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Overview

Santoríni, also known by its Greek name of Thíra, is one of the most spectacular islands in the whole of the Mediterranean. It was created in the 17th century BC when an enormous volcanic eruption destroyed the existing island and left behind it several smaller islands, surrounding the now-sunk volcanic crater. Then in the 3rd century BC an earthquake split off part of the main island, and there has been seismic activity ever since, though the last major earthquake was in 1956. Today the dramatic and unique look of Santorini, with its multi-colored beaches made of volcanic ash, draws visitors from all over the world. Many come on Aegean ...

Santoríni, also known by its Greek name of Thíra, is one of the most spectacular islands in the whole of the Mediterranean. It was created in the 17th century BC when an enormous volcanic eruption destroyed the existing island and left behind it several smaller islands, surrounding the now-sunk volcanic crater. Then in the 3rd century BC an earthquake split off part of the main island, and there has been seismic activity ever since, though the last major earthquake was in 1956. Today the dramatic and unique look of Santorini, with its multi-colored beaches made of volcanic ash, draws visitors from all over the world. Many come on Aegean cruises, docking off Santorini for a day visit, while others come to enjoy the sophisticated hotels and restaurants of the two main towns, Thíra and Oía, the latter at the tip of the island where that 3rd century BC earthquake occurred. Other attractions include the archaeological remains, the impressive sunsets, the unusual wine, and most of all a boat trip in the caldera, providing the most vivid views of this unique island.

Mike Gerrard
About the Expert

Mike Gerrard is the author of the National Geographic Traveler Guide to Greece, as well as guides to Athens, Crete, Corfu, the Greek Mainland, and the Greek islands for publishers including AA, AAA, Thomas Cook, Dorling Kindersley, Michelin, and New Holland. With his wife Donna Dailey, he also publishes the Greece Travel Secrets website.

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Mike Gerrard for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: An island located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 120 miles southeast from Greece's mainland.
  • Language: Greek
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Santoríni is really at its best in the summer, with blue skies setting off its dramatic landscape, and a buzz about the island.