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Santorini is not just one island, but it is an archipelago of volcanic islands, created after a massive volcano eruption about 3600 years ago. The largest island Thira and the smaller island Thirasia together, make up the rim of the crater of the volcano. In between these islands you will notice lower islands where the smoke still indicates that there is volcanic activity. The towns on Thira and Thirasia are mostly located on the crater rim, high above the sea. The sunsets in Santorini are legendary, some say they are the most beautiful in the world.
In the south you can see the ruins of Akrotiri, a city from the Minoan period, which was buried under lava. Old-Thira is the former capital of the island (founded in the 9th century BC.). You will not only be able to see the ruins, but - at almost 400 meters above sea level - you will have a spectacular view of the surroundings.
On the islands live over 7,000 people.
Santorini is located in the Aegean Sea. Thira is the southernmost island of the Cyclades island group and is located 110 kilometers north of Crete. The capital on the island of Thira is called Fira but is also referred to as Thira city. It is situated in a picturesque location high above sea level and its houses have bright blue roofs.
Tourism is Santorini's main source of income. Furthermore, the island produces wine and – on a modest scale – vegetables (cherry tomatoes, eggplants and katsoúni, a kind of cucumber).
The airport is located six kilometers southwest of the capital Fira. Santorini National Airport is easily accessible by rental car.
There is good public transport on the main island of Thira. From the main bus station in Fira buses depart regularly (every thirty or sixty minutes) to different locations on the island. There are also smaller buses that do not stop at bus stops, but you can just stop them by waving your hand. Between the main coastal towns there are ferry connections.
You can explore Santorini excellently by rental car. Keep in mind that the roads on the crater rim are steep and curvy. Like anywhere in Greece, you can encounter herds of sheep or goats. You should also be aware of cars that are parked in unexpected places.
There is a wide range of accommodations on Santorini. Even though the main island Thira is very small, there is a difference between the west side (the crater rim) and the east side (the lower part) Hotel prices are higher on the west side than on the east side. Furthermore the east side (with better beaches) is more suitable for families with children. If you would like to visit Santorini in summer, we recommend you to book your hotel room well in advance. In winter this usually isn't necessary. Although many hotels are closed during that time, there are still plenty of options left.
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