Vaunted as the supermodel of the Greek islands, Santorini makes for a drop-dead gorgeous, picture-perfect postcard destination. A visit to the head-turning island affords you romantic sunsets, a dazzling panorama of the Aegean Sea from the multicolored cliffs that are home to dozens of whitewashed buildings. The iconic island hosts of a million and a half tourist yearly, all drawn by its unique allure.
Part of the Cyclades group of islands, Santorini sits halfway between Crete and Athens and is shaped like a bent croissant, with towering cliffs on the east side. The west end of the island, with its cluster of whitewashed building precariously perched on cliffsides right down to the sea, is the commercial hub. Fira, the island’s capital, the neighboring villages of Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia are the choicest and most expensive destinations. Their paths are lined with luxurious hotels and terrace restaurants.
Although less celebrated, the island’s East coast slopes down to the sea giving rise to sandy beaches and affordable traditional resorts. Here you’ll find the usual island holiday appeal – bars, watersports, and, tavern lined promenades, and sandy beaches.
July and August, the peak travel time, coincide with massive crowds and soaring hotel prices. The shoulder season months, April to June, September to October, are good times to visit if on a budget. You’d make more savings during the winter break when the crowds are scarce.