Santorini is characterised by lofty, whitewashed towns and villages and its signature black sand beaches. The sight of the caldera, popping up from beneath the ocean, is visible from the island’s hills and clifftops, and was formed by a huge volcanic eruption that occurred back in 1450 BC. The resulting collapse was swallowed by the sea, and also formed the island’s lava cliffs. The eruption is also the cause of the sand’s dark charcoal hue.
The archetypal Greek blue-domed, whitewashed building is a reality in Santorini. Whitewashed houses and churches cover the island, along with rolling vineyards. Try Greek yoghurt with grapes and honey for breakfast, or as a light dessert. At dinner, you can sample some of the other fruits of the vine when you explore the local wines. Fish and seafood are popular choices here, as are traditional Greek dishes such as moussaka, grilled pork and lamb dishes, and of course Greek salad. A lovely way to eat here is to order sharing meze, which might comprise dips like hummus and taramasalata, local olives, cured meats, feta cheese and freshly baked pitta breads.
If you don’t mind the dark grey sand, there are some fabulous beaches on Santorini. Perissa is a favourite with watersports fans, stretching for over four miles. Kamari is squeaky clean, and its blue flag states ensures it is a laid-back family favourite. If you fancy a change from dark, black sands, head for Red Beach, where the sands are a delightful copper colour.
Other popular places to stay include the island’s capital, Thira, where some Santorini hotels are based. Here you can take a donkey ride if you wish, which might well delight any younger guests. Oia is another popular spot - especially at sunset when the sight is spectacular. There are plenty of lovely, locally run tavernas here, some in the most dramatic setting on top of the cliffs.
Cheap hotels in Santorini include typical Greek hostels, which may even be housed in one of the island’s whitewashed buildings. These places are often family-owned, and thus offer a very hospitable Greek welcome. By contrast, 5-star hotels in Santorini offer every contemporary comfort and convenience you can imagine, for those who really want to spoil themselves during their Greek island holiday.
If you feel like visiting a Greek island paradise, why not start planning your holiday by checking out our range of hotels in Santorini, Greece?