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European Island Finder

Greece: Santorini

Whitewashed buildings, blue-domed churches, fiery sunsets. If this is starting to sound familiar, it’s because Santorini is what Jung would have called the archetypal island, the one we all share in our collective unconscious. Santorini, however, is not the place to delve into psychological theory. Here the pleasures are of the flesh—vineyard-hopping; hiking; swimming off a black-sand beach—and of the senses. Indeed, the main activity on Santorini is gazing: at the horizon as you float in the pool at Perivolas, the minimalist-chic resort in the village of Oia; at a fiery sunset from the deck chair you had the foresight to reserve at Franco’s Bar, in Fira; at the moon’s reflection in the sea from a table at Oia’s Ambrosia Restaurant. From the moment first-time visitors step off the boat, climb off the donkey, or exit the funicular, Santorini feels familiar. That is what makes the island so romantic. Like true love, when you find it, you realize it was exactly what you were waiting for. —Eleni Gage

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