White and blue villages and dramatic volcanic landscapes make this Greek retreat, Santorini, one of the most picturesque islands on the planet.
Today's Santorini is the remains of an ancient wealthy port that was blown to pieces by a colossal volcanic eruption. For stupendous views of its whitewashed villages that cling to the cliffs overlooking the volcano's caldera, or sunken basin, climb to the top of Skaros Rock. A sunset wander along the volcanic Red Beach is also not to be missed.
For a unique experience, check into the Iconic Santorini boutique cave hotel, which has been carved from the volcanic caldera wall in the beautiful village of Imerovigli. An all-white haven, the 19 rock-hewn residences all have huge, soft beds and terraces with views across the Aegean, some with their own swimming pools. To beat the heat of the day, make for the hotel's outdoor infinity pool, or its cool white spa. Each night you'll come back from dinner to find just-baked cinnamon biscuits by your bedside.
After a long day spent exploring Santorini's beaches and villages, tuck into delicious Greek dishes at Kapari Wine Restaurant in Imerovigli, with its tables overlooking the sea. To sample more gastronomic treats book a table at Selene in Pyrgos, the highest village, in the centre of the island. Dishes include Aegean codfish and rabbit stew.
For shopping with the finest island views, navigate the narrow streets of Oia where you will discover countless boutiques selling everything from cotton kaftans and handmade jewellery to covetable ceramic homewares.
WHAT TO WEAR:
Hamptons playsuit, £195, Paloma Blue; visit paloma-blue.com
101 ointment, £10.99, Lanolips from boots.com
Libby wedge sandals, £140, Kurt Geiger; visit kurtgeiger.com
Double rooms at Iconic Santorini begin at around £443 per night on a bed and breakfast basis; visit mrandmrssmith.com. British Airways flies from London to Santorini from May until September, from £328 return.
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