In the heat of the summer, there’s few places we’d rather be than Santorini. Consistently ranked among the best islands in the world, it’s a favorite summer destination that attracts visitors from every corner of the earth. Breathtaking landscape, picturesque villages perched along the tops of the caldera’s cliffs, and sunsets to write home about are just a few of the things that make Santorini so appealing. In fact, with wonderful local gastronomy, rich cultural heritage, and a thriving local community, Santorini is a fantastic year-round destination, sure to enchant even the most seasoned of travelers.
Whether you fly in from Athens for a longer stay or stop over on the ferry whilst island hopping in the Cyclades, there’s plenty to see and do on Santorini. The caldera itself is mesmerizing. The island’s west coast comprises mostly tall cliffs and steep slopes that plunge into the sparkling blue sea below, and the entire island is dotted with spectacular beaches of red-faced cliffs, white-sanded bays, and long stretches of black volcanic sand.
Akrotiri, in the south, is home to a Minoan Bronze Age settlement that some historians believe was the inspiration behind the story of Atlantis! The settlement is remarkably well-preserved and offers unique insight into the everyday life and elaborate art of prehistoric Santorini, including a number of stunning, colorful frescoes. While that civilization is long gone, the islanders’ propensity for creativity survived the eruption and the millennia that passed and is still evident in Santorini’s material culture, traditions, and fine art. Centuries of surviving through hardship and triumphing over the elements—wild nature, rugged terrain, and an arid climate with hot sun and strong winds—forged the island’s unique temperament, culture and art, inspiring creativity and perseverance.
Some of the most remarkable cultural attractions on the island today lie at the intersection of art and everyday life and showcase the islander’s drive to make the most out of every opportunity to create and prosper. So, alongside tours that combine visits to the renowned archaeological site of Akrotiri with opportunities to sample local flavors and wine or even enjoy local hospitality at elegant historical mansions, don’t miss out on the opportunity to make the most of your visit to the island with an opportunity to discover the Grace and Beauty in Wild Santorini.
Focusing on Byzantine churches, the more peculiar local architecture, and contemporary expressions of Santorini’s time-honored artistic traditions, Grace and Beauty in Wild Santorini is an excellent introduction to the island’s art and built heritage. Along the way you’ll see precious 12th-century icons, a church carved into the rock face and accessible only by means of a retractable wooden ladder, and a village whose traditional architecture turned the rugged landscape into both art and shelter. You’ll also enjoy an exclusive opportunity to visit to a local sculptor’s workshop, where you’ll get the chance to witness the craft first hand and see how Santorini’s time-honored art heritage lives on in contemporary practice. And of course, you’ll be treated to a selection of delicious local meze—because after all, hospitality is at the heart of Greek culture.
Don’t forget that the gorgeous views and majestic cliffs mean that there’s a lot of walking around, often uphill, so if you’re planning to explore Santorini, make sure to wear comfortable footwear and bring along some basics: a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a bottle of water. And don’t forget that camera! You’ll be experiencing some of the most amazing landscapes and sites the world has to offer.