With a relaxed Mediterranean vibe and timeless charm, the Greek Islands are among the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations, enticing visitors from around the globe to journey to a land of legend, mystique and beauty.
Found within the south Aegean Sea the Cyclades islands are closer to Crete than Athens and out of this group of islands for many, Santorini, the collective name of a caldera made up of Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni, stands apart as the destination of choice.
Sunshine, sea and beaches aside, what makes Santorini so attractive is the accessible blend of ancient history and activities, its beautiful old-world charm and the island’s laid-back atmosphere, complemented by an array of excellent dining and accommodation options. Such is the beauty of this Mediterranean marvel that back in the 1960s the famous French explorer, conservationist and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau was convinced that Santorini was the lost city of Atlantis.
A popular cruise destination and pick-up point, getting there by air is easy with many European low-cost and tour companies operating scheduled flights. There’s also an excellent ferry service operated by Blue Star connecting Santorini to Athens in mainland Greece. The trip takes about eight hours and offers a more relaxed alternative to flying, as well as some excellent sightseeing.
Once there, the choice of accommodation ranges from basic to some of the most luxurious in Greece. Located near Oia, Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santorini is romantic and elegant, and a first-class choice for luxury honeymooners.
Carved into the rugged caldera cliffs, Mystique overlooks the turquoise expanse of the Aegean Sea and offers an understated, exclusive feel reminiscent of the spectacular location itself. For something smaller but equally as impressive discover the traditional Greek-style accommodation, excellent dining and dreamy location of Mill House suites.
Sunshine, sangria and relaxation might be the order of the day on a Santorini honeymoon, but there are lots of things to do. The clear waters, rugged landscape and sandy coves of Santorini are framed by gravity-defying houses, churches and monuments carved into the steep coastal hillsides.
A great way to see the sights is by traditional boat and at Firá port there are many different operators and options, including the romance of the Evening Santorini dinner cruise; a trip that takes you around the island’s shores, stopping to bathe in the famous Nea Kamini hot springs and finishes with delicious Greek dinner as the sun sets.
Santorini offers couples some memorable dining options. Amongst the most impressive is the Panorama Balcony experience at Petra Restaurant where sunset views and a delicious choice of wonderfully fresh Mediterranean dishes is taken on your own private terrace. For vegetarians try the wonderful Katharos Lounge in Oia or enjoy a traditional candlelit Greek experience in The Athenian House in Imerovigli.
For the more adventurous there are water sports, sailing and guided tours hiking through the hills and ancient settlements. Santorini has a host of prehistoric and early Bronze Age sites, none more spectacular than the ancient city of Thíra in the Mesa Vouno area, which boasts some of best persevered wall paintings, carvings and ancient architecture in the Mediterranean.