Private jet charter and flights to Santorini
The steep lanes of Santorini’s cliffside-clinging villages and Cycladic houses which gleam a seemingly impossible shade of white are a European icon. People flock here from around the world to wander around the maze-like streets of Oia, Thera and Imerovigli, and watch the sunset over the Mediterranean from the edge of the half moon-shaped caldera. There are still places across the island where you can escape the crowds like inland villages and quieter beaches without all the bells and whistles of their more popular counterparts. Experience it all, charter a private jet today.
If it wasn’t for Santorini’s striking natural landscapes, it may not be such an A-list destination. The circular Santorini caldera is largely submerged after a volcanic eruption caused it to collapse; now all that’s visible above the surface of the water is a small archipelago consisting of six islands. Santorini – the largest of these – rises up dramatically from the glistening Aegean Sea on the flooded caldera’s eastern edge. It’s the towns and villages that line the top of these cliffs that are must-see and must-stay spots for most of the island’s 2 million yearly visitors.
Oia, which cascades down the cliffside at the northern end of the island, is Santorini’s poster child. Thanks to the blue-domed of the church roofs and Aegean backdrop, you’d be hard pushed to find a more famous and recognisable village in Greece, if not the whole of Europe. The narrow pedestrian-and-donkey-only streets spill down the hillside and are lined with white-washed buildings with house locals’ homes, five-star hotels, art galleries, high-end tavernas and souvenir shops. To reach the sea, you’ll need to take the 300 steps down to the port of Ammoudi where boats leave for caldera tours and trips over to Thirassia.
Travel southwards along the caldera’s edge (by car, by bus or – if you’re up for a serious hike – by foot) to another picture-perfect village: Imerovigli. Built on the highest cliffs overlooking the caldera, the ‘balcony to the Aegean’ has some of the finest views in Santorini. Look out towards the sea and you won’t miss the rocky headland of Skaros which was once topped by an imposing castle. Continue along the clifftop and you’ll reach the capital Fira and its lovely suburb, Firostefani. Fira, which sits 260 metres above the sea, is the liveliest of the island’s villages; it’s full of shops, restaurants and bars, churches and monasteries. It’s also home to an archaeological museum and a Catholic cathedral.
You can’t go too far in Greece without finding an archaeological site or two. One of Santorini’s two main ancient spots is the Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri. The site is incredibly well preserved as it was covered in ash following a volcanic eruption in the 17th Century. You can wander around the ruins – which are now covered by a bioclimatic roof – on walkways suspended above the excavated buildings. While most people crowd the caldera edge in Oia to watch the sun dip below the horizon, there’s another wonderfully picturesque place to watch the sunset just a short distance from the archaeological site: Akrotiri Lighthouse. This 19th-Century building is located at the southern end of the island and – as you would expect from a lighthouse – has far-reaching views out over the sea and other islands in the caldera.
While Santorini is not your typical beach-break destination, it does have some resorts where hotels back volcanic black sands. Two of the most popular destinations are over on the island’s east coast where the topography isn’t quite as dramatic, but still breathtakingly beautiful. Kamari is one of the most popular waterfront villages on the island with its Blue Flag beach that stretches for around three miles. The volcanic sand is backed by a promenade that’s lined with tavernas, cafés and a few nightclubs. Over on the other side of the lofty Mesa Vouno volcano (the setting of the ruins of the ancient city of Thera), are the lava sands of Perissa which are lapped by those refreshing turquoise waters typical of the Aegean Sea.
After a few days in one of the caldera-edge or beach resort villages, it would be understandable if you want to spend a little time away from the crowds. The best thing to do is hire a car or moped and explore the island’s interior which is scattered with vineyards and traditional Greek villages. There’s charming Emporio, a typical Cycladic settlement with medieval streets, pretty churches, well-preserved houses and a 15th-Century fortress; Pyrgos which is the highest village on the island and has some unforgettable vistas; and Messaria where you’ll find unique cave houses, huge manor houses, wineries and olive groves.
Santorini International Airport is located just north of the coastal resort of Kamari, approximately three miles from Fira and ten miles from Oia. Simply contact one of our team and we will arrange everything you need to charter a private jet to Santorini.