The magnetic island of Santorini has become synonymous with fairy-tale sunsets and hypnotising panoramas. It also enchants with its architecture, unique topography, and volcanic terrain that has reshaped the island after the devastating volcanic eruptions of the past. Not to mention the cobalt waters that offer memorable seaside experiences, the volcanic shores, the rejuvenating Hot Springs with the healing properties, the scenic villages, the internationally acclaimed local wines, and the fantastic underwater volcanic universe!
If you are about to make your first visit to the island, things can become a bit challenging. Where do you start? Which places should you include in your itineraries? Which attractions are a must-see? Here are four places (besides the obvious, Fira and Oia) worth adding on your list while visiting Santorini!
Ammoudi Bay – Picturesque and away from the crowds
Ammoudi Bay is home to a quaint village with beautiful Cycladic architecture and friendly locals. Lined with tavernas and a charming volcanic sand beach, Ammoudi Bay welcomes visitors with delicious seafood and fish dishes using the local fishermen’s daily catches. Tucked in the lower part of Oia, it offers an inviting escape from the bustling city and pampers guests with crystalline waters and opportunities to enjoy sunbathing and swimming in absolute tranquillity. And, if you feel drawn towards exploring craggy coves, then Ammoudi Bay is your place for sure.
Kamari Beach – Hugely popular for its black sand
Kamari Beach, just like other shores along the Santorini coastline, is formed from volcanic sand. Now, depending on which side of the island you visit, the sand could be white, black, or red (you can usually tell which is which from the names of the beaches – e.g., the Red Beach). Kamari beach features a long stretch of obsidian-black sand and absolutely transparent waters.
Note, though, that it’s best to visit this shore in the early morning hours before the sun starts to heat the black pebbled beach. Then, you will need footwear to walk on the beach and enjoy your seaside endeavours (worry not as there are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas to use). The area is also full of shops, restaurants, hotels, and small shops to boost your beach experiences.
Imerovigli – The most scenic views and sunset panoramas
Not far from the island’s capital, Fira, Imerovigli occupies a prestigious cliff-side location that enables visitors to rest their eyes upon endless views of the Aegean Sea and the cloudless Mediterranean sky. Besides the adorable whitewashed houses with the distinct cubic shape, Imerovigli is also where you will find the infamous Anastaseos Church (yes, it’s the blue-domed complex of chapels featured in nearly all Santorini photographs and postcards).
That aside, the cosmopolitan Santorini town also provides views of the impressive and awe-inspiring Santorini caldera and, of course, the most stunning sunset panoramas. The best thing about Imerovigli is that you can savour pristine seascapes and unbelievably heart-warming seascapes from a rooftop bar, the garden of a cafe overlooking the Aegean, or even the balcony of your luxury suite or villa. Five-star hotels, like Kivotos Santorini, will definitely tick all of your boxes with world-class, personalised services and amenities, which are designed to meet the needs of a VIP clientele, including those of utmost privacy and exclusivity.
Pyrgos – Exuding romance from end to end
Once the capital of Santorini, Pyrgos is now a fast-growing upmarket town that stands out for offering a quieter version of your Santorini holidays. The bustling region is less crowded than Fira and Oia and less of a touristy area, delivering on its promise for more laid-back experiences. Should you decide to explore the roundabouts, expect to come across the remains of the old castle the town was built on. Or you may just choose to stroll the narrow, maze-like, cobblestone alleys and let yourself get lost in the labyrinth streets. Chances are you will find hidden passageways and lots of picture-perfect spots to soak up fab views.
Santorini feels royal and definitely intriguing, whether you are here for romance, adventures or vacations that include visits to archaeological and historical sites, unique landscapes, palate-pleasing tastes, local award-winning wines, and luxury accommodation like nowhere else. In any case, the Queen of the Cyclades knows precisely how to pamper its guests, in ways not imaginable!