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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)



Santorini Holidays 2016/2017

Magical Santorini has been used as a backdrop for countless novels, films and travel posters. Famed for its dramatic natural landscape as well as its beautiful villages, Santorini also has purpose-built tourist resorts throughout the island.

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A magical mystery

Life here is led on a tranquil level. Whether you enjoy sampling local wine, exploring remote villages or even visiting the ruins of the Bronze-age city at Akrotiri, the island's stunning natural beauty is never far away. Santorini exists as a result of an ancient volcanic eruption, and the island appears to emerge mysteriously from its seabed. With its multi-coloured cliffs reaching for the sky, up to a height of 300 metres - and its idyllic villages complete with their gleaming whitewashed houses - Santorini is one of the most beautiful of all of the Greek islands.

The island is a magnet for tourists not simply for the charm of its natural beauty but also for its plentiful resorts. Kamari on the southeast of the island has a vibrant reputation, but Akrotiri is famous for its fantastic archaeological ruins, and offers the tourist many other attractions. Watersports are popular on the island as are eating and drinking - well, the island does grow its own grapes, produce its own wine and possess a brewery.

Where to stay in Santorini

ImerovigliView on Map

For a relaxing holiday set against a backdrop of stunning sunsets, and wonderful views, Imerovigli is the perfect base for exploring the rest of Santorini. Anyone looking to eat delicious meals, go sailing, or simply sit on Skaros Rock and soak up the atmosphere will be more than satisfied with a stay here.

KamariView on Map

With its wonderful black-pebble beach, nightclubs, and wide choice of restaurants, Kamari is an idyllic holiday destination. As well as watersports and other activities, you can also explore the nearby ancient city of Thira, and then spend the rest of your day shopping along Kamari's promenade.

MegalochoriView on Map

Step back in time and enjoy the car-free streets, sleepy tavernas and stunning architecture of this charming village. Situated in the centre of Santorini's wine-growing region, a visit to Megalochori will delight all the senses. Chill out while riding a horse or simply relax while sipping a divine cocktail at a taverna in the village square.

OiaView on Map

Famous for its fantastic sunsets and breath-taking views, Oia is one of the world's most romantic villages. The whitewashed buildings of the settlement are set against lucid, glistening water with views of the volcanoes Palea and Kameni. Its charming narrow streets are lined with tavernas and churches with cobalt-blue domes.

PerissaView on Map

With its 7 kilometre beach - it'd take you an hour to walk from end to end - waterpark, and watersports opportunities, Perissa is a fantastic destination for all members of the family. Its plentiful beachside bars and tavernas make this the perfect place for both daytime and night-time enjoyment. Perissa is also close to the beautiful antique city of Ancient Thira.

PerivolosView on Map

Have some holiday fun in this beautiful resort. The weather is guaranteed and so is the fantastic time you'll have jet-ski-ing, playing beach volleyball or simply sunbathing. With its first-class bars, relaxing atmosphere and pristine beach, Perivolos is always a firm favourite with holidaymakers.


Quick Tips

  • Greek Orthodox
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • Approx 15,000
  • GMT +2

Ancient history

You don't have to be a history buff to explore some of Santorini's ancient archaeological sites, and you might even find yourself falling in love with the place despite not being familiar with its past. But from the spectacular 2,400-year-old remains of ancient Thera - close to Perissa on the east of the island - to Akrotiri in the west, you'll find evidence that humans have lived and loved on Santorini for very many years. As well as the archaeological sites, there are also some beautiful old churches and monasteries as well as plentiful museums throughout the island.

Santorini has so many ruins partly because of geological events - including the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that created the island and have continued to affect it throughout history.

Eat well

The food and drink on Santorini lives up to the beauty of the island. Fresh seafood is delivered daily to all of the restaurants, and some even use their own boats to secure their catch. Many restaurants have farms attached to them - so you can rest assured when food's advertised as 'locally-sourced fresh produce', it really is just that. Vegetarians are well catered for thanks to the wonderful array of vegetables and other non-meat dishes enjoyed by the islanders.

Some restaurants also run cooking classes so that you can reproduce the wonderful fare when you return home.

The attractions of vines and hops

Santorini is home to some 13 vineyards, though there may be even more. Vinsanto is the island's main export and is famous for its deliciously-sweet taste and is a splendid accompaniment to any pudding. If your palate prefers a dry white wine, then Assyrtiko might be more to your liking. Visiting the wineries where they're made is a fantastic holiday experience and you'll find that you'll be positively encouraged to sample the wines at each of the vineyards you visit.

And beer lovers needn't fear they'll miss out. The Santorini Brewing company in Thira, is a young company that's developed into a successful microbrewery. Among the range of beers that the company produces is the Donkey family of brews. Visitors to the brewery are welcomed with open arms.

Getting around the island

Donkeys really are popular on the island. You can use a donkey to travel the distance between Kamari and Ancient Thera, and donkeys and horses are also used for exploring the charming village of Megalochori where the narrow and winding streets aren't really suitable for cars. The uphill climb from Thira's port to the town itself is best managed astride a donkey.

Of course there are plenty of opportunities for car hire and the local bus service is also efficient. If you fancy having a bit of an adventure you could always hire a quad bike or motorcycle, go off-road and really get to know the island.

Charms and treats

From the charms of its wonderful villages - with their fantastic tavernas and restaurants - to its beautiful monuments and churches, Santorini is a stunning island to explore. There are also waterparks for daytime fun, and cocktail bars and nightclubs in Kamari and Thira if you enjoy a lively end to your day.

Shoppers will love the range of outlets on the island. From upscale clothes and leather goods to fantastic pottery and artwork, Santorini is a wonderful place for some retail therapy. There's also spas and wellness clinics in abundance - though the balmy weather and magical scenery of the island will revive the most jaded of tourists.

Sunsets and beauty

Santorini is really famous for the splendour of its sunsets. Oia is the place to grab yourself a seat, or a place in a restaurant or bar, and simply sit back and prepare to be stunned. People have been flocking from all over the world for decades to enjoy this extraordinary natural spectacle. Others worth a visit are the island's magnificent coloured cliffs, and the mysteries of the caldera - the remnants of volcanic activity - on the west side of the island.