Greek Islands: Santorini
We’ll start with Santorini simply because of its spectacular beauty, which also makes it one of the most popular islands. On the southern fringe of the Cyclades Islands, where the Aegean and the Sea of Crete begin to intermingle, Santorini gets its name from 13th century Rome: Saint Irene. But even before then, its beauty was renowned, as one of its earlier names, Kallistē (meaning “most beautiful one”), attests. Another name for Santorini in ancient times was Strogili, which means "rounded" in Greek. Glimpses of the island can be found in the film Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, starring Angelina Jolie.
The sunsets have been described as the best on earth, but the flocks of tourists who come just for the prodigious nightlife swear the sunrises are pretty dazzling as well. Many revelers bracket their after-dark partying by viewing the fiery orb’s fall and rise.
That leaves the daylight hours as the ideal time to pass out on any one of the beautiful black sand beaches, or the especially dramatic Red Beach on the western part of the island. Hint: the White Sand beach is near here, too, but only reachable by caique (small fishing boat) from the Red Beach.
But probably the most striking “museums” are the ones created by nature: the archeological sites of Ancient Thira and the Akrotiri Excavations, featuring astounding wall paintings, relics and foundation outlines from the17th to the 20th centuries B.C.