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Santorini Ferries

Santorini Ferries Cycladic Islands

Ships and Ferries to the island of Santorini in the Cyclades Travel Information for ferries to Santorini. Island of Santorini Cyclades.


HISTORY History Santorini Thira Cyclades Greek Islands Greece

Santorini was originally inhabited by the Phoenicians followed by the Dorians before 2000 BC. The island was known as Strongili, meaning round, because of its shape. It was later occupied by the Minoans, who renamed it Kallisti, meaning best, because of its natural beauty. The catastrophic eruption of the volcano, about 1600 BC, destroyed the island and the Minoan civilization. Some historians and researchers consider Santorini as the lost Atlantis, a theory that is strengthened by the ancient writers of Plato and Solonas.

In the 8th century BC Thiras, a Thebean hero, abandoned Sparta and together with a group of nobles came to live on the island which then took his name.

The chapel of Agia Irini dominated the island; the Venetians called it Saint Irini from which the name of Santorini has evolved. The name was first recorded by Endizi, an Arab geographer. The island remained throughout the Byzantium period, 1204 - 1296, in the hands of the Venetians with the exception of a short period when it was occupied by the Dukes of Naxos.

In the mid 15th century a violent earthquake created the smaller island of Nea Kameni. Old Kameni was sunk by a powerful eruption in 1951. The most recent eruption of the volcano was 1956. The Santorini caldera is the largest in the world and measures 11.2 x 22.4 km.

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