Volcano Island is a pole of attraction for tourists for its healing hot springs.

A unique visual image on Earth

Santorini is one of the five volcanic centers that make up the southern Aegean volcanic arc. It seems like it’s just sticking out of the deep blue sea. You can see the tops of the huge volcanic rocks, full of whitewashed houses and churches. Layer on layer of red volcanic rock creates a unique visual image on Earth.

One of the largest underwater volcanoes in the world

The volcano is one of the largest underwater volcanoes in the world. Perhaps the only volcano with its caldera reaching down to the sea. Its biggest explosion occurred during the Minoan Bronze Age. The center of the circular island sank into the sea during the tremendous volcanic eruption. The eruption caused a tidal wave that literally wiped out the advanced civilization of Minoan Crete, 70 miles south of Santorini.

The Minoan Eruption

Santorini’s volcanic activity during the past 2-500,000 years has been dominated by very large explosive eruptions at intervals of a few tens of thousands of years. The Minoan eruption of Thera, also referred to as the Thera eruption or Santorini eruption, was a major catastrophic volcanic eruption with a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 6 or 7 and a dense-rock equivalent (DRE) of 60 km3. Dated to the mid-second millennium BCE, the eruption was one of the largest volcanic events on Earth in recorded history. The eruption destroyed an inhabited and culturally high-developed island which perhaps might be the origin of the Atlantis legend as many scientists believe. The effects of Thera’s eruption could have explained many of the plagues described in the Old Testament, including the days of darkness and polluting of the rivers, according to some theories.

Also worth seeing:

  • The archaeological site at Akrotiri
  • The famous Oia sunset
  • The only port of Amoudi
  • The traditional villages of Pyrgos and Megalochori
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