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Santorini Island
I visited Santorini in early May 2012

Link to Photogallery of Santorini

"Santorini" (also called "Thira") is both the name of a small circular archipelago and the largest island of that archipelago. Santorini is also the very south of the larger archipelago called the Cyclades.

Santorini is a spectacular group of volcanic islands. In fact, the actual islands once formed an anormous volcano that collapsed, forming a depression generally called "caldera". The main island of Santorini and its small sister island of Thirassia form the edge of the caldera; Santorini and Thirassia have relatively gentle slopes on their "outsides", and very steep slopes on their "insides". As Thira and Thirassia do not encircle the entire caldera, the latter has an open connection with the surrounding sea. In the center of the caldera, some 2,000 years ago, new volcanic islands came into being, which are still developing: Nea Kameni and Palia Kameni. The islands are very black, with volcanic gases erupting at several places.

People, Archaeology, Economy
It is not difficult to guess the actual main source of income; that is tourism. In times past, the island's economy was based on agriculture, fishing and trade.

In 1967, a spectacular archaeological site was discovered: Akrotiri, with manor houses and temples from the so-called Minoan society that existed between about 2,700 and 1,600 BC. Around 1627 BC, Akrotiri was destroyed in a major volcanic eruption.

Another spectacular archaeological site is Ancient Thira, situated on mountain tops in the south of Santorini; the buildings date from about 900 BC to about 700 AD, and include manor houses, Hellenic temples and early Christian churches.

Travel and tourism
Santorini is a top tourist destination, with many ferry and air connections, and many accommodations and souvenir shops. From the main island, frequent excursions are organized to Thirassia and the volcano islands in the center of the caldera. On the main island, you can visit various museums, archaeological sites and churches.

Island list
Thira (main Island)
Thirassia (inhabited)
Nea Kameni (black volcano island in the caldera)
Palia Kameni (small black volcano island in the caldera)
and many rocks
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