The everlasting beauty of Santorini in Greece attracts thousands of visitors every year. Hence, it is no wonder that the island is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Its wild volcanic landscape, rugged cliffs, wild nature, and beautiful shores, combined with its rich history and traditions, make the island the gem of Greece.
Santorini got its current half-moon shape around 1,650 BC after a huge volcanic eruption. In ancient times, its shape was round and, in fact, a myth claims that the island emerged out of the sea in a miraculous way. However, the intense volcanic eruption eliminated about half of the island, covered the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri on the south of the island in ashes, and raised waves so high that reached the northern coasts of Crete and destroyed Minoan towns, including the famous Knossos Palace.
Today, half of the caldera is submerged, which makes it the only sunken caldera in the world. The volcano remains active and, throughout the centuries, many eruptions have occasionally occurred. The latest was as recently as 1956 when small volcanic islets emerged from the bottom of the caldera. In one of these eruptions, the islet of Nea Kameni emerged just opposite the caldera villages. The volcano can be approached by boat or jet ski excursions and is a must-see in Santorini. Another enchanting sight that Santorini displays is the architecture of the villages, built right on the edge of the caldera. Those picturesque villages distinguish for their sugar-cube houses, paved streets, wonderful churches, and, most of all, the breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea. In fact, the incredible architecture of the island makes it a convenient location for parkour, a new impressive sport. From Oia, you will enjoy the most romantic sunset ever, with the orange sun dipping into the sea. Due to this unique atmosphere, the island has become a popular wedding and, at the same time, honeymoon destination.
The beauty of Santorini has inspired many writers and artists, as well as cinema makers, who frequently choose the island for shooting their movies. Jules Verne had visited the place during one of his travels and, in fact, he mentions Santorini in his book Twenty thousand leagues under the sea. The island also constitutes the inspiration behind his novel The Mysterious Island, in which Captain Nemo and his crew witnessed a volcanic eruption. Greek poet George Seferis wrote a poem about Santorini in the 1960s, while the internationally-famous composer Yanni created a wonderful composition inspired by the island.
Many people also link the island of Santorini with the mythical Atlantis, although this theory is believed to be a myth today. Apart from walking the caldera villages, the lovely beaches on the southern side of the island, including Red Beach, Kamari, and Perissa, which have developed into large beach resorts, are also worth a visit.