Our favorite places to snap those iconic Greek Isle pics.
Mention the Greek Isles and most people picture cliff-side, whitewashed buildings, blue-dome churches, and intoxicating sunsets. In other words, they think Thira – better known as Santorini. Here, seven places to take postcard-perfect photos to share with your friends and family" on Instagram and Facebook – and create lasting memories of your Greek Isles adventure.
TIP: These locations are iconic for a reason, so be sure to scope out your sunset spot in advance.
Oia The idyllic, cliff-side village of Oia is a maze of winding, narrow streets lined with quaint shops and cafés, all chiseled into the caldera's soaring walls. This is where you'll find Santorini's most famous blue-dome churches, Agios Spyridonas and Anastaseos – as well as the quintessential sunset photo. You'll want to be here well before twilight, when the town takes on a festive mood in anticipation of the glorious golden rays.
Oia Castle, which looks across at the town perched above Amoudi Bay, is definitely the best place to catch the sunset. For an equally mesmerizing view, head to the balcony of numerous tavernas and cafés, or simply wander down just about any street heading toward the sea.
Fira Town Your ship's tender brings you ashore at the base of the cliff below Fira, the island's capital. You can take the cable car, ride a donkey, or get your exercise climbing the nearly 600 steps up to this pedestrian-only town; it's larger and livelier than Oia, yet similarly charming. Meander about its many twisting streets and alleyways, stopping for coffee or an ouzo at a sidewalk café.
Take a selfie at the top of the steps with your Seabourn ship far below. Then follow the clifftop path just outside of town to Agios Theodori Church for a photo of the famous Three Bells of Fira, with the church's blue dome and dazzling sea as your backdrop.
Imerovigli Known as the "balcony to the Aegean," Imerovigli village sits at the apex of the caldera cliffs nearly 1,000 feet above the sea. Such a vantage affords some of Santorini's most spectacular panoramas – and with fewer visitors than nearby Oia.
Ancients watched for pirates from a medieval fortress that once sat atop Skaros Rock; today, photographers capture the otherworldly sunset. A pathway leads down to the Chapel of Panagia Theoskepasti, built into the cliff below Skaros with likewise stellar views.
Amoudi Bay Follow the stairway of around 200 steps down from Oia to this lovely port, lined with excellent seafood restaurants and bars. It's another favorite spot to watch the sun fall below the horizon (Santorini's popular sunset dinner cruises leave from here). Grab a table at the water's edge and listen to the lapping waves as you soak in the striking canvas of colorful fishing boats, whitewashed houses and Oia's windmill, all set against the red volcanic cliffs and cerulean sea.
Perissa Set at the base of Mesa Vouno along the island's southeastern coast, the village of Perissa is best known for its gorgeous, black-sand beach. Claim one of the umbrellaed sunbeds or take a few snaps of the sands before hiking the ancient footpath up the mountainside. At the summit, you'll discover the 8th-century ruins of Ancient Thera along with spellbinding views.
Feeling less active? Stroll around the village's central square and Church of the Holy Cross – one of Santorini's largest churches and a blue-dome stunner.
Emporio Visitors heading to Perissa Beach often pass by this adorable little town, which adds to its peaceful, authentic ambiance. You'll find fabulous photo opportunities down nearly every alleyway: traditional Cycladic houses, blue-dome churches, curio shops and family-run cafés. Many buildings have been restored, including the 15th-century Venetian castle and fortified tower.
Be sure to get a shot of the tiny Church of Ágios Nikólaos Marmaritis; set at the entrance to Emporio, it's made completely of marble. For another great place to watch the sunset, head into the Gavrilos Hills just above the village, where the remains of eight ancient windmills add to the enchantment.
Red Beach Akrotiri is best known for its incredibly preserved Bronze Age ruins, considered by many to be the Minoan Pompeii. Yet the village also lays claim to one of Santorini's most beguiling natural wonders: Red Beach. This crescent-shaped stretch of pebbled sand, sheltered by towering, red volcanic cliffs and mirrored in the clear blue waters, is simply captivating.
Red Beach is small and can get quite crowded, so you may want to snap your pics from above – or below, with an underwater camera. Snorkelers swear by its array of fascinating rock formations and marine life.
With over 100 inhabited islands to choose from, Greece offers an array of experiences for every type of vacationer.
How to explore this Greek paradise whose history dates back thousands of years
Plan ahead to reduce stress and get your vacation started right.
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