Santorini, the A-list celeb of the Greek Islands, sits in the southern Aegean Sea roughly halfway between Athens and Crete. The fabled island of Santorini is recognized the world over for its whitewashed buildings and soaring multi-colored cliffs. Set 120 mi southeast of Greece's mainland, Santorini is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago bearing the same name. The island the remnant of a volcanic caldera (crater) and it forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, The municipality of Santorini includes the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. The uniqueness of this destination or its huge allure cannot be denied, for Santorini hosts 1.5 million tourists annually.
Luxurious accommodations can be found on the caldera’s edge, and is where visitors can experience phenomenal views. Here on the caldera’s edge is where Santorini’s commercial district is focused, sitting on clifftops on the island’s west. Santorini’s capital, Fira, sits on the caldera’s edge with whitewashed buildings, upscale hotels, restaurant terraces and incredible photo opportunities. The hotels and villas in the towns of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia are known for their splendid whitewashed interiors, terraces and infinity pools; many of which have inspired marriage proposals, fashion photo shoots and countless Instagram posts. Imerovigli is the ultimate for serenity and peace, while Fira and Oia are known for their hustle.
With its views of the glistening Aegean Sea, stunning landscapes, rich cultural offerings, spectacular cuisine, alluring beaches and luxe accommodations, Santorini is more glorious in reality than it is in the imagination.
Peak travel season is July and August — hotels, viewpoints and beaches are packed with tourists. The shoulder-season months of April, May, early June, late September and October are when things are slightly quieter on the caldera edge, and considerably quieter on the eastern coast of the island. Also, don’t discount a winter break when crowds are scarce and while
the scenery is still breathtaking, for Santorini is working on positioning itself as a year-round destination.