a small island, located at the south end of the Cyclades island
complex. Her name is officially Thera but Santorini is what the
island is called most of the time. She is positioned between Ios and
Anafi, 130 nautical miles from Piraeus and 70 nautical miles
from Crete. She covers an area of 96 km2 and has a total coastline of
69 kilometres. There are almost 11.000 people living here, but in the winter
the population drops to 6000..
The western coastline ends up brutally meeting the famous Santorini caldera.
A big basin covering approximately 32 square miles, the depth going from 300
to 600 meters. At the western end of the caldera, we find the island of
Therasia and an inhabitant island, Aspronissi. By taking a good
look at those three islands we can easily distinguish a virtual borderline
of what used to be there before the caldera was formed.
The height of the Santorini
caldera is 150 to 350 meters. The length of the island from cape Exomitis
to cape Mavropetra is 18 kilometres. Her width varies from 2 to 6
The biggest mountain of the island, Mesa Vouno lays S.W. Profitis
Ilias, its highest peak, is 550 meters high. To the south lies
Gavrilos and to the north Megalo Vouno, 350 meters high and
Mikros Profitis Ilias, 340 meters high.
Starting from the northern end of the island, cape Mavropetra and
going south, we meet capes Kolumbo, Vourvoulo, Kamari, Agios Georgios,
Mesa Vouno and Exomitis which is the southeast point of the
island. If we continue north, northwest, we meet capes Mavro and
Akrotiri. Now we enter the caldera. We find here Athinios bay and
Kato Fira and the capes Skaros and Tourlos. We end up
with Mouzaki bay and Oia (pronounced Ia).
Santorini is almost dry. There
are very few springs and they don't supply much water. For their daily needs,
the inhabitants use drills or rainwater carefully collected in cisterns.
Almost every house has its own cistern. Many house are build on their
cisterns preventing that way the steeling of their water.
These days the island is also supplied with tankers, carrying water. But
this water is not drinkable as it is usually not very tasteful or even
salted. Everybody drinks mineral water, widely available.
Santorini has a fertile volcanic
soil. Cultivated carefully over the years, this soil has made Santorini well
known for its products. First of all its wines. Santorini has some of the
best wines worldwide. After all, the biggest part of the cultivation is
vines. "Fava" is also famous, a legume smaller than a pea, exported all over
A special breed of tomatoes is also produced. The lack of water resulted,
over the years, in evolving very small tasty tomatoes. They are also used to
make the "belte", the famous concentrated tomato paste. A kind of cheese,
named "chloro", is made from goat milk. Finally, Santorini exports the
famous pumice stone, used worldwide