Known for its iconic caldera, unique and colorful sand or pebble beaches resulting from solidified lava, whitewashed houses and deep indigo sea, nowhere on earth quite compares with the wild natural beauty of this infamous volcanic island; an island steeped in the legend of the lost Atlantis that has captivated so many imaginations through the decades.
Drawing visitors from all four corners of the globe who flock to the island to view its monumental sunsets, awe inspiring views, cuisine and wines, it is no wonder that Santorini has been voted one of the most beautiful islands in the world time and time again. The island’s incredible beauty is evident before you even arrive. An astonishing sight from the air – with its collection of five islands floating on the endless blue of the Aegean Sea almost like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – everything below seems to have a story to tell.
It’s hard not to feel drawn to the magical legend of Atlantis – everything below seems to have a story to tell.
As the airplane prepares to land, a dazzling mosaic of colors gradually becomes visible, from the grey and red rock face of the crater – Caldera from the Greek for “cauldron”, studded with windmills, the island’s trademark blue-domed churches and terraces of sugar-cube whitewashed settlements that seem to run along the rim of the Caldera almost like a ribbon. Firostefani, Fira, Imerovigli and Oia are built into the rock face from ancient cave dwellings and now boast exclusive hillside hotels showcasing infinity pools and luxury spas, accompanied by boutique shops, bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
Today, the aftereffects of the dramatic earthquakes of the past represent the island’s two main sources of wealth, namely tourism and agriculture. The latter owes its success to the island’s unique and very fertile volcanic soil and perfect climate allowing it to give birth to excellent produce such as its fava beans, cherry tomatoes, capers and famous goat’s milk cheese known as chloro.
As one of the best places to view majestic, awe-inspiring sunsets, few destinations in the world can match the sheer beauty of Santorini’s sunset views.
What Santorini is best known for, however, is its wine production which includes indigenous white grape varieties such as Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani, while other wines produced are using international varieties as well as its unique reds made from its indigenous red grapes known as Mandalieria and Mavrotragano. With approximately 1,200 hectares of vines scattered around Santorini, the wines are stored in traditional kanaves (cellars), the most well-known being at Megalochori, Mesa Gonia, Messaria, Pyrgos and Oia.
Finally, any mention of Santorini has to include its magical sunsets – a truly surreal experience.