Santorini in the southern Aegean Sea

Monday, 19 December 2011 - 02:29 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Fira © Hans Peter Schaefer - www.reserv-a-rt.de

Fira © Hans Peter Schaefer – www.reserv-a-rt.de

Santorini is an island located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast from Greece’s mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. It forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 (28 sq mi) and a 2001 census population of 13,670. The municipality of Santorini comprises the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. The total land area is 90.623 km2 (34.990 sq mi). Santorini is part of the Santorini peripheral unit.

Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements, on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4.3 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides. The main island slopes downward to the Aegean Sea. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon is connected to the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest. The water in the center of the lagoon is nearly 400 m (1,300 ft) deep, thus making it a safe harbor for all kinds of shipping. The island’s harbors all lie in the lagoon, and there are no ports on the perimeter of the island; the capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. The volcanic rocks present from the prior eruptions feature olivine and have a notably small presence of hornblende.

Santorini Beach © Galloramenu Goulas Castle in Emporeio Village © Klearchos Kapoutsis Fira and old harbour panorama © Henryhartley Church of St Athena in Akrotiri © flickr.com - Klearchos Kapoutsis Red Beach © Hartmut Inerle Santorini Landsat © NASA Oia Panorma © Saibo Santorini © Joe MiGo Fira © Hans Peter Schaefer - www.reserv-a-rt.de
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Church of St Athena in Akrotiri © flickr.com - Klearchos Kapoutsis
In 1956 a major earthquake and a volcanic eruption resulted in the demolishing of many buildings on the island, leading to the desertion of many of its villages. The expansion of tourism has resulted the growth of the economy and population. The major settlements include Fira (Phira), Oia, Emporio, Kamari, Perissa, Imerovigli, Pyrgos, and Therasia. Akrotiri is a major archaeological site, with ruins from the Minoan era. Santorini’s primary industry is tourism, particularly in the summer months. The island’s pumice quarries have been closed since 1986, in order to preserve the caldera. Santorini was ranked world’s top island for 2011 in Travel+Leisure Magazine.

The traditional architecture of Santorini is similar to that of the other Cyclades, with low-lying cubical houses, made of local stone and whitewashed or limewashed with various volcanic ashes used as colors. The unique characteristic is the common utilisation of the hypóskapha: extensions of houses dug sideways or downwards into the surrounding pumice. These rooms are prized because of the high insulation provided by the air-filled pumice, and are used as living quarters of unique coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter, and also as premium storage space for produce and especially for wine cellaring: the Kánava wineries of Santorini.

Read more on Santorini Municipality, Santorini Travel Guide and Wikipedia Santorini. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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