01 Jun Santorini Caldera tours
Santorini is a strange island, without any similarity to the rest of the Cyclades. The others islands feel friendly, warm and tender as an embrace; Santorini is neither calm nor gentle. On the contrary, it is wild and threatening. The whole island is one huge pile of volcanic lava. The ground you stand on is not part of the earth`s crust; it has been created by the hardening of a viscous liquid expelled from the bowels of the earth. Red, black and brown are its colours. The length of the Caldera is, from north to south, 11km.and its width 7.5 forming an area of 83 square kilometers.
Santorini Caldera’s history
The island`s geological history begins at a time when Europe and Africa were still joined. At that time, what is today the Aegean was dry land (Aegeis) and it linked mainland Greece with Asia Minor and Crete. After a long series of geological upheavals, Aegeis sank beneath the surface of the waves. This must have happened about six million years ago. The mountain peaks of the “lost continent” are what we call today the islands of the Aegean Sea. Where Santorini is situated today, we had two or three insignificant islets. The volcano first manifested itself 80,000 years. The first eruption was terrific.
It poured out every kind of volcanic material which have been united with the other existing islands and formed through the years a round island called Strogyli. Many thousands of quiet had passed when, in about 2,000 B.C. a great pressure formed by accumulated gases and vapours grew under one or more central craters. This pressure blew up the center part of Strogyli, while at the same time, the parts between Oia-Thirasia, Thirasia-Aspronissi and Aspronissi-Acrotion were cracked and sunk. Thus, the sea rushed through these three channels, filled the great depression and formed a gigantic caldera.
Sailing in the caldera of Santorini – Catamaran cruise
Arriving to Santorini, you can`t miss sailing in the caldera and cruising along the coastline. Normally, you will get on board from the south part of the island at Vlychada port. You will sail towards the Red Beach, White beach. You will pass the Lighthouse and enter the Caldera for a unique view of the entire caldera. You gradually realize that the walls of the caldera are all around us. Now, you are seeing the caldera not from above, but from the inside the cruise route includes a close sail by the volcano crater with a full view of it. With the breathtaking views of Thirasia Island as a backdrop matching the picturesque Village of Oia, your Santorini caldera tour is complete in a unique and marvelous way.
Your Santorini Sailing experience shall culminate in the most unique and unforgettable way possible. Must do during your stay on Santorini Island!
The best villages to visit on the Caldera
Fira is the capital of Santorini with a population of about 2000. It is the cultural and economic centre of the island. In fact, you can visit the Orthodox and Catholic Cathedrals, two museums: the prehistoric and the archeological museums and even an art galleries. Also, in Fira, there are several restaurants, bars, cafes and is the leading destination for nightlife on the island. Fira also has its own port, called Ormos, reachable via a cable car or via a mule path by foot or on a mule’s back. The capital is among Santorini`s most recent communities. It came into being in the late 18th century, when circumstances no longer obliged the islanders to live high up on the inaccessible parts of the islands. On our private tailor-made tours, we will be happy to show around this beautiful Town and to reveal you its secrets.
The name of the village means “red rock”. Firostefani is an extension of Fira. The village is long and narrow, standing on the edge of the precipice, and has its own square, restaurant, hotels, coffee-shop, and a large and impressive church, of St. Gerasimos. Firostefani has a marvelous view of the caldera, different to that from Fira. The cliff here is much steeper, and the little harbour at Mesa Yialos do not come between the visitor and the view as they do at Fira. In Firostefani, there is Nunnery of St. Nicholas. It was founded in 1651 by the Gyzis family, one of the few Orthodox families living at that time in the Skaros castle. It was originally located on Skaros, and operated there without interruption until 1815. To discover this exquisite spot Firostefani, book “Aroma of Santorini” to discover the particularly picturesque features of its path with its steps
The name comes from the days of piracy, and means the day-time look out post. The site of the village, more or less in the center of the caldera and at its highest point, would indeed have permitted watch being kept over the whole area and thus the timely warning of the islanders should pirates appear. The main interest of the village today lies in its proximity to Skaros. The church, Our lady “Malteza”, takes its name from the icon around which it centres. it is reputed to have been found in the sea off Malta. As we pass through the village in the direction of the caldera, we will encounter the path to Skaros. By booking a Tailor made tour, you will be able to spend enough time at this village. In addition you will watch one of the most breathtaking view for the sunset.
Skaros was once among the five most important settlements on the island. Very few traces of that town now remain. One of the most exciting walks that the island has to offer. On Skaros, there is a path which leads to the “Theoskepasti” chapel. This dazzlingly white little building, apparently growing out of the rock, commands the abyss from on high. Book our hiking tour Imerovigli-Skaros -Fira to show you, there, the most awe-inspiring point on the island, and the view is unparalleled. The walk takes at least an hour, there and back, and should not be attempted by those who suffer from vertigo.
Oia is the second most important village on Santorini, and for many, its most beautiful spot. The name is very ancient. During the period of “Frankish” rule, Oia was among the five largest settlements. After the liberation from the Turks, the inhabitants of Oia developed into leading seafarers. As they grew richer, they invested their wealth in the mansion houses, most of them two-storey, which stand on the upper level of the village. They give the village a personality of its own, not least because they are all painted. The walls are ochre, and the door and window-frames are built in red limestone, as are the little stones used for decoration on the outer walls.
The breathtaking view of the caldera
Yet none of this can explain the fascination which caldera holds for so many people. Santorini Caldera is the sort of place that makes you very sensitive to poetry. Although we know everything about the Santorini caldera, it still remains a breathtaking view that never loses its mystery. People come from all over the world to Santorini just to see this wonder.