Clifftop villages, peach-toned sunsets and volcano views
Blue-domed churches, cobbled lanes edged with bougainvillea, whitewashed houses with painted balconies – the Aegean island of Santorini is picture-perfect Greece at its best. The island is thought to be the site of the Lost City of Atlantis, which disappeared after a volcanic eruption caused a huge tidal wave. Nowadays, it's the dramatic cliffs, flooded caldera and Instagram-worthy sunsets that draw in visitors.
The beaches in Santorini carry on the volcanic theme, with resorts like Monolithos, Vlychada and Kamari showcasing long stretches of charcoal-grey sands. Kokkini Paralia beach is also worth a visit – its rose-coloured sand and cliffs have earned it the nickname Red Beach.
Overlooking the caldera are a cluster of sugar-cube villages. Imerovigli lays claim to the island’s highest point, while Oia is the place to go for those famous sunsets. Fira is Santorini’s capital. Its narrow lanes are lined with shops selling lace and filigree gold, while the restaurants serve stuffed vine leaves and island wine with side orders of panoramic views.
The flight to Santorini is around 3 hours 45 minutes from the UK.
Like most Greek islands, Santorini’s long summer months stretch from April through to September or October. The dry, sunny spring months are warm enough for beach-going and sightseeing, and average highs top 30°C in July and August.
Currently visas are not required for UK citizens travelling to Greece.
In Greece, a service charge will be included in the bill at restaurants and bars. Much like the UK, an additional tip is not required, although is appreciated for particularly good service. It is common to round off the amount when paying cash, particularly with wait staff and taxi drivers.
The official language of Greece is Greek. English is widely spoken, too, so getting by is easy.