Discuss the popularity of Santorini
There are many reasons why the small Greek island of Santorini is so popular as a holiday destination, with its stunning turquoise waters and picturesque villages, great activities including wine-tasting, authentic Greek cuisine, regular boat excursions due to its ideal location for island hopping.
Santorini has less “resort” atmosphere therefore you will not see many Brits behaving badly here. Perhaps the luxury and high cost attracts a more serious and discerning type of traveller or a destination for small families who wish to take advantage of the stunning landscape and spectacular water activities such as snorkelling and sailing.
The island certainly has some of the most exceptionally luxurious accommodation and hence it is a draw for celebrities. Santorini has been a fashionable Greek island for celebrities since the 1960s.
Fira is the capital of Santorini and has a lively vibe and great shopping, restaurants and night clubs. For relaxing, Firostefani is secluded but not too remote. Oia is the most well-known town, it has a traditional relaxed and very romantic setting except for late afternoon when the sun starts to set. The sunsets in Oia are world famous and a draw for nearly everyone on the island. Crowds congregate everywhere vying for the best spot, although that would be the castle of Agios Nikolaos. However, any rooftop will suffice in order to gaze upon, appreciate and photograph this spectacular vision of the sun setting during that magical hour when the whitewashed Oia village becomes bathed in a golden glow. There is even applause at the final second when the event comes to an emotional ending!
Santorini is an active volcanic island, and the most popular (and expensive) accommodation has the views of the legendary “Caldera” the lagoon created thousands of years previously when the centre of the island collapsed into the sea. The lagoon is the most photographed and magnetic draw for visitors to Greece.
The beaches around the island are incredibly diverse, and have either red or white sand while one beach, Parissa, is well known for its black sand. Another beach with a difference is Black Rock Beach, with its tiny black pebbles. Due to its volcanic history the sand on the beaches of Santorini tends to be course and it is advisable to wear beach shoes when walking.
Many people hire a car or moped to take tours around the island and a particularly unique type of tour has to be one of the boat tours, that take visitors around the island, lunch on the boat and an opportunity to swim in one of the hot water spots created by the volcano.
The area is expensive, especially as demand for the exclusive views of the Caldera and the celebrity draw, however, cheaper options exist and are equally luxurious, close to the main beaches and shopping. Areas such as Perissa, Kamari and Perivolos. Visiting from May to October is the busiest season, with all the attractions open and a great vibe all over the island. August is the busiest month with the island at over capacity.
Even during the winter months, although too cold to swim the Island can be appreciated for its stunning natural beauty, architectural interests and that traditional Greek hospitality and cuisine. For wine connoisseurs, Santorini has some of Greece’s top wine producers for example Argyros wines have been growing grapes since the 1800s and, with unique pruning methods, the same wines are produced from this volcanic earth that were originally produced solely for the local Catholic sacramental wine.