Find Atlantis in Santorini

The most postcard-perfect island in the world is Santorini in Greece.

The local name for the island is Thēra (Θήρα), but outsiders know it by its melodious Italian name which means St Irene. The island is 73 sq km, with a population of 13,670.


In summer, the island is completely covered by tourists, so go in the autumn.when it is cooler.

Santorini (Σαντορίνη) is thought to be where ancient Atlantis once stood. There are plenty of plausible reasons for picking Santorini as the location, which you can read online.

Don’t go without a digital SLR camera, tripod, zoom lens and lots of memory cards. Almost every corner and angle of the island cries out to be photographed.

History and art lovers can view some of the most beautiful wall paintings there – more than 3,000 years old, but just as mesmerising today.

Ancient volcano

Santorini is the remains of an ancient volcano after an enormous explosion destroyed the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island. The island now is essentially a  giant basin or caldera, with steep cliffs on three sides surrounding a central lagoon.

The island slopes downward from the cliffs to the surrounding Aegean Sea. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another smaller island. The water in the centre of the lagoon is nearly 400m deep, making it an excellent harbour.

The main town, Fira, is perched on top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. It can topple over if there’s another earthshaking eruption; try not to be there when that happens (the catch is, no one knows when it will take place).

About 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilisation (a technologically advanced civilisation far older than the ancient Greek cities), a massive eruption and the ensuing tsunami destroyed practically every settlement in the vicinity, including the cities on the island of Crete, 110 km to the south.

Gathering crocus flowers: In Santorini, you must visit this beauty who is still fresh as the day in 1628BC before the big bang. This scene is part of a larger wall mural from an excavated room in a building in the buried city of Akrotiri.

The wall mural depicts women gathering crocus flowers to make saffron. The ancient inhabitants were quite aware they had built their city on a volcanic island, as seen in the black and red volcanic stone and soil on which the girl is gathering her flowers. Did the inhabitants flee in time before the explosion? So far, no human bones were found.

In Santorini, archaeologists continue to find evidence of advanced technology such as flushing toilets, hot running water in the bathrooms, ceramic pipes carrying heated water, and even electroplated jewellery.

Gathering crocus flowers to make saffron, just before the big bang. Did this beauty escape the big bang?
The main town, Fira, is perched on top of a cliff.
Wall murals more than 3,000 years old but still fresh and beautiful.