Santorini Surrounding Islands

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Santorini Surrounding Islands
Greece Santorini Island Surrounding Caldera Islands, Santorini – Information about Thirassia Island, Nea & Palea Kameni Island, Greece

Santorini (Thira) Surrounding Islands - Information about the nearby islands of Thirassia, Nea & Palea Kameni in Santorini

The island of Thirassia is located opposite Oia (Ia), and together with Santorini, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, surrounds the famous Caldera. All were part of the same island during ancient times until the eruption of the volcano around the 17th century BC. Of the smaller isles, Thirassia is the only inhabited one. It has lovely traditional houses, hospitable locals, fantastic views and an exquisite volcanic landscape, making it ideal for ecotourists. From Santorini, tour boats frequently depart for short trips to Thirassia.

The volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni were formed during a series of eruptions between 1707 and 1950. On Nea Kameni, visitors can climb up to the rim of the crater and admire the spectacular view. The island’s ground is hot in some areas and the smell of sulphur is very intense.

Palea Kameni is surrounded by warm murky waters that are known for their healing properties. It is definitely worthwhile to take a swim in the Hot Springs. There are tour boats that take visitors on day trips to the islands in the Caldera area, sailing through the waters and stopping for a short while on Nea Kameni and at the Hot Springs of Palea Kameni.

Greece Santorini Island Santorini Characteristics Santorini Wines – Santorini Volcano – Santorini Architecture

Special Features and Characteristics of Santorini Island - Architecture, Volcano, Greek Wines of Santorini

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Santorini is its unique architecture. The two types of houses built on the island are the cave houses (called “yposkafa”) and the stone-brick mansions.

Cave houses were first built mainly out of necessity, as the island offered little in the way of construction materials; neither clay for bricks, nor trees for timber, were available. Although Santorini is basically a mound of volcanic rock and ash, it provided no materials suitable for building houses. Thus, the inhabitants began building arched-style houses carved into the cliffs. Light was provided from the front of the houses, which would be separated into two or three rooms. The yard included a cooking area, an outhouse and a cistern to gather water, while the roofs were always whitewashed. It is important to mention that during the earthquake in the 1950’s, it was the cave houses that withstood the tremors, due to the antiseismic character of Santorini’s soil. Today, private houses and hotels are still built according to this architectural style, creating the image of whitewashed terraces that climb the reddish cliffs of the island.

Rich shipowners used to build stone-brick mansions on the plateaus of Santorini. These mansions had gardens, wine cellars, orchards, cultivated fields and stables. The indoor areas were usually furnished with objects that the shipowners brought back from their travels to foreign lands. Many of the mansions collapsed due to the earthquake in the 1950’s. Visitors can visit some of these houses that have been recently restored.

Santorini’s volcano is interwoven with the history and everyday life of the inhabitants of the island. About 30.000.000 years ago, cosmogonic occurrences resulted in the appearance of a very large piece of dry land that spurted out from under the sea, called Aigida. This land spanned across what today is Mainland Greece, Crete and Asia Minor. Gradually, the Aigida separated. Based on geological evidence, there has been volcanic activity in the region for more than 26.000.000. The volcanic craters of Santorini began to form approximately 2.000.000 years ago. In reality, the island was much larger, but after a series of volcanic eruptions, much of it was submerged, gradually creating Santorini Island, the Caldera and the small volcanic isles of Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni and Thirassia.

The volcanic eruption in 1550 – 1500 BC is the most well-known of all. This catastrophic eruption emitted lava and ash that covered the Minoan city of Akrotiri. The settlement is thought to be connected to the Lost Continent of Atlantis. The island was totally destroyed by this eruption and part of it sunk into the ocean, creating the Caldera basin. The tidal waves caused by the eruption reached as far as Crete and are considered by historians to be linked with the demise of the Minoan civilization. Many other eruptions and earthquakes have taken place since, the latest in 1956.

The way of life on the island has been entirely based on the volcano. The Caldera basin and the volcano are Santorini’s main attractions. Scores of visitors come to the island to watch the sunset over the Caldera, to visit the small volcanic isles, to explore the volcano and to swim in the hot springs. Santorini’s beaches, where thousands of people relax under the sun, are colorful stretches of volcanic rock and sand. The unique architecture of the island is a result of the need to build with the materials available one to make structures that would withstand tremors. Even the famous Santorinian wines are a product of the volcanic soil of the island.

It is known that the environment and the properties in a soil contribute, to a large extent, to the aroma and flavor of a wine. Santorini wines have a unique taste that comes from the volcanic properties and nutrients of the island’s soil, the manner in which the grapes are grown and the climate of the island (hot and humid). Inhabitants of Santorini have been making wine for centuries, perfecting their techniques to produce one of Greece’s most delicious wines.

“Santorini” is a wine of Name of origin and is the perfect compliment to any dish. Santorini grows 36 different types of grapes, in varieties of “asyrtico”, “athyri” and “aidani”, producing both red and white wines. The grapes are grown is a special way, in a design that resembles a basket. Most Santorini wines are stored in barrels for two years before bottling. The traditional place to store these barrels were in the “canaves”, wine-barrels storage areas, built into the cliff.

The popularity of Santorini wines has recently been spreading throughout the world, with famous wine connoisers praising its aroma and full bouquet.

Accommodation : Rest of Santorini
santorini akrotiri hotels | santorini fira firostefani hotels | santorini imerovigli hotels | santorini kamari hotels | santorini oia hotels | perissa hotels

Accommodation : Rest of Cyclades Islands
amorgos hotels | andros hotels | antiparos hotels | donoussa hotels | ios hotels | kea tzia hotels | koufonisia hotels | milos hotels | mykonos hotels | naxos hotels | paros hotels | santorini hotels | schinoussa hotels | serifos hotels | syros hotels | tinos hotels

Accommodation : Rest of Greece
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