Introducing Santorini (Thira)
Santorini may well have conquered a corner of your imagination before you've even set eyes on it. With multicoloured cliffs soaring over 300m from a sea-drowned caldera, it rests in the middle of the indigo Aegean, looking like a giant slab of layered cake. The island spoons the vast crater left by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history. Smaller islands curl around the fragmented western edge of the caldera, but it is the main island of Thira that will take your breath away with its snow drift of white Cycladic houses lining the cliff tops and, in places, spilling like icy cornices down the terraced rock. When the sun sets, the reflection on the buildings and the glow of the orange and red in the cliffs can be truly spectacular.
Santorini is no secret and draws crowds for most of the year, yet it wears its tourism well and its offerings make it worth the bustle. The island's intrigue reaches deep into the past, with the fascinating Minoan site of Akrotiri and the gorgeous traditional hilltop village of Oia. It also glides effortlessly into the future with accomplished artists, excellent wineries, a unique brewery, and some of the Cyclades finest dining experiences. The sandy, multicoloured beaches are simply the icing on the cake.
Best places to stay in Santorini (Thira)
The world's most unusual beaches
Candy sands, disappearing waves, transformed trolls - if life's a beach, these are its strangest days. These 10 beaches from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Sights might not all be swimmable, but they are all extraordinary. 1...
Greece - Cyclades (Chapter)
Ringed with cinnamon sand and ink blue sea, the Cyclades are natural magnets. Throw in stunning, sugar-cube villages, a good dose of sophistication and a stylish culture that seems to have bounced its way down from Athens, and you do have the...
Sailing Greece - Santorini to Mykonos
A yacht adventure is the ideal way to experience what many consider the world's most beautiful islands: the Greek Islands. Sail for eight days aboard our 15m (49 ft) yachts, with time for hiking, snorkelling and relaxing. Explore ancient archaeological sites and taverna-lined harbours, and dine on fresh seafood.
Perched on the northern tip of the island, the village of Oia (ee-ah) reflects the renaissance of Santorini after the devastating earthquake of 1956. Restoration work has whipped up beauty and you will struggle to find a more stunning Cyclades village. Built on a steep slope of the caldera, many of its dwellings nestle in niches hewn into the volcanic rock.
Greek Islands - Plan your trip (Chapter)
Your journey to the Greek Islands starts here. You’ll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when and how much to budget.
Island hopping in Greece
Europe's greatest seaside escapes
The greatest seaside escapes are usually the ones that nobody else knows about: the ones down the mile-long sandy trail, the ones at the bottom of the rickety steps, the ones you have to inflate a dinghy and paddle to. But even the most well-known places can feel intimate if you time it right...
Greece's best beaches
Santorini Island Day Trip
Get to know Santorini on a full-day independent trip from Crete, and see as much of the island as you wish! Either soak up the sun with a book on the beach, or explore the pretty island towns and villages.
Aristotle, Homer, Plato, Sappho, Herodotus and Alexander the Great can’t all be wrong in their choice of language – if you’ve ever come across arcane concepts such as ‘democracy’, exotic disciplines like ‘trigonometry’ or a little-known neurosis...