The island of Santorini is one of the most significant and beautiful places on Earth. It is said that the pulse of its heart, the volcano, is affecting the visitor, and if their hearts are eventually tuned up they will never separate from each other, so that the visitor will seek continuous visits to the island, otherwise he is afraid and he will never return. The secrets held by this small group of islands reach up to the fiction of the lost Atlantis civilization.
The official name of Santorinι is Thira, from the ancient Spartan Thiran who first inhabited the island. It’s most recognizable name Santorini is derived from the Franks who used the island for refueling near the church of Agia (Saint) Irini. One version of the story tells that this church is Saint Irene of Thirasia while the most dominant is that the church was the Cathedral church of Agia Irini; ruins of which were found in Perissa in 1992.
The current annularity group of islands consists of the island of Santorini, Thirasia, Aspronisi, Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni. In the early history of the island Santorini was called Kallisti or Strogyli (Rounded), because of its shape, and because of the volcanic activity which sank the central section, leaving the islands Santorini, Thirasia and Aspronisi around it. The islands Palea (Old) Kameni and Nea (New) Kameni emerged from subsequent eruptions of the volcano.
The size of the island is 73 km2. It has a population of about 15,000. There are a total of 17 settlements. Among them are the capital of Fira, Oia, Milos, Perissa, Kamari and Emporio. The port of the island is called Athinios and is connected through a road with Fira, while the old port Mesa Gialos (Inside Bay) is connected to Fira through steps.
The beauty of the island is twofold. The eastern part is characterized by elements that have all the Cycladic islands, beautiful beaches with crystal blue waters.
The western part gives a wonderful sense of eerie with the stunning caldera and the deep waters; the threat in the air charms and touches every visitor, through the infinite, the unknown, the Volcano.
The other major inhabited island Thirasia is ready to seduce the traveler with the view to the caldera, but also to relax him from the busy touristic and cosmopolitan island.
In Santorini, the view is breathtaking. The impressive beaches of red, white and black sand, the caved houses, the volcano and the caldera are guarantying magnificent moments for the visitor who will choose to pass his vacations here.