Island in the Aegean Sea
Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, forever shaping its rugged landscape. The whitewashed, cubiform houses of its 2 principal towns, Fira and Oia, cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). They overlook the sea, small islands to the west and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles.
Akrotiri, a Bronze Age settlement preserved under ash from the eruption, provides a frozen-in-time glimpse into Minoan life. The ruins of Ancient Thera lie on a dramatic bluff that drops to the sea on 3 sides. Fira, the island's commercial heart, has the Archaeological Museum of Thera and boutique shops. It also has a lively bar scene and tavernas serving local grilled seafood and dry white wine, made from the Assyrtiko grape. Oia is famous for sunsets over its old fortress.