Santorini Escape

AAA Members save $50 per person on packages of 3 nights' accommodations or longer with a full-day excursion per person.

3 nights' accommodations in a Petit Cave Suite at the Athina Luxury Suites

Daily breakfast

Roundtrip airport-to-hotel private transfers

Choosing a favorite Greek isle is like choosing a favorite child: impossible. But many invariably mention Santorini, a volcanic island hugged by the Aegean Sea, for its scenery alone. Think blue skies and seas, punctuated by whitewashed buildings clinging to high cliffs and fiery sunsets that lure both locals and visitors outside each day. These are the attributes that have made this Cycladic island one of the world’s most photographed.

Kick off summer and beat the crowds to Santorini with a three-night stay in May at the Athina Luxury Suites Hotel, a boutique hotel that provides equal access to restaurants, sightseeing and breathtaking views. The cliffside Athina, with its recently renovated interior, provides the best of both worlds with an airy aesthetic and high-end amenities. Take in the Aegean Sea from your private suite, complete with an outdoor Jacuzzi.

When you’re ready to immerse yourself in the warmth of the island and its friendly inhabitants, explore what many experts describe as the most geologically interesting of all the Greek Islands. What is now Santorini is what was left when a volcano erupted in 1600 BC, sending its middle crumbling into the sea. In the capital city of Fira, look down from the outcrop into the deep blue waters and wave to visitors approaching by cruise ship.

If you’re adventurous, take the path to Oia on Santorini’s northern tip past the Chapel of the Cross and the Black Mountain. Or join your friends on one of the buses that takes visitors to Oia nightly for the best vantage point for viewing the famous sunsets.

At sea level, visit interesting beaches like Red Beach, located near Akrotiri and boasting a distinctive red cliff wall. To get a real feel for the volcano’s enormity, check out Caldera Beach, the only one that faces toward the deep depression created by the volcanic activity. Santorini’s most popular beach is the black volcanic sand beach at Perissa on the southeast coast, about eight miles from Fira.

When you’re done shopping in the port town of Skala, make your way back up to Fira on foot, by donkey—yes, you can rent one—or on the famed cable car. After a seafood lunch, stop by the archaeological museum to learn more about Santorini’s history.

Have a predinner soak in your hot tub before enjoying fabulous Mediterranean cuisine and wine from a volcanic vineyard. You’re sure to hear an appreciative “Opa!” or two before night’s end.

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