Santorini
Greece, Isles
 23 Aug '23
 39 |  0 

If you are looking for a stunning destination for your next vacation, you might want to consider Santorini, a Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea. Santorini is famous for its whitewashed buildings, blue-domed churches, breathtaking views and volcanic history. But there is much more to this island than meets the eye. Here are some interesting facts about Santorini that will make you want to visit it even more.

The island group of Santorini

Santorini is not just one island, but a group of five islands. The main island, also called Santorini or Thira, is the largest and most populated one. The other four are Therasia, Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni and Aspronisi. Together, they form a circular archipelago that is the remnant of a caldera, a large crater formed by a volcanic eruption.

Santorini’s volcanic past

Santorini has a volcanic past that shaped its landscape and culture. About 3,600 years ago, a massive eruption occurred that was one of the largest in recorded history. It destroyed most of the island, collapsed the caldera and created a huge tsunami that affected nearby islands and possibly the Minoan civilization in Crete. The eruption also left behind volcanic ash deposits that gave the island its distinctive colors and fertile soil.

Visit Santorini’s active volcanoes and hot springs

Santorini is still an active volcano today, and you can visit its craters and hot springs. The volcanic island of Nea Kameni in the center of the caldera is the youngest landform in the Mediterranean Sea. It was formed by lava flows from several eruptions since 1570. You can take a boat tour to Nea Kameni and walk around its craters, see the fumaroles and smell the sulfur. You can also swim in the hot springs of Palaia Kameni, where the water is heated by the geothermal activity.

The names of Santorini

Santorini has had many names throughout history. The ancient Greeks called it Kalliste (the most beautiful one) or Strongyle (the circular one). The name Thera comes from the mythical ruler of the island, Theras, who colonized it from Sparta. The name Santorini was given by the Venetians in the 13th century, after Saint Irene, the patron saint of the island. The official name of the island today is Thira, but Santorini is still widely used.

The legend of Atlantis

Santorini is linked to the legend of Atlantis, the lost island that Plato described in his dialogues. Some scholars believe that Santorini was the inspiration for Atlantis, or even the actual location of it. They point out the similarities between the geography, culture and history of Santorini and Atlantis, such as the circular shape, the volcanic origin, the advanced civilization and the sudden destruction. However, this theory is not widely accepted by mainstream archaeologists and historians.

The prehistoric settlements of Akrotiri

Santorini is home to one of the most important prehistoric settlements in Europe, Akrotiri. Akrotiri was a prosperous town that flourished from 3000 BC to 1600 BC, when it was buried by the volcanic eruption. The town had multi-story buildings, sophisticated drainage systems, colorful frescoes and rich trade connections with other cultures. Akrotiri was rediscovered in 1867 and excavated since 1967. It is often compared to Pompeii, as it offers a glimpse into the life of ancient people preserved by volcanic ash.

Santorini’s architecture

Santorini has a unique architecture that reflects its history and environment. The most characteristic feature of Santorini is its white-washed houses with blue domes that contrast with the black volcanic rocks. These houses are called cave houses or yposkafa, because they are built into the cliffs or dug into the ground. They were designed to keep cool in summer and warm in winter, as well as to withstand earthquakes and save space. The blue domes are inspired by the Byzantine churches and symbolize the sky and the sea.

Santorini’s villages and towns

Santorini has some of the most beautiful villages and towns in Greece, each with its own charm and attractions. The capital of Santorini is Fira, which is perched on the edge of the caldera and offers stunning views and lively nightlife. Oia is another popular town that is famous for its sunset and its art galleries. Imerovigli is known as the balcony of Santorini, as it has panoramic views of the volcano and

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The beaches of Santorini

Santorini has some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, each with its own charm and attractions. Unlike other Greek islands, the beaches in Santorini have black or red sand or pebbles, due to their volcanic origin. Some of them are well-organized with sunbeds, umbrellas and water sports facilities, while others are more secluded and natural. Some of the most popular beaches are Kamari Beach (a long black sand beach with many hotels and restaurants), Perissa Beach (another black sand beach connected to Kamari by a path), Perivolos Beach (an extension of Perissa with many beach bars), Red Beach (a small beach with red rocks and cliffs) and Vlychada Beach (a beach with white cliffs that resemble sculptures). Some of the less crowded beaches are Agios Georgios Beach (a sandy beach with clear water), Eros Beach (a romantic beach with a beach bar), Kambia Beach (a pebbled beach with a taverna), Mesa Pigadia Beach (a beach with caves and rocks) and Koloumbos Beach (a secluded beach accessible by a dirt road).

Water activities on Santorini

Santorini has a wide variety of water activities that you can enjoy on its beaches and sea. Whether you are looking for an adrenaline rush or a relaxing experience, you will find something that suits your taste and budget. Some of the most popular water activities are parasailing (flying over the sea with a parachute), jet skiing (riding a powerful watercraft), flyboard (flying over the water with a jet pack), scuba diving (exploring the underwater world) and sea kayaking (paddling along the coast). Some of the less common water activities are crazy squab (riding a sofa-shaped inflatable), stand-up paddle (balancing on a board with a paddle), rent-a-kayak (renting a kayak and exploring by yourself) and jet ski safari (taking a guided tour on a jet ski).

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