Is a volcanic island and a tourist destination, located in the southern Aegean Sea, part of the Cyclades. It is also known as Thera (or Thira). The total land area is 90.623 km², which also includes the uninhabited islands of Thirasia liying to the west, Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion, destroying the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island, and leading to the creation of the current geological caldera. Its spectacular physical beauty, along with a dynamic nightlife, have made the island one of the world’s tourist hotspot destinations.
A giant central lagoon is nearly 400 m (1300 ft) deep, thus making it a safe harbour for all kinds of cruise ships. The capital, Fira, which clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon is a busy and bustling town, traditional architecture and famous for its panoramic view to the volcano. The volcanism on Thera began around 2 million years ago with the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around the region of Akrotiri. The name Santorini was given by the Latin empire in the thirteenth century and, is a reference to Saint Irene. Before then it was known as Kallisti (“the most beautiful one”), Strongyli (“the circular one”), or Thera.
The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions the planet has ever seen and occurred some 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash, deposits hundreds of feet deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km (70 miles) to the south, through the creation of a gigantic tsunami.
Another popular theory holds that the Thera eruption is the source of the legend of lost Atlantis.
Santorini Volcano History