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Where is Santorini
Thira (the official name of the island), commonly known as Santorini, is located in western Greece, in the Aegean Sea and belongs to the group of islands called the Cyclades.
Thira consists of Santorini (main island), Thirasia, as well as the uninhabited islands, Palia and Nea Kameni, Aspronisi and Christiana.
The capital of Santorini is the beautiful Fira.
Why is it a popular island?
Santorini is world-renowned for its caldera, active volcano, cave houses, wineries to visit and the magnificent sunset.
It is famous as the ideal place for lovers who want to propose, marry in a picturesque church or organize their honeymoon, in one of the most romantic places in the world.
According to the latest unofficial measurements, the permanent residents of Santorini are estimated at around 25,000 and every year it gathers more than two million visitors, as it is internationally recognized as one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
Name of the island
From ancient times until today, it has taken 5 names (Thira, Santorini, Kallisti or Kallisto and Strongyli).
The current official name of the island comes from the Spartan commander Thera, who according to Herodotus, led the Spartan settlers to the island with the name Kallistis, which means the most beautiful (name of the island in ancient times).
In 1204, with the arrival of the Franks, the island will be called Santorini, in honor of a certain church of Agia Irene (Santa Irina in Latin).
For many years the theory prevailed, that the name came from the monastery of Agia Irini built by the Crusader Franks in Thirassia.
Today there are several indications that the name ultimately came from the early Christian church of Agia Irini, which was uncovered by an excavation in 1992, in Mesa Vounos.
How was Santorini created?
Thousands of years ago, Santorini was a volcanic cone called Strogyli, due to its circular shape.
After the eruption of the Riva volcano, a large part of the island sinks, creating a caldera.
During the Bronze Age, in 1,600 BC, one of the biggest eruptions known to humanity will occur.
The so-called Minoan eruption submerged the central part of the island, dividing it into three parts (Santorini, Thirasia, Aspronissi).
The explosion was so powerful that it destroyed the prehistoric civilization that inhabited the island.
In 46 BC, magma emerges from the bowels of the earth, creating the foundations of today’s Palea Kameni.
In 1570, the foundations of Nea Kameni will be created, which in the last 150 years will triple in size, taking its current form.
Nea Kameni is a volcanic island in the center of the Caldera and is the most recently created piece of land in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Legend of Lost Atlantis
On the amphora is depicted the association of Plato’s Atlantis and Santorini.
Was Santorini in the past, the lost Atlantis?
Excavations carried out in Akrotiri brought to light one of the most important prehistoric cultures in the Aegean.
Researchers believe that this ancient civilization could be the lost Atlantis, as Plato’s descriptions speak of a circular island (Santorini before the explosion), which due to seismic vibrations and explosions, sank into the Sea and destroyed the Atlanteans in one day.
On this beautiful Greek island, you will find the Lost Atlantis Experience Museum, the first Lost Atlantis Museum in the world.
It is located in Megalochori and is open from 9 am to 9 pm.
The ticket costs 12 euros and the children’s ticket (6-12 years old) costs 6 euros, although the prices may change along the way.
A unique experience that will convince you that Santorini was actually the Lost Atlantis.
Just the thought of being on top of an active volcano sends the adrenaline soaring.
Santorini belongs to the active volcanic arc of the Aegean along with Methana (Peloponnese), Sousaki (Peloponnese), Milos (Cyclades), Nisyros and Kos.
The volcanic complex of Santorini includes Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Kolumbo and the Christian Islands.
The complex has two active volcanic resources.
One located in the land area of the island of Nea Kameni (last eruption in 1950) and the underwater active volcanic resource Kolumbo (last eruption in 1650 AD) located northeast of the cape of the same name.
How to go to the volcano
Taking the cable car from Fira or going down the steps to the old port.
There you will find the tourist boats that take people to the volcanic islands.
In April 2020, the Columbus volcano showed signs of awakening, causing residents to worry, however there are special monitors checking the volcanic activity of the island, with the authorities on alert.