Santorini is the supermodel of the Greek islands, a head-turner whose face is instantly recognizable around the world: multicolored cliffs soar out of a sea-drowned caldera, topped by drifts of whitewashed buildings. With its reputation for dazzling panoramas, romantic sunsets and volcanic-sand beaches, it’s hardly surprising the island features on so many travelers’ bucket lists.
There’s no denying the uniqueness of this destination or its huge allure – Santorini hosts 2 million tourists annually.
Santorini (officially known as Thira, a name that encompasses the volcanic islets within Santorini’s orbit) is a part of Cyclades island complex, sits in the Aegean Sea, roughly halfway between mainland and Crete.
The island is shaped like a wonky croissant, and the neighboring islets hint at the fact that Santorini was once circular; it was known as Strongili (the Round One). Thousands of years ago a colossal volcanic eruption caused the centre of Strongili to sink, leaving a caldera (or crater) with towering cliffs along the east side – now Santorini’s trademark landscape.
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