Santorini is an island in the Aegean Sea, to the southeast of the Greek mainland. It is the biggest island of an archipelago, which formed from a volcanic caldera.
A caldera occurs when a buildup of underground magma causes a deep depression, or sinkhole, on the surface. Furthermore, the island’s landmass is just 73 km2, and the country has a population of approximately 15,500 people.
Santorini received its name in the 13th century. The islands’ namesake is an old church that still stands in one of the villages on the island. The church is a tribute to Saint Irene.
Santorini is a clear example of what remains after a volcanic eruption. In fact, it was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion destroyed all the settlements and turned one large island into an archipelago.
Also, it is known as the Minoan eruption and many believe it occurred around 3,600 years ago. It left behind a large caldera, surrounded by ash deposits going hundreds of meters deep. People suspect the explosion caused a huge tsunami, which killed the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete. Another, also very famous, belief is that this eruption was the beginning of the legend of Atlantis.
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On the island, cliffs surround a big central lagoon on three sides. The lagoon flows into the sea in two locations. On the fourth side of the lagoon is another island, Therasia. The caldera is around 400 meters deep, which makes it impossible for small ships to anchor there. There is a harbor for fishermen’s ships at Vlychada.
However, the island’s main port is Athinios. Fira is the capital city. The capitol sits on top of a cliff and has a beautiful view of the lagoon.
Santorini is the most active volcanic center of the region. Although, most volcanoes are inactive now, in 1956 a major earthquake destroyed most buildings in the north of the island and forced people to desert the region. In 2007, a cruise ship “MS Sea Diamond” ran aground and sank inside the caldera.
Nevertheless, the island is still a big tourist attraction and has visitors come from all over the world, bringing economic growth to the isle.
Disaster turned to a dream, that is what Santorini is all about. But looking at the island of Thira/ Santorini now, you can’t help but feel awe-struck.
HOW TO GO
Excel Airways and Thomas Cook are airlines providing direct international flights to Santorini. If you arrive in Athens, then there are bus services to Santorini costing around $5. Flights from Athens to Santorini take only 45 minutes.
WHEN TO GO
April through May is the peak tourist season. Hotels get jam- packed and streets buzz with tourists. But the best part of the year to visit the island is September and October. The weather is relatively cooler than summer, and there is less crowd.
Santorini uses a standard voltage of 230 V. Visitors from the US need a step-up transformer for using appliances of 110 V. Those fro UK, Asia, Africa and Europe do not require a transformer. Sockets E and F are widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa; that is also used in Santorini. You need an adapter fitting the sockets E and F.
November 24, 2016 8:46 am