The Greek island of (formerly Strongyle, Calliste or Theka) lies on the boundary of the Aegean and the Cretan Sea. Around the year 1600 BC it became a place of terrible scene of one of the worst disasters in known human history.
There was a volcanic eruption of the huge power that many times (estimates, up to 100x) exceeded the famous eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. The following climate changes and the tsunami had probably caused the extinction of Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, or at least had a strong impact. Archaeologists today are still finding various items and artifacts of the extinct culture under a layer of volcanic ash.
The explosion was such strong that left 400 meters deep and 17 km long lagoon, surrounded by today’s archipelago of Santorini. The main island is Thera (Thira), which is also the current official name of the archipelago and also the name of the capital. The other major islands are Thirasia, Aspronisi, Nea Kaimeni and Palea Kaimeni. It is a home to about 10,000 permanent residents.
While on the islands, however, you will almost certainly not think about their past. The pleasant Mediterranean climate, crystal clear sea, wide reaches with black volcanic sand, the classic blue and white houses and churches with cupolas, a great wine – all this is the reason why the place became so popular tourist destination.
It is ideal for the lovers of history and archaeology as well as for the lovers of water sports, including hiking. Especially recommended walking route leads from the capital through Firostefani and Imerovigli to Oia, during which you can enjoy many beautiful views of the lagoon.
Those less able or lazier can go on a half-hour walk in the opposite direction from Imerovigli to Firostefani and then to Thera (Thira). An interesting alternative is to hike the ancient route from the summit Profitis Ilias to the hill Mesa Vouno, and then to Perissa.
There are also lots of cycling routes available. You can even rent a bike here.
As everywhere in Greece, Santorini boasts a number of stylish restaurants and taverns. You can also visit the wine museum, or make a trip to one of the small volcanic islands around.
In short, Santorini has much to offer to people looking for nice hotels, beaches and swimming as well as those who prefer more active holidays.
Related: Visit Greece