Thursday, 21 July 2011

Summer Holidays 2011, Part III

The last part of our trip was the island of ‘Santorini’. That island is in the same group of island as Naxos called ‘Cyclades’. What’s amazing and unique about this island is its morphology. The island used to be round, called Stroggili, or ‘στρογγύλι’ (στρογγυλός = round in Greek). Around 1650BC the volcano in the centre of the island erupted. 30 cubic kilometres of magma were released creating one of the most catastrophic volcano explosions recorded.

The force of this eruption and the weight and volume of the magma caused the round island to collapse creating one of the biggest craters, calderas, of the world. Vast volumes of sea water tried to fill the generated gap. The tsunami waves created by this explosion destroyed the vast ancient Minoan civilisation in Crete which is believed to be related to the lost Atlantis myth.

Below is an image of how the island looks today from the sky. Thira is the capital of the island with houses overlooking the caldera. Therasia, Aspronisi and the island of Santorini (Thira) used to form the old island of Stroggili. Kameni island is the volcanic island created in the middle.

Santorini as it is today

The areas overlooking the caldera are very rough. There are steep cliffs and houses are built right on the top providing amazing views of the sea below. The views of the island are exquisite and unique. Everywhere you look it's like a postcard. The island is covered in dark volcanic sand and you cannot find the lovely sandy beaches found in the rest of the islands of the same groups. Santorini is probably the opposite of our previous destination, Naxos.

The busy harbor with cruise ships and the volcanic island in the back

Splendid views

That's the entrance of a local house


The island is quite touristic with lots of cruise ships visiting. Also because of the wonderful sights, the island is a unique destination for honeymoon goers and people wanted to get married there. The prices are a bit high and the facilities provided are of high standards.

The sunset at Fira

The sand is dark coloured, volcanic and very hot. The water is cool and crystal clear though

Visiting the Ancient city of Thira. It was amazing to see and imagine the busy streets, houses and the way people lived at ancient times.

That balcony looks amazing

During our stay there JJ had his birthday. Of course it was planned like that. I was sure he would love the island. For the day I booked a cruise around the caldera on a catamaran. We visited a bay that is not accessible by car or foot to swim. Then we went swimming to the hot sulphur springs next to the volcano. It was a bit weird to swim in hot sea water knowing it was heated by the volcano itself. Next we were taken for an amazing seafood feast onboard overlooking the sunset. It was really nice, romantic and I’m glad he liked it.

The volcanic island looks like a place from Mars

The village of 'Oia'

2 comments:

  1. I would very much love to visit Santorini for myself. I've seen it so often in pictures. It has to be the most intriguing villages in the whole world.

    What you said about the ancient tsunami and Atlantis, yes that is the leading theory as to how Atlantis disappeared, and the one I think that is most reasonable and believable. I sure hope that volcano is dead now.

    No pics of JJ? :``(

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  2. @Cubby Sorry. No pics of JJ yet. They're copyrighted. Santorini truly is amazing and unique!

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