Santorini is a one of Greece’s most astonishing islands. The ring-shaped rim of the former island of Thera, which exploded in the large Minoean volcanic explosion more than 3000 years ago, is populated by greek cliff dwellings, small villas where one’s roof is the next one’s terrace. Inside the ring, the volcano is not ready to let go, and produces a new island with lava eruptions as recent as the 1940ies. Even in winter, you’ll enjoy a hot bath in the many thermal water outlets that are found in the small lava bays around the volcano.
Unless you’re a geologist, Santorini is an ideal meeting location. Mid day heat will chase you to the conference room, while the mild and warm evenings need to be cooled off with the sea or Greek wine.
What to do
- Scuba dive.
- Rent a boat & go fishing.
- Visit the smaller villages, e.g. Ia.
- Visit the prehistoric village of Akrotiri. It is one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean, and people call it the Pompeji of Greece. Ruins of a whole Minoan city were found. It had been destroyed around the year 1500 B.C. by an eruption of the volcano that wiped out the Minoan culture.
Where to stay
- In one of the numerous terrace appartments on the cliff. Unbeatable.
- Hotel Santorini Palace has conference rooms, and a nice outdoor pool. In addition, it hovers over most other buildings around on top of the cliff in Fira.
- Getting there: Take the plane (via Athens), or use the ferry cruisers shuttling between Crete and Athens. Entrance of the crater caldera ring and approach to Fira is said to be most dramatic from the deck of a cruise liner.
- Getting around: A few local bus lines shuttle forth and back the main road. Taxis are available.
- Rent a motor scooter.
- To the volcano: A tourist ferry connects Fira to the volcanic island.
- Rent a boat.
Where to eat
- Pick your place. Your choice will be mainly based on weather and season. When it’s too hot, you want to look for a nice tavern in a deep cellar. On warm evenings, pick a terrace restaurant with a view. The farther away from the main turist paths, the better (and restaruants in Ia are unbeatable).
- Restaurant Vanila is built into a former windmill. It resides on the cliff with a view to the volcano – and incredible sunsets. Priced over the regular tourist dinner, the place will provide you with exclusive food and location.
What to bring home
- Virgin Olive Oil from the island.
- A few bottles of Vin Santo wine grown on Santorini.
- Pumice stone from the volcano for your bathroom. Available in the old town shops in Fira.
- Some old Metaxa (at least *******), which is the Cognac of Greece.