Top Islands: Santorini
Pick your pleasure in beaches on
Santorini. There are black-sand ones near the ruins at Akrotíri, along a five-mile stretch at Kamári, and at Périssa. At Oía, two traditional white sandy beaches are found at Ammoúdhi and Arméni.
For a dose of ancient history, visit the Akrotíri excavations—archaeologists have unearthed impressive paved roads and some of Greece's best-preserved ancient houses. And allot time each evening to
savor the superlative sunsets.
Avoid fast-food outlets in favor of small, family-owned tavernas, where you'll find specialties such as pseftokeftedes (balls made of flour, tomato juice, mint, and vegetables) and wines such as
Mitsos and Ta Kavouraki.
With about 10,000 citizens and 2 million visitors annually, tourists dominate.
Local culture comes to life during feasts; on October 22, to honor the patron saint of wine, Agios Averkios, revelers are obliged to drink heavily.
Although it's a scenic ride, forget taking the ferry from Athens (up to 9 hours)
or the high-speed catamaran (5 hours) and make the most of your time by
flying instead—it takes just 40 minutes and costs just $70.