Looking for a place to relax in the sun, a romantic getaway with sunsets and beaches, a destination with endless photographic possibilities? Give Santorini another look. Southernmost of the Greek Cyclades and close to Crete, you can get there by water or air and then relax.
Santorini, officially known as Thira, is actually a series of volcanic islands surrounding a caldera formed by a cataclysmic volcanic explosion. It offers stunning views from villages perched on high cliffs, inviting black or red sand beaches and delightful culinary adventures.
We visited Santorini in mid to late April, the start of the tourist season. Although not everything was open yet, everyone was very friendly and not yet exhausted by the deluge of travelers, a consideration I fully understand, living in a tourist destination myself. Travel by local bus is fun and easy or you can rent a car or moped if you like. Hiking is also a great way to see the island.
Just be sure to explore the island, as there are stunning beaches and views as well as delightful family tavernas serving ice cold Retsina and home-cooked meals. Local wineries and the Volcan Wines Museum are also worth a visit. I understand the ancient city of Akrotiri is still closed to the public, but Ancient Thira high above Kamari is worth a look, for the views if nothing else.
One of the highlights of our trip was a boat tour from the Old Port of Fira to the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni (hot mineral springs) and Thirassia.
Give yourself a week to relax and recharge. It is worth it.