Santorini, Greece, is one of the more southern islands in the Aegean Sea (which is part of the Mediterranean Sea), and is about 200km southeast of Greece’s mainland.
An interesting thing I learned while being in Santorini is that the island is actually a volcano. I’ve always heard Santorini being referred to as a “caldera” but I never knew what it actually meant. The summarized history of it is that there was a little island in the centre of the now-Santorini, then a Volcano erupted from it. Since the magma was so hot, it caved in the middle of the volcano. So the existing Santorini as we see it today, is just that outer edge of that old volcano (which is called the “caldera”) and the water-filled centre. Pretty interesting! When you look at the buildings in Oia (the pretty white ones on a steep edge), they are built on the inside wall of the volcano/caldera. Looking more into all the facts it actually says that the volcano is still active! But it only powerfully erupts once every 10,000-30,000 years or so.. so I didn’t get too worried!
One other interesting fact about Santorini is that the”Minoan Eruption” happened on the island 3,600 years ago was one of the largest ever recorded volcanic eruptions on the planet! It actually created a tsunami (large wave) that wiped out a whole civilization of people on the island of Crete, near Santorini. This eruption is also said to be where the legend of “Atlantis” began.
The hotel we stayed at, the Katikies (click here to read more specifically on the hotel), is located in the town of Oia in Santorini which is on the southern tip of the island (other towns in Santorini are Fira, Thira, etc.). Oia has the cutest walking-only (no cars) path that connects to all the hotels there. Just walking up the stairs from our hotel room, past the check-in area, we can walk down to a lot of the restaurants and shops in the area. There were some high-end designer shops and also typical touristy souvenir shops. We saw some friends in town and we went to a bar called “Mary-Kay” for a drink, which was recommended to us by a local, and is in an old butcher shop and was busy, surprisingly! There are a ton of restaurants to check out too, we heard that 1800 in Oia was great to go to, but we didn’t have enough time to check it out (and we ate at our hotel’s amazing restaurants most of the nights).
We also took a catamaran one of the days to see Santorini from the water. It was a nice change to swim in the sea, and it felt cooler being close to the water. The sea temperature wasn’t as hot as the Caribbean but definitely swimmable, and the water was very clear in most areas. There is not much to see during snorkelling, but that is expected being in the Mediterranean. The captain also told us the deepest part in the caldera is 2,200 feet! We were in much shallower areas when we went swimming though, close to the islands in the middle of the caldera. We also passed by the “red beach” and the “black beach” but.. let’s just say, they can’t compete with Exuma (Bahamas) beaches!