Officially known by its ancient name of Thera, the striking volcanic islands of Santorini
is one of the most visited Greek islands.
Once a much larger, single island,Santorini as it looks today
is the result of a massive volcanic explosionknown as the Minoan or Theran explosion
which took place around 3,600 years ago.
The explosion left the steep sided caldera on which the main settlements now
perch as well as the deep lagoon thatprovides the island with its safe harbours.
Cruise ships travel to Santorini fromall over the Agean and the Mediterranean
and sail across the flooded caldera.
Santorini is a world famous destination that featuressome of the most striking Mediterranean architecture.
The distinctive white washed housesare the visible portions of houses
that include rooms built into cliff side caves.
Blue domed churchesare scattered through the towns, and
pathways and steps are traversed by keen eyed touriston their way to the next stunning view or taverna.
Away from the main towns thatroost on the cliff-tops, there is plenty to see.
Numerous beaches at the base of the cliffs havewarm waters to swim in and unusually coloured sands.
Elsewhere, small boat harbourswith great fish tavernas close by
and some amazing roads are great options forwhen you get tired of gazing at the horizon.
Sunset is a special time here,
and thousands come just towitness the sun sinking into the water
from the numerous vantage points around the towns.
The views from a thousand feetabove the water are simply stunning.