Sickle-shaped Santorini may have some of Greece’s most expensive hotel rooms, but the island has not always merited such sky-high prices. This is a place of scant natural resources and, being of volcanic origin, was frequently troubled by earthquakes. The solution found by the farmers, craftsmen and mariners who lived here was to carve sturdy dwellings and storage spaces into the softer strata of the steep, sea-facing cliffs of the flooded caldera.
Able to withstand earth tremors and seasonal climatic extremes, these cavern spaces were blessed with stable temperatures year-round and had furniture such as alcoves, shelving and podium beds built into their structure. With the advent of tourism, their dreamy, edge-of-the-world sea views became even more valuable assets. Many of these cave homes were converted into luxury hotels, rooms and suites that remain Santorini’s signature accommodation type. These are some of the best.
Main photo: Mystique, Oia
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1. Charisma Suites, Oia
Best for sunsets
Santorini sunsets are worth celebrating, and the go-to spot to experience them is Oia (pronounced ee-ya). Located on the isle’s northwestern tip, the village attracts huge crowds to watch the sun sink to the horizon — but you wouldn’t know it