The best view in the world...
This is one of the most spectacular Greek islands - part
of the Cyclades group, so called because they
form a circle around the ancient island of Delos.
can prepare you for the first magical view of the towering multi-coloured
lava layered cliffs rising out of an azure blue sea, topped with
clusters of whitewashed villages and stunning cobalt blue-domed
It is picture postcard stunning, with no need of any artistic
touching up - blue, blue sea, snow-white buildings and wonderful
blue domes abound everywhere, particularly in the capital Fira
and the ancient town of Oia. Away from the caldera,
this loveliest of Greek islands has many quiet corners where
the pace of life slows right down and you can experience the
Greece. The historic villages of Pirgos and Megalochori
are particularly worth a visit.
History of the island
Santorini owes its unusual shape to a massive volcanic eruption
around 3,500 years ago - the magnificent submerged caldera (crater)
is the epicentre.
As well as wiping out the thriving Minoan civilization with
huge tidal waves (tsunami), the explosion led to the centre
of the island
collapsing to form the caldera or crater. The caldera has very
steep sides (essentially the cliffs you see above sea level
down for a further 400 metres or so below the surface of the
This allows even the largest cruise ships to enter the sheltered
waters of the Caldera and anchor safely. As a result, the island
has become one of the most popular destinations on the Mediterranean
cruise circuit with two or three liners arriving and departing
Remains of the historical Minoan civilization, which was highly
advanced, can be seen at the spectacular mountaintop village of
old Thira. At the recently re-opened Akrotiri
archaeological site excavations have revealed some fascinating
aspects of how life was lived on these sunny islands, thousands
of years before Christianity.
As one of the most romantic places in the world, Santorini has
always been a destination for honeymooners and in recent years
it has become a very popular place to get married. Several venues
host wedding ceremonies set against the stunning background of
There are a number of companies which specialise in arranging
weddings, blessings and civil ceremonies and dealing with the
paperwork for US, UK and other EU citizens.
They will be happy to advise you on how to complete the formalities
and can help to arrange everything so all you have to do is turn
up on the day and get married!
You do need to plan well in advance though as it can take a while
for the licence to be arranged.
You can have the choice of large or small wedding ceremonies
in a variety of venues either overlooking the caldera or in quieter
parts of the island.
What to see and do
Check out our instant tourist
guide for the best and most popular things to do and see!
Caldera - visit the volcanic island of Nea
Kameni and swim in the hot sulphur springs of Palia
at Oia (known locally as Ia),
enjoy a meal or drink at this beautiful village overlooking
the scenic Caldera
and see the extensive vine growing areas of the island by
following the wineroads - Santo Wines in Megalohori
shopping at Fira and
Oia - designer fashion and fabulous jewellery
and gold shops
view of island Drive up to the highest part
of the island and see for miles across the sparkling waters
of the Aegean Sea
9. Visit the traditional
Greek villages : Imerovigli, Pyrgos,
Megalohori and Emporio, and experience
the timeless tranquility of rural Greece
hop to nearby Thirasia or
further afield to Ios and Sikinos