the famous volcanic island with caldera view



Santorini is the most famous Greek island. Definitely everyone has seen photos of its white-washed houses and blue-domed churches perched on the top of a steer rock, with a stunning view to the sea.

Santorini’s landscape is very unique and like no other place in Greece or worldwide, making it a dream destination of photographers, honeymooners, influencers and literally of all holidaymakers.

Hotels in Santorini

The volcanic past of Santorini

Santorini seen from the crater of Nea Kameni

Santorini is one of the presumed locations of mythical Atlantis. A powerful volcanic eruption in the past resulted in the formation of a caldera – collapse of land following the eruption, which had split the former island into five separate islands: Santorini, Thirasia, and the three small islands of Nea Kameni, Palea and Aspronisi. Nea Kameni and Palea are the youngest volcanic islands in Europe. A new theory about the eruption says that the island has never split and what we see nowadays as separate islands is just the upper part with the craters, the rest of Santorini under water.

The presence of the volcano can be felt not only at the caldera, but also all over the island. It is evidences by the multicolored beaches and the rocks with bizarre shapes and colors, some of which resemble the inside of a cake where the separate layers are clearly visible.

Where to stay in Santorini?

Oia seen from the sea

Santorini is in the shape of a crescent or of a croissant, to be more precise. Its west part consists of high volcanic rocks on the top of which buildings overlook the sea and the caldera. The villages in this part of the island are Fira (the capital), Firostefani, Oia, Imerovigli, Finikas and Akrotiri. Despite the commercialism, all of them are visited by millions of tourists yearly for the fantastic view and the quirky atmosphere. If you choose to book a hotel right at the caldera, be aware that usually parking is not possible unless the hotel is out of the villages.

The east coast of Santorini is flat and the seaside resorts of the island are located there, as the most popular are Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos.

Which are the best beaches of Santorini?

The beaches of Santorini are not the quintessential beaches for a holiday but most of them are distinguished for the variety of colors and shapes. Such a place is the extraordinary Red Beach which is, as the name suggests, a strip of reddish sand with red cliffs hanging over it, and the beaches of Vlychada and Messa Pigadia attract with the curious rock formations.

The beaches on the east coast are covered with black or dark grey sand and they are closer to the common idea of a typical seaside vacation, with plenty of beach bars and facilities. Such are the beaches of Perisa, Perivolos, Kamari and Agios Georgios.

What to do in Santorini?

Panorama of the port

If you are in Santorini just for a day or for a few hours, the best you can do is to take a walk in one of the caldera villages and to have a drink in a cafe with panoramic view. The best points of interest in Santorini include:

- Oia with its sunset and the most photographed churches
- Fira, the capital, with the narrow streets and numerous cafes and restaurants with caldera view
- Firostefani - it has the best caldera view
- The Skaros rock in Imerovigli which used to be a Medieval fortress
- The old inland villages of Pyrgos, Emporio and Megalochori
- Ancient Thira - excavations of an antique town on a hill between Kamari and Perissa
- The Monastery of Prophetis Ilias, the highest point of the island offering panoramic view
- Ammoudi, the port of Oia
- The volcanic Nea Kameni Island (boat trips with a guide are organized)

How to get to Santorini?

People taking photos of the island from the departing ferry

By plane: Santorini has a small domestic airport with regular flights from/to Athens and Thessaloniki. It is located on the east seaside of the island, between Kamari and Monolithos.

By ferry: The port of Santorini is called Athinios and it is located on the west coast, away from the villages. Fira and Oia also has ports but for small boats and organized boat trips. Santorini has regular ferry connections with Piraues and the other islands of the Cyclades groups. In the summer there are also conventional and speed ferries to Crete (Heraklion).

Santorini photo galleryx