The most active volcanic centre and island of South Aegean Volcanic Arc “Santorini” is situated at a distance of about 200 km from southeast of Greece’s mainland. Today, Santorini is one of the highly appealing attractions of world thank to its sea-filled volcanic caldera which is surrounded by deep colorful cliffs and beautiful villages. The three main islands form a “ring” around the Caldera.
The Caldera and the whole cluster of the Santorini Island have been characterized as an area of outstanding natural beauty. The shape of Main Island ‘Thera’ is just like half moon and is situated in the easternmost place of the cluster. The west side comprises the walls of Caldera which reserve the image of its environmental history and demonstrate the various stages of the volcanic action.
About 3600 years ago, one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history known as Thera eruption or Menon eruption occurred at this place, which destroyed the Menon civilization of this land. Thira, classically called Thera, is the official recognition of this beautiful island. The ‘Thera’ name has been taken from the fabulous settler Theras of Sparta, who created the homonymous town in Mesa Vouno about 10th century B.C. settled in the island. In 1153, the Venetians altered the name of Thera to Santorini and is devoted to Arab geographer Edrisi. The capital of the island is Fira.
Another source of pleasure for the tourists is the famous towns and villages of Santorini. There are thirteen villages of Santorini. The names of some famous ones are Fira, Kamari, Finika, Athinios, Firostefani, Oia, Messaria, Vothonas and Kamari. Santorini is one of the little places globally where underground rock houses still exist within the volcanic soil. The customary architecture of Santorini includes low-lying cubical houses which are made-up of local stone and whitewashed with various volcanic ashes which are similar to that of the other Cyclades.
The exclusive feature of this architecture is the common use of the hypóskapha in its construction which facilitates the downwards or sideways extensions of houses due to high insulation covered by the air-filled pumice. Among all these, the most stunning feature of this kind of architecture is the coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter. Nowadays, Santorini is getting rapid fame owing to its wine industry. The lovers of pure and fresh wine come here and enjoy their vacations in fascinating surroundings of this lovely tourists’ heaven.