Those who witnessed a sunset over the Aegean from the best vantage point of Oia, know that it is easy to fall in love with Santorini.
This is an island where chance encounters with celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Shakira, and so many others, are commonplace. It’s a hedonist paradise, busy every summer, with tourist crowds swarming up and down the steps from Amoudi Bay to Oia in search of the perfect spot to gaze at the skies at sundown.
Santorini is a small island, with a tumultuous past, that rose like a Phoenix from volcanic ashes. The Minoan settlement at Akrotiri was destroyed by one of the largest volcanic events in history, and the volcanoes at Nea Kameni are still active – with the latest eruption in 1950.
Although Nea Kameni has erupted approximately eight times in the past 1,900 years, active volcanoes don’t scare the locals, and trips to the Nea Kameni National Geological Park are among the favorite tourist pastimes in this part of the world. Many island visitors face the boulders of lava and walk all the way up to the rim of the volcano just to see the caldera from a different perspective. Hiking to the top of the Georgios dome peak may be an adventure, but the landscapes are surreal and romantic.
The hike from Fira to Oia can be as romantic as the sight of the sunset because the route is spectacular. The best time to take a walk is in the early morning, to avoid the midday heat, or offseason when the weather is cooler. You can never get lost, as the route follows the caldera, is properly marked at the most critical junctions. A self-guided route planner is available here.
Seeing Oia from the sea is one of those irresistible activities that show you the island in a different perspective. Although boat tours are available from dawn until dusk, sunset cruises are the best for couples. A luxury boat tour is the perfect “treat” to show the special someone in your life the magic of Santorini under the skies of the Aegean.
Santorini is a living vineyard, and what better completes the hedonist lifestyle of the island than a good wine? Domaine Sigalas on Oia’s Baxedes plain is one of the best choices for wine tastings with views of Santorini’s amazing sunsets. They also have a restaurant with outdoor seating, perfect to spend blissful moments indulging in local foods and taking in the fresh air of the island.
And the best way to fall in love with Santorini is to stay in a hotel that enjoys a spectacular location close to the Sunset Serenade point. For example, Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa is a lovely, new resort with sexy pool bars and maisonettes designed to resemble the traditional clifftop cave-style houses of Oia. It is a contemporary, yet inspired by tradition haven of peace, where you can forget about the world abandoning yourself to the pure pleasures of the island.
Last, but not least, while Santorini’s capital, Fira, is known for its lively nightlife, Oia is more suitable for romance. There are several bars that keep their doors open until daybreak entertaining their guests with music and all kinds of surprises, but most people visit Oia for its peaceful atmosphere and for unforgettable sights.