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Santorini for first-timers – Lonely Planet

The Deadliest Island
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Greece is probably on the bucket list of all the travelers. Imagine an island which has the best of the Greek paradise. If you’re thinking of Santorini, you’re absolutely right.

Santorini, officially known as Thira is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece's mainland. The island has the remnants of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. The volcanic arc is approximately 500 km long and 20 to 40 km wide. Santorini was ranked the world's top island for the Travel+Leisure Magazine, the BBC, and US News. An estimated 2 million tourists visit this mesmerizing place annually. The dazzling panoramas, romantic sunsets, and volcanic-sand beaches would make your visit out of the world. Perfect for some quiet time studded with beautiful sceneries with your loved ones or the solo travel pictures for your album, you can’t just have enough of this place.


Sunset-viewing is in Oia

If you’ve seen the picturesque white and blue shades of Greece, you already wish to visit Oia. This serene place with whitewashed buildings and classic domes provides the perfect place for a breath-taking sunset view. With numerous outdoor seating restaurants, you can enjoy the view while drinking wine and having great seafood. You can end your day tour with the Oia sunset and have a moment you’ll never forget. Remember to check the weather before visiting to make sure there aren’t any hindrances.



Perissa beach

Who doesn’t love a beach? But can you imagine the bold black complimenting the crystal clear waters? Perissa beach does exactly this for you. Santorini's best known and most popular beach, Persia beach, lies on the southeast coast between the villages of Perissa and Perivolos. You’ll be mesmerized with the fine black volcanic sand and the six-kilometer stretch studded with a string of seafood tavernas and cafés. Rent sunbeams and umbrellas for an enriching sunbath session or enjoy the diverse water sports facilities available.



Wine tasting

Santorini, with its volcanic aspa soil, produces world-class wine rich in minerals. Santorini’s famous wines are its crisp dry whites and the amber-colored, unfortified dessert wine known as Vinsanto. Many local vineyards, for a small charge, host wine tastings which you can enjoy with some great food and scenic beauty.



Museum of Prehistoric Thira

History enthusiast or not, it’s always important to know about a place when you’re visiting it. The Museum of Prehistoric Thira provides a perfect opportunity. The museum traces the course of prehistoric Thira right from the late Neolithic to the late Cycladic I period using various excavations, beautiful frescoes, and Minoan ware. Be sure to check out the blue monkey and the golden goat.



Church of the 3 Bells

One of the most photographed churches on Santorini, Church of the 3 Bells is not too far from downtown Fira. The beautiful church boasts of a peaceful area with some great views. The perfect opportunity to visit it in all its essence would probably be during a morning stroll in front of the church.



Red beach

The red beach is located near the village and the ancient site of Akrotiri. You have to hike a little to reach the beach so make sure to be prepared in your good hiking shoes. Due to frequent landslides, the tourists are warned to be careful. However, when you do make the hike, the beach is worth the effort.



Cliff jumping

To spice things up on your relaxing holiday, the adventurous travelers can go for cliff diving near Oia. As you take the steps down to Amoudi Bay, a few steps away lies a flat, tiled part of the cliff on the top where you jump from. However, remember to enquire from any local if the particular cliff is safe to jump. If they say yes, go ahead and jump out of your comfort zone!



Best time to visit

The peak travel time is July and August when prices soar and the place is packed with tourists. April through June and late September and October are better times to visit since the place is less crowded at that time.


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