P ulling up to the precious gem of an island on the Aegean Sea via catamaran is a spectacle to behold. Santorini, the largest island of the Cyclades archipelago, welcomes you with delight. I'm told a much different experience is had from the air. Bland and unremarkable architecture dots the aerial landscape.
To step on the island for the first time and look it in the eye is a mesmerizing spectacle. The beauty and grandeur of the experience, all the more dense, upon the knowledge of the turmoil beneath your feet. The island, an active volcanic region, is in fact what remains of a large eruption over 3,500 years ago. The iconic Caldera, the flooded crater formed by the eruption, sets the stage for the regions visual attack on your senses.
Make your way up to an Imerovigli rooftop and the breathtaking moment leaves you aghast. The picturesque view across the Caldera toward Oia, litters many a honeymoon Instagram feed. Jolt to Fira and the Cosmopolitan Suites pool/bar area before sunset and drink it all in. This luxury hotspot is the perfect venue for a fruit infused cocktail and some warm vitamin d.
A trip on trails from Fira to Oia abounds with breathtaking views of Thirasia and the Caldera. Strolling along the top of these cliffs one enjoys some of the memorable sights. The Church of Saint Gerasimos, the Covent of Saint Nicholas, and the infamous Skaros rock. Make an effort to end the evening with a 7:10pm sunset dinner of octopus, lamb, and local wine at the island staple 1800.
Speaking of local wine, almost a quarter of the island's acreage finds itself engrossed by vines. Vineyards like Domaine Sigalas major in assyrtiko. The native white grape produces a full bodied and dry white wine popular on the island.
While the island gets fit into a blue and white box, it is much more than that. Iron deposits grace the massive rocks at the Red beach. Black pebbles and white sand from the hardened lava dot the the popular white and black beaches. Pretty palates and pops of color will surprise you at every turn as you stroll through town.
Color won't be the only surprise and enchantment you experience on this active volcano.