Formed hundreds of years ago by a massive volcanic explosion, Santorini is a spectacular, black-sanded island set in the clear, blue waters of the Mediterranean. Bathed in sunshine for most of the year, it makes an ideal destination for those wanting to top up their tans against one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world. However, while the island is well known for its laid-back atmosphere, its rich history and unique geology means there are plenty of things to do in Santorini. Bask on a beach, explore the dramatic caldera, sample outstanding wines, enjoy some exciting watersports or plug into the vibrant nightlife; you can make your Santorini holiday exactly what you want it to be.
Places to go
Tranquillity and peaceful spots are plentiful on the island, and one of our favourite places to visit in Santorini is Skaros Rock. This ancient fort looks out over the glittering Mediterranean, and as long as you don't mind a little bit of a walk, the views are exceptional. Santorini attractions include the beautiful Amoudi Bay, a secret cove with a sandy beach and warm, shallow waters that are ideal for snorkelling. You'll need to put your walking shoes on again, because there are 300 steps down to the beach. However, the trek is well worth the effort and you'll be rewarded with a quiet, peaceful spot complete with some breath-taking views. Hire a car and head into the island's heartland, and up the Messavouno mountain to the ruins of ancient Thera. This well-preserved ruined town gives you a glimpse into the everyday lives of the islanders over 2,000 years ago. Our top tip: take a sun hat as there's not much shade from the hot sun on this mountaintop location.
Attractions in Santorini are a good mix of grown-up must-sees, such as a visit to the Gaia Winery or a caldera cruise, with a scattering of more family-friendly places such as Kamari Beach or the colourful Red Beach. If you and the kids fancy taking in a movie, head to the Kamari Open Air Cinema: pack a picnic and some drinks and catch a Hollywood blockbuster under the stars. Art lovers are bound to make a beeline for the Gabbiano Nero, a collection of art and sculptures that really captures the spirit and culture of the island. Once you've finished looking at the art, you're just a few steps from Kamari beach.
Places to visit
The best way to see all the best Santorini attractions is to take a guided tour of the island. You'll start at the Panagia Episkopi Church in Mesa Gonia, before going on to see the island's various beaches and its huge caldera. If you love the ocean then boat trips in Santorini are a wonderful opportunity to escape the crowds. Look out for the wild dolphins that pop up and play around the bow of the boats as you sail around the island. Once the sun goes down, Santorini's nightlife brings a real buzz to this sleepy island. Head to Fira for clubs and bars, or check out some of the island's family-run tavernas for a real feel of authentic Santorini life. If you're tempted to head to this gorgeous Greek island for a romantic break then book your holiday today. While you're waiting for your holiday to start, why not take a tour of our list of things to do in Santorini?