Info on Santorini
GENERAL INFORMATION ON SANTORINI
Cosmopolitan and breath-taking
Crescent-shaped Santorini (or Thíra), the precious gem of the Aegean, is actually a group of islands consisting of Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni in the southernmost part of Cyclades.
The whole complex of Santorini islands is still an active volcano and probably the only volcano in the world whose crater is in the sea. The islands that form Santorini came into existence because of intensive volcanic activity; twelve huge eruptions occurred, one every 20,000 years approximately, and each violent eruption caused the collapse of the volcano’s central part creating a large crater (caldera).
With its unique scenery, Santorini is considered to be the most sought after place for a romantic getaway in Greece, since there are not many places in the world where you can enjoy exquisitely clear waters while perched on the rim of a massive active volcano in the middle of the sea!
Santoríni’s dark, volcanic-sand or pebble beaches are as much curiosities as bathing venues; the most practical and enjoyable are Perivólas and Vlyháda in the far south of the island. There are two classic hiking routes: from Períssa to Kamári, past post-eruption ancient Thera, and along the caldera edge from Imerovígli to Oía. For a sense of the ancient volcano’s lingering power, take a day-trip to the caldera islets with their hot springs and clinker surfaces.
Time: Local time is GMT 2 (GMT 3 between the last Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October) Electricity: 230V, 50 Hz Money: The euro is the official currency, divided into 100 cents Banks are open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ATMs are available in all big cities. In order to exchange cash or traveller’s checks, you need to have your passport with you. In addition, almost all hotels have exchange offices on their front desks. Visa, Master Card and other well known credit cards are accepted by the majority, but not from all shops and services.
Language: Greek is the national language but English is widely spoken.
Climate: Temperature during July on Santorini usually ranges from 23 to 29 degrees of Celsius with average temperature of 26 degrees of Celcius, while water temperature averages 24 degrees of Celcius.
The excavations at Akrotiri in the south part of the island, have uncovered one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. The first habitation at the site dates from the Late Neolithic times (at least the 4th millennium BC).
The large extent of the settlement (ca. 20 hectares), the elaborate drainage system, the sophisticated multi-storeyed buildings with the magnificent wall-paintings, furniture and vessels, show its great development and prosperity.
The various imported objects found in the buildings indicate the wide network of its external relations. Akrotiri was in contact with Crete but also communicated with the Greek Mainland, the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria and Egypt.
The town's life ended abruptly in the last quarter of the 17th century BC when the inhabitants were obliged to abandon it because of severe earthquakes. The eruption followed. The volcanic materials covered the entire island and the town itself. These materials, however, have protected up to date the buildings and their contents, similar to Pompeii. (source: https://www.santorini.com/archaeology/ancient_thira.htm)
Visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera in Fira, to see the Minoan murals rescued from pre-cataclysm Akrotíri.
During summer the archeological site is open for visit from 08:00 to 20:00, Monday to Sunday. See the map here.
Read a recent ebook on Prehistorical Thera published by John S. Latsis Foundation. Τhis book includes photographs of monuments and exhibits from the archaeological site of Akrotiri of Thera and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. Click here to be directed to the Foundation's site and browse the ebook. It's an excellent edition and it's totaly free.
Santorini is known for its wines. The famous local variety is assyrtiko, which dominates the vineyards on the island. The over century-old vines of Santorini find their best expression in the assyrtiko grape by giving world class wines.
The wine reflects the pure character of the variety, the micro-climate and the volcanic soil. High acidity, intense minerality and citrus flavors upfront are the key elements creating the complex character of assyrtiko, highlighting the Santorinian earth in perfect harmony.
Recent theories about Santorini’s eruption and tsunami production
Read a recent publication in Nature Communications proposing a new theory about the main mechanisms of tsunami production.