Santorini Island is officially known as Thira. It is an island in the southern Aegean Sea. The island was the site of the Minoan eruption, one of the largest volcanic eruptions recorded in the world. The eruption occurred approximately 3,600 years ago during the height of Minoan civilization.
The myth of Atlantis has been linked to Santorini Island. The archaeological, seismological, and vulcanological evidence seems to weight heavily in favor of this. The shape of the island pre-eruption as well as the landscape frescos both resemble the descriptions in Plato’s Atlantis.
During the Medieval period, Santorini Island would be ruled by the Romans just as many other Greek territories were. When the Roman Empire was divided the island was passed to the eastern side of the empire, which is now known as Byzantine Empire. Santorini Island would later be raised by the Turks and then come under Ottoman control. Santorini Island would be captured for a short time by the Russians, but then returned to the Ottoman’s control. In 1831, Santorini Island would become part of the Greek state and the next year would become part of the independent Kingdom of Greece.
The island of Santorini has a longstanding wine industry, which is based around Assyrtiko, an indigenous grape variety. Two other Aegean varietals are also cultivated on Santorini Island: Athiri and Aidani. The volcanic soil found on Santorini Island makes for especially unique tasting grapes and wine.
Rain on Santorini Island is rare from mid-spring to mid-autumn and there are no rivers running through the island. Thanks to the unique climate, as well as the soil, Santorini Island produces equally unique and delicious produce such as cherry tomatoes, white eggplant, and large cucumber.
Administrative Region of Santorini Island, Greece
Area of Santorini Island, Greece
Population of Santorini Island, Greece
Top Attractions in Santorini Island, Greece
- Cape Columbo – This long beach features grey-black sand and tall red rock formations. The beach is unorganized and there’s nowhere to get food on site, so bring your own supplies. Cape Columbo is nudist friendly.
- Finikia Village – Less than 1 km from Oia, this village very small, but traditional and friendly. A small church called Kyra Panagia is worth a visit. The sunsets from Finikia Village are worth staying to see.
- Akrotiri Lighthouse – The name of the lighthouse comes from nearby ruins of a Minoan town. The lighthouse was built in 1892 by a French merchant company. The view offered from the lighthouse is spectacular, attracting many tourists.
- Naval Maritime Museum – Located in the town of Oia, the museum was founded by a captain of the commercial navy in 1956. Museum contains numerous exhibits to showcase the nautical history of the town and island.
- White Beach – This beach can only be accessed via water taxi. The secluded beach is the perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. Because of its secluded location, there are no washrooms or places to get food.
- Amoudi Bay – When visiting Oia, Amoudi Bay is a must-see. You can walk or take donkeys up the steep path. At the bottom of the path you will find tavernas with fresh seafood.
- Emporio Village – The largest village in Santorini Island. The biggest attraction is the medieval Kasteli, a fortified castle. Shops, clubs, pool clubs, and tavernas can be found in the village.
- Volcano Hot Springs – Take a boat trip to Nea Kameni or Palea Kameni, small islands that have thermal waters. Enjoy swimming in these warm waters. The views of Santorini and surrounding areas are worth the trip as well.
- Museum of Prehistoric Thera – Located in downtown Fira, close to the sea. Artifacts come from two large historic sites on the island: Patamos and Akrotiri. The museum is located on the site of a church that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1956.