The cliff-top towns of Fira and Oia, overlooking the caldera, are must-sees for their postcard-perfect, whitewashed, cubic buildings and blue-domed churches
that are typical of the Cyclades. Fira is the main town of Santorini, and in the summer becomes a bustling metropolis
with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes ready to accommodate you. The island's top archaeological site is Akrotiri, an ancient Minoan town buried beneath lava in 1600 BC.
Santorini's busiest beaches are the black-sand-and-pebble beach of Kamari
on the east coast, and the soft black volcanic sands of Perissa and Perivolos on the southeast coast. Both Kamari and Perissa have umbrellas and sun beds for hire, which are often reserved in advance through high season, as well as decent water-sports facilities.
The black sands can be very hot underfoot, so sandals are recommended. In addition, the Kokkini Paralia (Red Beach), backed by terracotta-coloured cliffs
on the southwest coast, below Akrotiri, makes a memorable day trip.
Popular excursions from Santorini include boat trips around the deep-blue caldera
, where visitors can explore the tiny uninhabited black volcanic islets of Palea Kameni (with hot springs and therapeutic muds) and Nea Kameni (home to the smouldering volcanic crater).