Santorini is perhaps the most famous of the 211 islands of the Cyclades extending between the southern coast of Greece and Crete. Nakso, Paros, Andros, Tinos and Mykonos are also very popular.
The island is 75 sq. km. with a population of approximately 15 500 residents subsisting mainly on tourism. Santorini is known primarily for its unusual landscape and archaeological sites. The shape of the island today is the result of a volcanic eruption, which took place 3,500 years ago. The explosion ripped the existing island, and the resulting crater poured into the sea, creating the so-called Calder. Volcanic eruption, a powerful earthquake and high waves destroyed the surrounding islands. The effects of this catastrophe were felt throughout the eastern Mediterranean. The sound of the explosion was heard even in Egypt. As is commonly believed, a volcanic eruption was one of the reasons for the collapse of Minoan civilization 70 km. away in Crete, as well as on other islands of the Cyclades. Before the crash Santorini Minoan culture flourished and, as is evident from archaeological excavations, people lived in affluence, drawing income from fishing and trading. After the outbreak most of the island was underwater and the remainder showered in ash. In the village of Akrotiri archaeologists have unearthed the whole ancient town, which for centuries was covered with several meters of ash. To walk the streets between the well-preserved walls of volcanic ash which are at least 3,500 years old is one of the biggest attractions of the island.
Santorini is also famous for extraordinary beaches, dissimilar to any other in the world. Located near Akrotiri is called red because of the red cliffs formed from volcanic lava, while the beaches of Perissa and Kamari cover unusual black sand of volcanic origin. The island has plenty of beaches, with so little luck, you can relax in solitude away from the crowds.
The main town of Fira is called Santorini and it lies roughly in the middle of the island, on the edge of a huge cliff formed when the collapse of this part of the island to the sea. The town where life begins only in the evening, has numerous cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside.