There’s just a few thousand years of drama squeezed into Santorini’s myth-steeped sliver of the Aegean. Volcanic eruptions and buried cities formed the island’s previous, and that’s earlier than we’ve received onto the hijinks of the gods and goddesses.
Lately, the drama comes courtesy of gasp-inducing views – and the underwater caldera is the headline act. Excessive up on the island’s lava-sculpted southern cliffs, the stage is about for one of many world’s most wanted sunsets. Take your seats (or your solar loungers) for Santorini’s headline act.
For seclusion seekers
In case the sugar-white tumble of cliff-clinging accommodations hadn’t clued you in already, the very best view of the caldera is a chook’s-eye one. And at a leg-wobbling 2,000 ft above sea stage, Santorini Sky has seized the excessive floor in spectacular style.
Unfold throughout three lofty areas, this assortment of villas has put an elevated spin on the island’s best choices. Smooth impartial interiors highlight the big-money view, recent seafood feasts are ferried up from close by Pyrgos’s best eating places, and the high-tech Sky Dome has been hailed by some because the island’s most seductive sunset-watching spot.
Holing up for dinner and drinks in a clifftop pod not non-public sufficient? Devoted do-not-disturbers ought to snag the resort’s Lodge at Diabla, a farm shelter turned five-star eyrie that’s about as removed from the crushed path as you may get in your Birkenstocks.
The villas at Pyrgos and Elias are extra neighbourly, however whichever you plump for, you’ll have a personal caldera-facing terrace and pool. Your head is perhaps within the clouds, however maintain off on pinching your self – you’re not dreaming, that basically is the view.
KAPARI NATURAL RESORT
Sugarcube buildings sporting easy curves and flashes of forget-me-not blue – the Imerovigli blueprint is so fairly, there’s no need for reinvention. Kapari Pure Resort is as a lot a Santorini basic as a fastidiously cultivated assyrtiko.
In womb-like rooms, clever neutrals let the caldera declare centre stage, and personal terraces present a perfect spot to check out a time-honoured triptych of Greek pastimes – sunbathing, sipping fantastic wine and philosophising.
In true Cycladic fashion, the restaurant does a fantastic line in fresh-caught seafood and sundown views. However when you’ll be able to scan Skaros Rock out of your mallow-soft Duxiana mattress, we gained’t choose if you happen to reap the benefits of the 24-hour room service.
For all-out indulgers
Choose your panoramic view with a facet of great pampering? Slink down a slim road from Imerovigli’s major sq. to Chromata, the place your highest upkeep want is their command.
Absorb all of the Santorini solar you need – right here, the closest you’ll come to breaking a sweat is on the saunter out of your stylish cave suite to the Aegean-facing infinity pool. Did you make it? Phew.
Pillowy daybeds are thoughtfully positioned for dramatic swooning, and a restorative tipple from the poolside bar ought to pace your restoration alongside. The soft life continues within the Chroma restaurant, the place seasonal Mediterranean treats are served in fashion – take the caldera-view desk one night time, the candlelit cave for 2 the subsequent.
For all-stops-pulled cosseting, full butler service is an possibility. However the jasmine-perfumed pièce de résistance? A chauffeur-driven drive away is the spa at Chromata’s sister resort, the place bespoke therapies vary from in-and-out pick-me-ups to decadent two-day rituals. If ‘deal with your self’ is your vacation mantra, you would possibly simply have discovered your Greek-island match.
For starry-eyed lovers
Whereas we’re taking part in matchmaker, enable us to introduce Astra Suites, Imerovigli’s most seductive suitor. This luxurious clifftop hideaway is sort of the catch – we’re speaking hovering ceilings, flickering candlelight and, in fact, heart-fluttering view over the caldera. Head over heels but?
Aphrodite herself would take her hat off to the resort’s romantic touches. The honeymoon suite’s pool is especially swoonsome, cloistered away in a candlelit cave. However caldera-facing canoodling is not only for newlyweds – every ethereal suite has a personal terrace, and lots have swimming pools. When you’re feeling particularly amorous, e book the Jacuzzi within the spa for a personal champagne-fuelled soak.
On the restaurant, the menu is a love letter to basic Greek delicacies – and the sunset-catching terrace the perfect setting to pen your personal declaration, poetics maybe aided by a glass of vinsanto or two.
AVATON RESORT & SPA
For design buffs
The caldera’s cover-model seems to be and show-stealing sunsets have given it cult celeb standing, and the quintessential Santorini keep – whitewashed partitions, clear curves – obligingly lets the VIP surroundings hog the highlight. It’s not that Avaton Resort & Spa strays dramatically from this blueprint, however there’s a wealth of fastidiously curated particulars inside these pristine partitions, and the style-savvy eye would possibly begin to wander…
In opposition to items hewn from the island’s historical lava-darkened stone, classic designer furnishings add a splash of mid-century stylish. There are many diversions if you happen to don’t know your Eames out of your elbow, too. Contemporary bouquets, brimming bowls of native fruit and honey- and herb-infused bathtub goodies beckon within the suites. The spa, with a Jacuzzi, infrared sauna and steam cavern sequestered underneath glittering star-like lights, makes a head-turning bid in your consideration, too.
However inevitably, the star flip right here is the view. Take within the full sweep of sapphire water and volcanic islands from the restaurant, the place the mod-Med menu is as fashionable as you’d anticipate. When Helios clocks out for the night time, it’s custom to toast the sundown with the signature cocktail – champagne, Santorini dessert wine and strawberries. We’ll drink to that.
CANAVES OIA EPITOME
When Circe was banished to the island of Aeaea, she noticed the sunny facet, leaned in to the alone time…and turned anybody who disturbed her peace into pigs. Now, we’re not suggesting spells are an answer to Twenty first-century stresses, however Canaves Oia Epitome makes a robust case for mythic ranges of Cycladic seclusion.
This luxurious clifftop lair has struck out from the mortals of Oia and brought root on the island’s east coast, simply throughout the caldera from Thirasia. Rugged and distant? Completely. Spartan? Actually not.
Days kick off encouragingly with a multi-course champagne breakfast, courtesy of Michelin-pedigree chef Tasos Stefatos. A meal at his Components restaurant might need you hailing the menu as a piece of divine inspiration, however it’s not simply the grub right here that’ll have you ever getting your inside goddess on.
Signature spa therapies by Valmont promise pantheon-level pampering. As soon as all terrestrial troubles have been soothed, chart a course via volcanic-stone arches, throughout softly lit courtyards made for chiton-draped wafting and on into the floating-above-the-caldera infinity pool. Oh look – someplace alongside the way in which, a cocktail materialised in your hand.
Retire to your non-public pool – each room has one – and survey the ant-like antics of the bay under. If all appears to be so as, slink over to the bar for a sundowner. Down on the shore, the bustle of Ammoudi beckons, however up right here on the caldera’s jap edge, life feels a bit of extra unearthly.
Ah, Oia. Cobblestoned streets, silver screen-worthy surroundings – and an infinite stream of sunset-chasing crowds. Obtained knowledge recommends steering clear throughout excessive season, lest you lose an eye fixed to an over-eager Instagrammer’s elbow. However for these within the know, succumbing to the siren tune of Santorini’s most visited village doesn’t imply skimping on the solitude.
Peel off from the principle pedestrian drag to search out Perivolas, the place centuries-old caves type a sequence of self-contained suites and the holidaymaker hubbub fades to a meditative hush. Right here, it’s all concerning the Cycladic fundamentals – Aegean views, soul-warming solar and the best vintages of vinsanto (severely, the house owners have been as soon as wine merchants).
Whisper-quiet suites are all brilliant daylight, surrealist curves and breezy accents in bougainvillea hues. The 60-square-metre spa will see off any residual real-world stresses – or signs of an evening within the city’s tavernas. As the sunshine fades, regionally sourced feasts are served on the terrace and cocktails are sipped by candlelight across the caldera-facing pool.
So subsequent time somebody says you’ll be able to’t see Oia’s sundown with no sea of selfie sticks spoiling the view, you recognize what to do: smile, nod and begin plotting your subsequent keep at Perivolas. Shhh, we gained’t inform if you happen to gained’t.
Make your self at house – simply mentioned, much less simply executed. Ought to I take my sneakers off? The place do I put my bag? Can I sit right here or is that this couch strictly ornamental? We really feel you, overthinkers. However we problem you to not really feel comfortable at Erosantorini, a two-acre clifftop property a mile from Fira the place ‘no matter you’re feeling like’ is a lifestyle.
Come on in to your decide of the whitewashed villa’s 4 rooms – there’s native honey, home-made olive oil and chilled Santorini wine ready within the fridge and, sure, you’ll be able to assist your self. Pour a glass (or, really, simply convey the bottle) and pad out to your non-public terrace for an Aegean-facing dip within the Jacuzzi.
When starvation strikes, head out searching for the chef. There’s no set menu (or meal occasions, come to that), so request no matter strikes your fancy, or see what magic will be labored with the catch of the day.
Complete days will be spent caldera-gazing from the three-tiered infinity pool, however there’s a library, wine cellar and marble hammam to tour, too.
What’s that? You’d like a yoga class within the scented backyard? Now you’re getting the hold of it. Past the property, the resort can organize tailor-made jaunts to the island’s famed vineyards and local-secret swimming spots. In your return, a clairvoyant employees member has already primed your go-to poolside spot with a G&T and a parasol. Welcome house.
For tradition connoisseurs
Grace Lodge cuts a fantastic determine from its clifftop perch. Clear white curves, sun-catching terraces and an angular infinity pool suspended above the Aegean see it comfortably at house among the many Imerovigli in-crowd. However this boutique hideaway is greater than only a fairly face. If the jazz drifting up from the poolside bar is something to go by, this place is including a high-brow tenor to the cool-kid village on the caldera’s highest level.
There’s an idea retailer stocked with a curated number of Greek-designed goodies, and native art work hangs within the bar, completely positioned for some sage pondering over a signature rose-infused cocktail. Within the rooms, funky lighting fixtures and furnishings carved from Santorini rock put a enjoyable twist on the basic Cycladic caves.
Right here, some severe choices should be made – what pillow perfume will you plump for? Which Apivita merchandise would you favor? However the revelry resumes on the restaurant, the place award-winning chef Spiros Agious’s up to date Greek delicacies is served alongside putting views of Skaros Rock.
Past the resort, horizon-expanding experiences abound – employees may also help you cross archaeological websites, mediaeval monuments, catamaran journeys and personal winery excursions out of your to-do checklist. When you reckoned Santorini’s tradition was all historical historical past, suppose once more…
Additional broaden your horizons by exploring our full assortment of Santorini accommodations