But don’t let the cost put you off enjoying a honeymoon or romantic getaway here, for Santorini offers all the necessary ingredients for the perfect Greek Island romance.
This uniquely shaped island was formed around 1600 BC, when the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded history blew out the centre of the island and left behind the impressive sea-filled caldera (crater) that we see today.
For a lasting memory, arrive by cruise liner at the spectacular harbour of Skala, which lies beneath 300m-high multi-hued cliffs that soar out of the deep blue waters of the submerged caldera.
From here, a narrow twisting cobblestone path leads up to the picture-perfect clifftop village of Firá.
Enjoy a ride on the cable car, which floats for 300m past solidified lava flows and rock formations from the volcanic edge of the town to the old port.
To the east of Fira lies the town of Megalochori, another beautiful settlement crammed with old white Cycladic churches.
Explore the ultimate Greek Island village – all snow-white cubist buildings and blue-domed Byzantine churches set on the rugged lip of the caldera high above the bright blue Mediterranean Sea.
With its white- and pastel-coloured structures and blue-domed churches perched high on the cliffs overlooking the blue sea of Ammoudi Bay, Oía is probably the Aegean’s most photographed town – famous for spectacular sunsets and some of the island’s finest hotels, which are located on the edge of the crater rim.
Soak up the ambience of these picturesque villages by strolling the labyrinth of narrow and winding cobblestone streets lined with fashion boutiques, jewellery shops, gourmet restaurants and sophisticated boutique hotels.
Away from the major settlements, savour fine Santorini wines at one of the vineyards around Pyrgos and visit the 18th century monastery of Profitas Ilias, which clings to the island’s summit overlooking the east coast beaches.
The cliff walls of red, yellow and ochre rock soar out the shimmering blue Aegean Sea.
The caldera was formed around 1600 BC, when the centre of the island was blown away in a colossal volcanic eruption, leaving behind a circular depression in the sea floor and the crescent-shaped bowl of rock known as Santorini.
Many believe that the eruption, which destroyed most of Santorini also produced a tsunami that probably reached as far as Crete, destroying the Minoan civilisation located there.
Cruise the deep blue waters of the caldera and visit the tiny uninhabited black volcanic islets of Nea Kameni to peer into a smouldering volcanic crater. Or visit Palea Kameni to sample hot springs and therapeutic mud.
On the opposite side of the caldera, visit the island of Thirassia, boasting several seafood tavernas and great views across the caldera to Santorini. The unspoilt island of Anafi, located east of Santorini, offers a pleasant sandy beach and can be reached by ferry.
Alternatively, admire the ancient frescoes and ceramics from Akrotiri that are on display in the Museum of Ancient Thira in Firá.
Akrotiri is arguably the most important archaeological site in the Cyclades, famous for stunning frescoes of the Minoan civilisation.
Wander through the streets of the ancient Minoan settlement, frozen in time following the eruption of 1600 BC and discover about 40 buildings uncovered to date.
Another not-to-miss church is the monastery of Profitis Ilias, located at the highest point on Santorini – perfect for great views across the island and of distant Crete's mountains on a clear day.
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Note: Peak season generally runs from July to August and is best avoided due to temperatures often exceeding 38°C and to the fact that Santorini, together with the main islands, are swamped with European holidaymakers.
High-speed catamarans make the journey from Pireaus to Santorini in four and a half hours. Ferries dock at Santorini’s tiny port of Athinios (a few kilometres away from Skala).
Latest update about this honeymoon destination: 7 August, 2017
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