Equal parts romantic and dramatic, Santorini attracts more visitors than any other Greek island. They come for the clifftop villages suspended between sea and sky,  divine food and wine, and those swoony sunsets featured in countless selfies. Throw in spectacular ruins, unique Cycladic architecture, and multi-coloured beaches — and you’ll understand why they say Greece is for lovers. 


The prehistoric city of Akrotiri was buried under a thick layer of ash after an earthquake caused Santorini’s volcano to erupt in the 17th century BC. The ash preserved this Minoan settlement for eternity. 


A cruise around the caldera on a catamaran or traditional fishing boat. Clamber (carefully!) up the smouldering crater of Nea Kameni, then soak off the hike in the underwater hot springs of Palea Kameni. The spectacular view of Santorini is even more stunning from afar. 


Black, red, grey, or brown — Santorini’s beaches come in every hue. Just don’t come looking for powdery sand. Perivolos and Perissa are the liveliest beaches, lined with beach bars and restaurants. For a quieter experience, try Vlychada or Koloumbos, backed by cliffs chiselled by the elements. The underwater crater and lava caves also make for exciting snorkelling and scuba diving. 


Tiny tomatoes, white aubergines, capers, and fava (yellow split peas) take root in Santorini’s volcanic landscape. It’s also the perfect terroir for the crisp white Assyrtiko and sweet, smooth Vinsanto wines produced here since antiquity. Taste these superb indigenous grapes at Santorini’s many award-winning wineries. 


The clifftop villages along the caldera get all the attention. Head inland to the sleepy villages of Pyrgos, Emborio, Finikia, or Exo Gonia and you’ll discover a traditional way of life far from the madding crowds. Many of these villages are connected by centuries-old trails, on which few tourists ever set foot.