Perissa sits on one of Santorini’s most beautiful beaches. This Blue Flag winner is a 7- kilometre stretch of velvety, black volcanic sand framed by Mount Vouno at its far end. The Aegean Sea is crystal clear, which means snorkelling is a popular pastime, and there’s a long list of watersports on offer, too. Both Kamari and Perissa have diving centers where even if you are a beginner you can get lessons and do an actual dive. Towering over Perissa beach on its north side is the mountain of Mesa Vouno, site of Ancient Thira. Running parallel to the beach is a promenade crammed with chill-out bars, tavernas and shops. It’s the place to have a sundowner, a candle-lit dinner, or to catch live music sessions that go on late into the night. And set back from the seafront is the quiet village centre where you’ll find churches like 16th-century Agia Irini, which is where Santorini got its name from, plus the blued-domed Timios Stavrou in the main square. Keep in mind that in Perissa there are great options for villas to rent, offering highend amenities.