Ever wondered what time travel would be like? While jumping in a time machine will have to remain a distant fantasy for now, you’ll discover the next best thing when you hop on a plane to Santorini. Thanks to its cobbled, maze-like streets and its colourful houses, which almost look too cheerful to be real, this Greek island is ideal for an escape from the stresses of modern life.
Although the island only covers an area of 28 square miles, don’t be fooled by its small size: whether you’re planning an athletic adventure, a foray into ancient history or even a wedding, you’ll find that Santorini’s longstanding history and attractions never cease to amaze its visitors. In preparation for an unforgettable holiday, take a look at Maps of the World’s infographic, which is certain to set off your travel itch and prepare you for what this fascinating island has to offer.
Fascinating Fun Facts
Did you know that Santorini is not only an island, but also a caldera? (If you’re wondering what this is, I’ve looked it up for you: it’s a huge crater, which results from a volcanic eruption that destroys a volcano’s mouth.) Given the fact that Santorini sits on top of a volcanic structure that is still active today – and that its central part sank into the sea as a result of an eruption in the Minoan era – it may surprise you that the island is even inhabited. Yet Santorini has prevailed in the face of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes time and time again, and is currently the only inhabited caldera in the world. Pretty impressive, huh?
Today, Santorini is composed of thirteen villages, each of which is more picturesque than the last. Since all villages have maintained a vernacular architectural style that has persevered through the centuries, you’ll really start to believe that you’ve travelled back in time. So, leave your smart phone at home and get exploring! From visiting unspoiled beaches to museums that recount the island’s history from the Minoan era to the present, you’ll be way too busy to check your Facebook anyway.
Along with working on your tan and savouring the local cuisine, you’ll be able to quench your cultural thirst. Even if you’re not a history buff, don’t pass by a visit to Akrotiri, a site that dates back to the Minoan Bronze Age. Although this settlement was obliterated in a volcanic eruption in 1627 BC, it was meticulously excavated in 1967. Today, tourists’ jaws regularly drop to their chests when they behold Akrotiri’s ancient artefacts, which include an impressive collection of frescoes, pottery and sculptures.
If you’re a nature lover, why not combine a gorgeous hike with exploring a historical highlight? Take up the challenge of climbing up Skaros Rock, a pointy peninsula that’s approximately 20 metres high. In addition to enjoying an unparalleled view of Santorini and the Aegean Sea, it’s worth immersing yourself in the history of this scenic spot, which served as the capital of Santorini in the Middle Ages and was home to a protective fortress and a Venetian settlement.
If you’re ready to discover what the rave is all about, consider planning a trip to this glamorous Greek island between late April and mid-June to avoid tourist throngs. Or, if you’re a powder hound, why not take the surrounding mountains by storm between November and March? Regardless of when you visit Santorini, you’re in for a matchless mixture of sun, sightseeing and stupefaction.