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  • Meredith Peters

Santorini: An Island Born From Lava

Santorini was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history; the Minoan eruption, also known as the Thera eruption. This cataclysmic event took place around

1500 BCE and literally sunk the majority of the island into the sea! The volcanic eruption is responsible for creating the crescent-shaped beaches that make up the coastline of Santorini.

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Not to worry though, there’s a lot of Santorini that’s still above water for visitors to enjoy. Not only are you going to find charming whitewashed houses, and picturesque

villages, but you’ll also experience hilltop views of unforgettable sunsets, crystal

waters just begging you to jump into them, and delicious dining that won’t be

outdone.


Here are just some of the things you must do while visiting:


Oia

Get lost in the quaint town of Oia. The northern edge of the caldera contains a

town carved into the rock. Santorini’s most picturesque town, Oia’s narrow,

spectacular streets will have you constantly pulling out your camera. Spend a good

chunk of your day wandering the alleys here. Or stay overnight – somewhere like

the Canaves Oia luxury boutique hotel, where you can swim in a beautiful pool

while staring out across the Aegean Sea.

Take a winery tour

Santorini produces some of Greece’s best wines, such as

Assyrtiko, Nykteri, and Vinsanto. The volcanic soil gives the grapes a special

flavour, added to the skill of the viticulture, developed over millennia. Explore a

place like Santo Wines Winery, near Pyrgos Village, which offers tours as well as

tastings, with breathtaking views to the caldera. Or join a small group tour that

brings you to many of the island’s wineries – with a tasting at each!


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Swim at a red sand beach. Maybe you’ve heard of black sand beaches, but did you

know that you can also find red? On Santorini, that’s a possibility. The best red sand

beach on the island is at Akrotiri, accessible either by boat, or via an easy footpath.

Where the sand – as well as the rock of the cliffs – is a dazzling red. Whether you

want to jump into the water, or just sunbathe on the red beach, this is definitely a

special experience.

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Take a cruise of the caldera at sunset. The island of Santorini is circular, roughly,

with a large bay – or “caldera” – inside. This is due to the cataclysm that happened

some 3500 years ago, and may have sunk “Atlantis”. But, these days, the volcano is

quiet, and the ocean has rushed in to claim the abandoned land. Taking a cruise here

is incredible – and taking a cruise here at sunset will leave vivid memories etched

into your soul. It’s absolutely one of the must-do things on Santorini!

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Take a tour of the volcano itself. Obviously, the island’s volcanic. Which means it

must have a volcano! Well, it does – but due to the past eruption, it’s actually on its

own island in the caldera’s centre! Still, it’s possible to take a tour. And well worth it.

Boats leave from Athinios Port (Santorini’s main port), the Old Port in Fira, and

Ammoudi Bay in Oia, and tours take you to several stops on the central island. Yes,

it will involve hiking in the heat. But, yes, it will be worth it!


Are you ready to start planning your tour the Greek Islands? Drop us a line and we'll start planning the perfect itinerary.

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