We then flew down to Santorini (or Thera, or Thira). The quintessential Greek island, which did not disappoint. To say it is beautiful is a gross under-description of the island. Crystal clear blue waters, volcanic landscapes, and white-washed towns clinging to the edges of sheer cliffs.
We attempted to catch the famous sunset at Oia and I was struck by the sheer number of people willing to camp out for this daily event. It was beautiful, but I think everyone forgets that the sun sets all over the island with equal grandeur and far fewer people.
The volcanic island was very cool (well, hot) and as windy as any place I've been. On the way we all jumped out of the boat to swim in a hot spring.(exhilarating, but scary!) The volcano itself is still considered active, last erupting in the 1950's. The sulfur is strong on the air of the island, the heat can be felt through your feet, and there are several instruments dotted on the barren landscape to help predict another catastrophic eruption.
We visited several beaches along the coast of Santorini. Volcanic black beaches, red beaches, and more traditional looking ones. I can still hear the waves methodically smoothing the large rocks on the red beach. While it is cliche to visit this island, it feels like the right place to start. Parts are a real tourist trap, but the small whitewashed towns, the unique beaches should not be missed.