- Category: route
Crescent-shaped Santorini (or Thíra), the precious gem of the Aegean, is actually a group of islands consisting of Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni in the southernmost part of Cyclades. The whole complex of the Santorini islands is still an active volcano and the only volcano in the world whose crater is in the sea. The islands that form Santorini came into existence as a result of intensive volcanic activity; twelve huge eruptions occurred, one every 20,000 years approximately, and each violent eruption caused the collapse of the volcano’s central part creating a large crater (caldera). The volcano, however, managed to recreate itself over and over again.
The last major eruption occurred 3,600 years ago (during the Minoan Age), when igneous material (ash, pumice and lava stones) covered the three islands (Thíra, Thirassiá and Asproníssi). This eruption destroyed the thriving local prehistoric civilization, evidence of which was found during the excavations of a settlement at Akrotíri. The solid material and gases emerging from the volcano’s interior created a huge “vacuum” underneath, causing the collapse of the central part and the creation of an enormous “pot” – today’s Caldera– with a size of 8x4 km and a depth of up to 400m below sea level.
The most recent volcanic activity on the island occurred in 1950. The whole island is actually a huge natural geological/volcanological museu where you can observe a wide range of geological structures and forms!
Santorini is considered to be the most sought after place for a romantic getaway in Greece, since there are not many places in the world where you can enjoy exquisitely clear waters while perched on the rim of a massive active volcano in the middle of the sea! The island has a growing reputation as a “wedding destination” for couples not only from Greece but from all over the world. A trip to Santorini together with your better half is the ultimate romantic experience!
Firá is the picturesque capital of the island; perched high up on the edge of the Caldera, it looks like a marvelous painting. Firá, together with the villages of Oia, Imerovígli and Firostefáni located high above on a cliff, make up the so-called “Caldera’s eyebrow”, the balcony of Santorini, which offers an amazing view of the volcano. Some of the villages are cosmopolitan, while others more peaceful. Surrounded by vast vineyards, these whitewashed, cliff-top towns offer amazing views out over the Aegean. Soaking up the villages’ distinctive traditional atmosphere is a very rewarding experience.
A visit to Santorini is an incredible gastronomic experience, as the island is a true culinary paradise! Treat your taste buds to some famous traditional products such as cherry tomatoes, white egg plants, fava, caper and “hloró tyrí”, a special kind of fresh goat cheese found only on the island. Perhaps try some of the exceptional wines produced from grapes grown in the volcanic soil of the island? Assyrtiko, Athyri, Aidani, Mantilaria and Mavrotragano are just some of the distinctive varieties that you can taste at the island’s famous wineries (some of them operate as museums as well).
Venture into Santorini’s seaside treasures and enjoy deep blue waters and beaches with white, red or black sand or volcanic pebbles, spectacular rock formations and impressive lunar landscapes.
We moor at Vlichada Marina, the only secure port where one can leave their yacht in order to properly explore the island. Facilities include water, electricity, wi-fi and WCs; regular buses run into the main town and car/scooter rental is available. Depending on weather conditions, we usually spend two to three days exploring Santorini, the pearl of the Aegean.