled, the island has now reverted to its subsequent name of Thira, after the 9th-century BC Dorian colonizer Thiras. The place is better known, however, these days—outside Greece, that is—as Santorini, a name derived from its patroness, St. Irene of Thessaloniki, the Byzantine empress who restored icons to Orthodoxy and died in 802.

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In July and August, the Cyclades are crowded and less personal and more expensive than they are at other times of the year. Walkers, nature lovers, and devotees of classical and Byzantine Greece would do better to come in spring and fall, ideally in late April through June or September through October, when temperatures are lower and the islands are less tourist-riddled. In late March the islands begin to burst with thousands of varieties of wildflowers, and sprightly crimson poppies dapple stern marble blocks; the sea begins to warm up for comfortable swimming in late May. Autumn's days are shorter, but the sea remains alluringly swimmable well into October. Autumn travel to the islands also brings rustic pleasures: grapes are pressed in September, and zesty olives are gathered and fields plowed in October.

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Top Experiences

  • Sunset in Oia : This will be a tourist heavy activity, but the sunsets and views are amazing. If it is too busy, try Imerovigli instead.

  • Black Sand Beaches : Try Perivolos and Perissa for an enjoyable day at the beach with lots of amenities. The areas are lined with cafes, shops, restaurants, and beach bars.

  • Ancient Thira : The remains of an ancient city that was inhabited 2,000 years ago. You can drive the narrow road with many hairpin turns or take a bus from Kamari so you don’t have to worry about the drive.

  • Akrotiri Archaeological Site : An ancient Minoan settlement that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century B.C. It was buried in ash like Pompeii in Italy. Modern excavation has been ongoing since 1967. Many beautiful frescoes and objects have been found.

  • Boat tour : Sunset cruise or afternoon excursion in the caldera of Santorini. Many offer dinner, drinks and possibly the chance to go swimming or snorkeling.

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Region: Santorini
Transfer Company: Santorini Express
Telephone: From USA and Canada 011-30-694-3291-460. Within Greece 694-3291-460.

Instructions: While in Europe, or in case of a flight delay or change of plans while traveling, please contact the appropriate local representative.

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