By Shereen Shabnam
I fell in love with Greece from the moment I stepped out of the airport in Athens. And while each of the Islands in Greece have their own charm, Santorini still remains a favourite for regular visitors who fall in love with this crescent-shaped precious gem of the Aegean dotted with blue and white villages.
Santorini is actually a group of islands in the southernmost part of Cyclades. The islands came into existence as a result of intensive volcanic activity and the Santorini islands is still an active volcano.
The whole island is actually a huge natural geological/volcanological museum where you can observe a wide range of geological structures and forms as wells as black volcanic pebbles.
Santorini is considered as the most romantic getaway in Greece with exquisitely clear waters and famous sunsets for the ultimate romantic experience. It has deep blue waters, spectacular rock formations, and vertical cliffs plus white, red and black sand.
Firá is the picturesque capital of the island has traditional architecture and offers an amazing view of the volcano. There are other smaller villages that are peaceful and are surrounded by vast vineyards and whitewashed cliff-top towns with castles.
For sun, sea and sand, head to the Oia with its wild untamed beauty or Ammoudi, on the harbour of Oia for the charming cafes and restaurants. Then delight your visual senses with azure waters, sun-drenched beaches, magnificent black sand and chiselled rocks.
The wild beauty of the beaches on the eastern side of the island will prove irresistible to sunseekers looking for peace and seclusion with Impressive sculptured rocks, black sand, volcanic pebbles, small ports with fishing boats casting colourful reflections on blue waters and some beech trees.
On the south-eastern side of Santorini, sun-loving tourists will encounter magnificent black sandy or pebbly beaches with shallow waters and with playgrounds so it is perfect for families.
Visitors can also soak up the atmosphere along the lively waterfronts, charming beach bars or head to the modern marina with the Sailing and Yacht Club of Santorini for sailing and yachting. The staff at the club can guide you to the best spots for scuba diving, windsurfing, jet ski adventures, parasailing, kayaking and other water sports.
Santorini is not just about the sun, sea, sand and sunsets – A visit to Santorini offers the ultimate gastronomic experience with fresh cherry tomatoes, white egg plants, fava, fresh goat cheese found on the island.
After each day of exploring the beauty of Santorini, the best way into the evening is dinner after sunset and then head to bed to dream away about what natural wonders to discover in the different parts of Santorini the next day.
From the UAE, you can get to Athens via Istanbul. If you are looking to combine a few destinations like I did, you can fly Turkish Airlines and spend a few days in Istanbul and Athens and end the holiday in the idyllic island of Santorini.