Santorini is on almost everyone’s bucket list. This iconic Greek island has been featured on the front of most glossy travel magazines and fills Instagram feeds with stunning images. What makes Santorini different from other Greek islands is its geological characteristics. Formed from a cataclysmic volcano eruption when the island was blasted to pieces, what’s left of this island is now a unique spectacle. The volcano eruption caused the centre of the island to collapse with the sea rushing in to fill it. This created the caldera. These incredibly high cliffs of multi-coloured rock are topped with typical Cycladic architecture: blue and white domed churches and whitewashed cave houses built into the volcanic rock.
How to experience the Alternative Santorini
Most visitors to the island will end up either staying in one of the caldera towns and villages or in one of the beach resorts. The capital of the island, Fira, gets more than its fair share of visitors and then there’s Oia on the northern tip of the island. Oia is famous for the Santorini sunset and people flock there to get the perfect Instagram shot. On the south east side of Santorini, the beach resorts of Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos are also popular, especially with families.
If you’re looking for an alternative Santorini experience, you should consider the inland villages of Megalochori, Pyrgos Village, Emborio and Akrotiri. All these villages are just a short distance from the popular caldera so you can have the best of both worlds when you choose to stay in one of these traditional villages. The great thing about these villages is that the prices for accommodation are better. Your money goes a lot further.
Unique Activities in Santorini
After you have ticked off the normal tourist spots, like Fira and Oia, you can spend time exploring this wonderful island in an alternative way. There are many activities in Santorini that allow you to experience the island away from the crowds. Try horse riding and explore hidden pathways, remote beaches, and scenery that only our four-legged friends can access. Or if you prefer to explore the underwater world of Santorini, there are several excellent diving schools around the island. How about sea kayaking? This activity is a great way to explore the southern coast of the island stopping off for swimming and snorkelling in hidden locations. And then, finally you can charter a catamaran and sail the stunning Aegean Sea visiting epic locations around the island, including the volcano, Red Beach and White Beach. You’ll even get the chance to swim in the hot springs, heated by the volcano.
Stay in an Authentic Cave House
When you visit Santorini, you really should stay in one of the many renovated Cave Houses that are available. These historic houses were built into the rock and are full of atmosphere and authenticity. Many of the cave houses have been converted into luxury accommodations and feature impressive cave pools and outdoor hot tubs. You will find Cave Houses all over the island, but if you want to combine staying in a Cave House and one of the traditional villages then book your holiday in a Pyrgos Villa with outdoor jacuzzi.