Beach in reach, Santorini
From its terrifying birth in the apocalyptic volcanic explosion of 1450 BC to the snow-white cubist villas hugging its sheer cliffs, Santorini (also known as Thira) is arguably the most dramatic of all the Greek islands. Barhoppers and gourmets will love its lively tavernas and outstanding restaurants, where just-landed fish is always on the menu. Shopping urges can be similarly sated in the glamorous little town of Oia, with its smart jewellery boutiques and cute narrow streets. Take a hotel room facing the vast volcanic bay (the caldera) and, as you watch ships criss-cross below, you’ll realise that you’re looking at one of the most awe-inspiring, and romantic, views on the planet.