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Holidays in Santorini
Santorini is a Greek island like no other. It was created from a volcanic explosion that left it with volcanic cliffs overlooking a black and red coast, dazzling against the turquoise Mediterranean. Vibrant historic towns spread out along cliff tops, where whitewashed buildings cluster around central squares and the best transport to the beach is by donkey. This is somewhere you have to see for yourself, and more and more people are recognising that by booking a holiday to Santorini.
May and June enjoy plenty of sunshine in the mid to high 20s (°C).
Santorini National Airport (JTR).
To see medieval remains overlooking traditional towns and volcanic beaches, book a Thomas Cook holiday to the most unique Greek island, Santorini.
Experience Santorini’s dramatic black sand beaches for yourself and spend a day soaking up the warm Greek sunshine, before paying the local water sports centre a visit for some high jinks on the water. Catch the bus to Thira and have lunch by the cliff’s edge looking out over the water, or ride a donkey down the hill to see it up close. Reserve a day to explore Santorini’s historic sites, from the hill top remains of Ancient Thira to the capital’s museums and blue-domed churches. When the sun goes down, hit the beach for a drink on the waterfront or head to the buzzing clubs.
One thing’s for certain – Santorini’s beaches are like nothing you’ve ever seen. The volcanic island has formed beaches with fine black and occasionally red sand and pebbles. Nestled between rock formations, they are secluded, peaceful and easily one of the best attractions in Santorini. Resorts like Kamari and Perissa provide lots of sun beds, beach umbrellas and busy water sports centres where you can learn to water ski or windsurf in the warm water. The seafront promenades have plenty of places to shop for souvenirs and beachwear, plus a good choice of bars and cafes for getting ice creams and drinks throughout the day.
Separating Perissa and Kamari’s beaches is the vast rock formation, Mesa Vouna. On top of that is ancient Thira, a stunning collection of ruins ranging from Roman, Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. The ruins are impressive enough, but add the cliff top location overlooking black beaches and it becomes jaw-dropping. Thira is a treasure trove of culture for anyone with an interest in the history of the island. Visit the impressive Archaeological Museum or take a stroll through the capital’s labyrinth streets, the best place in Santorini for buying gifts and trying the local fare.
Santorini’s fabulous island setting makes the nightlife feel a little more magical, with parties starting on the volcanic beaches before the sun has even gone down. Bigger resorts like Thira are the best places in Santorini for nightlife, with bars and clubs ranging from chic wine bars looking out over the coast to dance clubs open until the early hours. The buzzing town square is the best meeting point to kick off the night. Even in the smaller beach resorts there are plenty of venues to choose from, with low-key tavernas and restaurants for families.
Sightseers: Santorini is packed with things to see, from its fascinating volcanic rock formations to Roman and Byzantine remains.
Party animals: The island’s nightlife has something for clubbers and pubbers, whether you’re into all-night parties or chilled-out evenings.
Couples: An undeniably romantic island, pretty little pastel towns like Thira are an ideal setting for moonlit strolls and cosy dinners for two.
Language: The language spoken in Santorini is Greek
Currency: The currency used in Santorini is the Euro (€)
Local time: Santorini is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time
Fly to: Santorini National Airport (JTR).
Flight time from UK: Approximately 4 hours
Tourist Information: Further Santorini tourist information can be found at www.santorini.net/
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Santorini.
Temperature: Reaching 30C in July and August.
Best time to visit: May and June enjoy plenty of sunshine in the mid to high 20s (C).
Santorini has a sunny Mediterranean climate, with the warm weather kicking off in April and reaching highs of 30C around August. Expect long hours of sunshine and beautiful beach weather between May and September.
By bus: Santorini’s bus service covers the whole island, running regularly and costing €1-€2. A shuttle bus operates between the airport and the resorts.
By taxi: A taxi is the easiest way to get around for one-off journeys or out to see the attractions. Thira’s main square has a taxi rank, or it may be cheaper to book in advance.
By cable car: A ride on Santorini’s cable car service is a must. Located in the island’s capital Thira, not only is it the handiest way to get down to the coast from town, it’s an experience in itself with beautiful views over the seafront.
For music lovers: In September, Santorini hosts its famous International Music Festival. Running for over thirty years, the festival features musicians from across the world playing a series of concerts that include opera, chamber music and jazz.
Firework festival: The Santorini Ifaisteia Festival fills the month of August with concerts and cultural events, dancing and traditions. Most excitingly for visitors, it rounds the festival off with a huge firework display, setting the sky on fire for one wild night. Wherever you are on the island, you won’t miss it.
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