Santorini is a true jewel in the Aegean Sea, offering much more than just stunning views and picturesque beauty. The island boasts a range of activities that will keep the adventurous traveler seeking experiences beyond simply basking under the sun on the sandy beaches. Dig a little deeper and explore the island’s rich culture, heritage and unique natural wonders. During your stay in a Santorini villa, consider checking out these top five must-visit spots.
Oia is the quintessential Greek postcard place and arguably the most famous village on the island. It’s hard to imagine Santorini without envisioning Oia’s white houses with their blue domed roofs snuggled against the steep cliffs overlooking the sea. The town is quite small and can be explored on foot. It is ideal for a leisurely stroll, and the narrow streets and passages are lined with quaint shops, restaurants and cafes. When you stay in Santorini luxury accommodation, Oia is certainly a spot you should visit.
Vlychada’s Volcanic Beach
Vlychada’s beach is located on the south coast of Santorini and is known for its distinctive grey sand and pebbles that create a beautiful contrast with the turquoise waters flowing along the coastline. One of the most distinctive features of this beach is the unique rock formations sculpted by the wind, which almost gives it a lunar landscape feel. Unlike most beaches on the island, Vlychada has both sand and rocky outcrops, making it ideal for beach combing and relaxing.
Suppose you fancy some shopping and nightlife during your stay in a Santorini villa. In this case, Fira is the best spot for you. This bustling town, the island’s capital, offers everything from high-end boutiques and galleries to souvenir shops. During the day, climb the steep steps and winding paths to the top of the town to see the fantastic views of the Caldera. At night, Fira is buzzing with music, bars and clubs that stay open until late, so you can party all you want before returning to your Santorini luxury accommodation.
Emporio village – aka the pirates’ village – is nestled on the southeastern part of the island and is less visited than the popular Oia and Fira, making it ideal for those who prefer off-the-beaten-path destinations when leaving their Santorini villa. The village feels like a maze with its narrow alleys and traditional Cycladic houses painted white, punctuated by the occasional blue-domed chapel. In the heart of the village stand the ruins of a medieval castle dating back to the 15th century. The castle’s remains are known locally as “Castelli” and offer a unique historical perspective of the island.
Taking a day or sunset cruise around the Caldera is undoubtedly one of the most memorable experiences during your stay in Santorini. The natural beauty of the island is even more impressive from the sea. Get your camera ready to capture the fantastic views of the cliffs, the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea and the iconic whitewashed houses perched on the cliff sides. Sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning scenery of one of the most impressive calderas in the world.
To sum up, Santorini is a destination that offers much more than sun, sand and turquoise waters. A stay in a Santorini villa represents an excellent opportunity to not only relax but also to see and experience these top five spots we’ve listed, among many, many others. From Oia’s magnificent postcard-like views of Oia to the unique rock formations on Vlychada’s volcanic beach, Santorini is truly a place like no other.