Find Santorinitours.org at Emporio 847 03, call us on 694 457 7918 and book Santorini tours.  Santorini has a long and interesting history, and is included in the possible locations where the legendary Atlantis mentioned by Plato may have been.

Its first name was Strogyli, before the Minoan explosion, while later he is referred to as Callisti. Thera got its name from the Phoenicians and their king Thera. This name is still the official name of the island, although of course most people call the island Santorini. This name comes from the Venetians and the Catholic church of Agia Irini on the island.

The colossal eruption of the volcano, in 1540 BC. approximately caused a tsunami with waves of 200m high. which when they reached the island of Crete were 70m high, causing the destruction of the Minoan civilization.

The island of Santorini itself was buried under tons of ash and lava while the magnitude of the eruption was so great that it caused the volcano to collapse, forming the Caldera (Spanish word for boiling pot). What was once a large island, transformed into a cluster of small islands, Thira, Thirasia and Aspronisi which got its name from the white volcanic ash on its surface.

Other eruptions rocked the area over the centuries, forming the volcanic islands of Palaia and Nea Kameni. The last recorded eruption, with the release of lava and toxic gases, occurred in 1950.

Santorini is anyway in a seismic zone and has additionally faced many earthquakes with the most recent one in 1956 which claimed the lives of 49 people and caused widespread destruction, especially in Oia and Mesa Gonia. The many intense natural phenomena and volcanic eruptions during the prehistoric period have fueled the belief that the lost Atlantis is none other than Santorini.

If you arrive by boat, you will be immediately captivated by the impressive view of the Caldera, the largest of its kind in the world, with layers of black, pink, red and brown rocks and a height of 335m. from the surface of the sea. At its top you can see the housing complexes from Fira, Oia and Imerovigli.

Most of the island is still covered today by layers of volcanic ash and lava, several meters deep. This fertile soil is ideal for the production of high quality products, but in small quantities, also due to the lack of water, since the island has no rivers and only 4 natural springs.

There are several traditional wineries, the most important being the Volcan Wines Winery, while wine is the most important export product of the island. The small traditional tomatoes of Santorini are also famous, with the mock meatballs – once the food of the poor who did not have the money to buy meat – being today one of the most exquisite appetizers.

The Minoan Explosion

The terrible Minoan eruption, 3700 years ago, precipitated the volcano of Strogyli and created the current caldera, leaving above the surface of the sea a ring of islands, Thira, Thirasia and Aspronisi. After the creation of the caldera, dacite magma began to erupt on the sea floor, building a volcanic mountain that will form the foundations of Kameni.

The Minoan eruption occurred in 1613 BC. around the Late Bronze Age. It was one of the largest Plinian eruptions of the historical era with a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 6. 30-40 km3 of magma erupted. The height of the explosive column is estimated at 36-39 km. The result of the explosion was the collapse of the magma chamber and the formation of a large caldera that enlarged a pre-existing one.

Ash from the eruption was dispersed throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and likely led to global climate changes. The ash deposits in Santorini consist of ash and chert with a thickness of up to 50 m. The Minoan eruption destroyed a rich and economically and culturally developed island. Since 1969, excavations in the area of ​​Akrotiri have brought to light an important Cycladic city famous for its amazing and well-preserved wall paintings.

Today

The last volcanic eruption in Santorini and throughout the Greek area occurred in January 1950. Intense volcanic activity ejected ash and fireballs to a height of 1000 m. Following are lava flows that form Greece’s youngest volcanic rocks, the Liatsika lavas, in memory of a Santorini geologist.

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