For years Santorini has been on the ‘must-eventually-wind-my-way-there’ travel list, becoming on of those places that had to be visited simply because it had to. The result being I kept putting it off, until of course it could be put off no longer. I had to see this caldera hugging icon before my promises of ‘I’ll just go next year’ became a complete and utter joke. And the advise I can now pass on as a result is DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE. Don’t put Santorini on a ‘one day soon’ list, visit it immediately. It’s a vibrant, thriving, impossibly friendly paradise built around an active Volcano and prone to the most picturesque summer sunsets imaginable. It is the sort of place you arrive at and know immediately; so iconicity beautiful, this is the land of myth and legend, the place where it all began.
While I could continue to gush it would be far simpler to leave you with a splattering of blue sky photographs (a thousand words and all that) and a list of Santorini tips, some more sensible than others.
1) Wear shoes with grip, while stone may be stunning but it’s also a tad slippery.
2) Never miss a sunset - especially if you can catch it at Oia or from the grounds on Santo wines. Watching the white and blue town turn yellow, pink and orange is decidedly spectacular.
3) Venture into the caldera, climb a volcano (which is steeper than it looks) and wash off the ash in the iron rich thermal springs, which merge rather seemlessly with the azure sea.
4) Discover that san vinto, Santorini’s local dessert wine, really is the bees knees. Join a Santorini wine tour - the approach to wine making on this arid stretch of land is truly unique, and the experience will leave you suitably tipsy.
5) Stock up on Korres (beauty product lovers take note).
6) Get lost in Atlantis Books, a unique, literature filled venue sure to take your breath away. The local love story and international staff add even more character.
7) Go shopping for Fira - the pottery, jewellery and endless array of beachwear is second to none.
8) Learn about the birth of modern civilisation at The Megaro Gyzi Museum and Akrotiri (and learn just how much further we still have to go).
9) Ride a donkey down to Fira’s Old Port before catching a cable car back up to the town centre, all the time watching the caldera. From almost every angle it is a view capable of inducing rather wobbly knees.