Santorini

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About Santorini , Cyclades

Santorini is the supermodel of the Greek islands, a head-turner whose face is instantly recognisable around the world: multicoloured cliffs soar out of a sea-drowned caldera, topped by drifts of whitewashed buildings. With its reputation for dazzling panoramas, romantic sunsets and volcanic-sand beaches Santorini it’s hardly surprising the island features on so many travellers’ bucket lists.

The island capital of Thira, variously spelt as Thera or Fira, overlooks a magnificent caldera atop some 300-metre high cliff of black, red and brown.

Holidaymakers who prefer sunset views over the caldera away from the swarms of camera wielding trippers will head to Imerovigli. The road north out of Fira leads immediately to Thirastefani, also spelt Firastefani, which was once a separate village but is now so swallowed up by its neighbour Fira that they are indistinguishable.

This is the highest spot along the caldera rim and those awe inspiring views peak at the clifftop site of Skaros, an imposing ruin of the citadel fortress that the Venetians once crowned the island capital.

Oia has splendid views over the caldera rim and a winding staircase down to a small quay.The main square in Oia overlooking the caldera and acts as a gathering point for sunset watchers who sometimes offer an implausible round of applause as the sun sinks on the horizon.Worth a visit is the Maritime Museum. Oia has several art galleries and a cultural centre among the souvenir and gift shops.