There are very few places on Earth that can compare to the instantly recognisable Greek island of Santorini. Nearly 2 million people flock to this tiny island every year, thus earning its place among the world’s most popular holiday destinations.
Here are seven reasons why Santorini keeps on popping in people’s minds when planning a vacation.
The island’s stunning views have been featured on countless postcards, billboards, and Instagram posts, and for very good reason. Blue skies meet beautiful white buildings perched on top of volcanic soil, surrounded by the glistening waters of the Aegean Sea. At the centre of the island is the vast, picturesque caldera, which The Guardian explains is a result of an enormous volcanic eruption 3,600 years ago.
The magical sunsets
Anyone who has marvelled at the fantastic sunsets on this island would agree that they deserve a separate entry on this list. Seeing the island bathed in golden light at the end of the day is truly a jaw-dropping experience, making Santorini easily land Travel+Leisure Magazine’s list of most romantic islands in the world.
Many high profile personalities, such as Dwayne Wade and Heidi Klum, treat Santorini as their go-to romantic getaway destination. In fact, the island’s setting and atmosphere have influenced countless couples to choose it as the place to get engaged or married or both. Entertainment Daily reports that reality star Danni Baird got engaged to her boyfriend Todd Baldree on this beautiful island, albeit the wedding got called off weeks before the big day. The bottom line is that Santorini is often considered a dream destination, and not many sceneries are more romantic than watching the sunset with your partner.
Delicious Greek food
The local cuisine is another reason to fall in love with the island. Upon arriving, head to the nearest ‘taverna’ to try out the Santorini salad and have a sample of delicacies such as ‘ntomatokeftedes’ (tomato fritters) and ‘melitinia’ (sweet cheese pie). Don’t pass up the chance to taste the Santorini Fava, a delicious yellow puree that was previously featured here on Greek TV.
Amazing local wines
Santorini is one of the oldest, continuously cultivated wine-producing districts in the world, with its wine-making tradition dating back to 3,500 BC. Today, there are at least 10 different wineries in the island, all boasting distinctive flavours and quality. Santorini wines are said to be superior because of the volcanic soil in the area, so go ahead and take a wine tour or two during your stay!
The inhabited regions of the island are filled with beautiful traditional Grecian architecture. Travellers visiting Santorini will find that simply exploring its alleyways and staircases can be a wonderful adventure because of the exquisite structures. Moreover, the locals balance the island’s reputation as an international tourism hotspot with authentic charm and warm Grecian hospitality – which makes touring every part of the island truly a delight.
The volcanic mineral beaches
Red sand, white sand, black sand – the island’s volcanic coastline has them all. There are plenty of beaches to enjoy in Santorini for every kind of tourist, from well organised and serviced shores complete with lounge chairs and activities, to more obscure ones that will allow you to reconnect with nature at its purest.
Aside from marvelling at the island’s natural sights and wonders, you may also partake in outdoor activities like quad biking or hiking. The Telegraph reports that travellers can embark on a tour of the island’s ancient ruins as well, or go scuba diving in the caldera to see wrasse, damselfish, and even a World War II wreck.
With its distinctive architecture, breathtaking coastline, and delicious food and wines, the island of Santorini will not disappoint. What’s your favourite thing to do in Santorini?