Officially known by its ancient name of Thera, the striking volcanic islands of Santorini is one of the most visited Greek islands.
Once a much larger, single island, Santorini as it looks today is the result of a massive volcanic explosion known as the Minoan or Theran explosion which took place around 3,600 years ago. The explosion left the steep sided caldera on which the main settlements now perch as well as the deep lagoon that provides the island with its safe harbours. Cruise ships travel to Santorini from all over the Agean and the Mediterranean and sail across the flooded caldera.
Santorini is a world famous destination that features some of the most striking Mediterranean architecture. The distinctive white washed houses are the visible portions of houses that include rooms built into cliff side caves.
Blue domed churches are scattered through the towns and pathways and steps are traversed by keen eyed tourist on their way to the next stunning view or taverna.
Away from the main towns that roost on the cliff-tops, there is plenty to see. Numerous beaches at the base of the cliffs have warm waters to swim in and unusually coloured sands.
Elsewhere, small boat harbours with great fish tavernas close by and some amazing roads are great options for when you get tired of gazing at the horizon.
Sunset is a special time here and thousands come just to witness the sun sinking into the water from the numerous vantage points around the towns. The views from a thousand feet above the water are simply stunning.