Emma Elinor Lundin

Historian & journalist

That Santorini sunset

June 2009

I'm drinking the oddest, most overpriced Manhattan I've ever been served – on ice (not right) and with cucumber garnish (definitely not right) – but then it wasn't the cocktails that pulled us in: we came for the view.

Santorini – star of a thousand Greek tourist campaigns with its pretty white-washed villages clinging to the top of a long dead volcano, dramatic vistas across the flooded caldera and a conveniently located harbour for passing cruise ships – is perhaps not the most authentic of Greece's islands, but it is imposing, majestic and strangely beautiful, and it deserves every visit it gets.

We had a terrible time getting here, leaving Athens early in the morning to spend the day on a large car ferry that slowly made its way from the port of Piraeus across the Aegean, stopping off at a host of smaller islands (Patmos, Leros, Kos, Rhodes, Syros) before finally landing in Santorini eight hours later. The ferry was hot and uncomfortable; we were hungry and tired. But as we climbed into our transfer to Vedema, and the car started climbing the cliff wall on serpentine roads – leading to the village of Megalohori, a less exploited town than the more famous Fira and Oia, exhaustion turned into excitement. And now we are here: in a naff bar in Fira listening to music and laughter from the ships that are sailing past far down below us and the restaurants that surround us, and I can't help trying to capture the perfect sunset moment on film. Santorini may be a cliché – a destination so focused on tourism that it is getting harder and harder to find establishments that even pretend to cater to locals – but I have been charmed. And I think you would be too.

All content and imagery © Emma Elinor Lundin 2010-2016