The island of Santorini has a reputation of being one of the most beautiful of the Aegean, with charming villages perched on steep cliffs from which you can enjoy astounding views of the sunset over the azure waters. This has made it one of the most sought-after touristic destinations, particularly popular among those who want to have their wedding in an exotic and romantic location. However, this has not managed to spoil its pristine natural beauty yet. If you happen to travel there, either as a wedding guest or on your own, make sure not to leave without visiting several of the island’s spectacular natural attractions.
How to tour the Santorini island in Greece
If you go to Santorini, try not to stay always in the same location, no matter how luxurious or attractive you think it is. There are several different villages on the island, and each one of them has its particular charms, making a tour of the island a must. There is a cable car system designed to get visitors to the higher parts of the island, where the most stunning views can be observed. However, they can get pretty crowded when a large cruise ship is on harbour. Although the journey itself takes about 3 minutes, it can take much longer to get a seat in the first place, so take this into consideration if you are in a hurry.
A fun alternative to the cable car is a mule ride. The locals used mules to carry everything up and down. But today the mules are part of the native charm of the island and this ride may as well prove to be one of the highlights of your trip, if you are willing to cope with the smells and the occasional flies.
Visiting archaeological sites
Santorini has a rich past and a visit to one of the archaeological sites scattered throughout the island is highly recommended for those travellers interested in getting to know the place a bit better. Two of the most spectacular ones are Akrotiri, dating back to Neolithic times, and Ancient Thera, the classical ruins of the island. It is considered to be the most important prehistoric settlement found anywhere in the Eastern Mediterranean, due to excellent state of preservation and the amount of artefacts found on site. Ancient Thera lies at the top of the embattled peak of Mesa Vouno, which is 396 meters above the sea level and belongs to the pre volcano core of the island. The views from here are spectacular as you may expect, and the presence of the atmospheric classical ruins makes the trip an unforgettable cultural and sightseeing experience.
If what you see on site tickles your curiosity, you can learn more by visiting the Archeological Museum in Fira, where many of the ancient artefacts found scattered across the island are on display, allowing you to put what you have seen into context. These include tools, ceramics, , weaponry, marble statues and even some frescoes from the Minoan age.