Santorini, or classically known in Greece as Thira, is situated in the stunning Aegean Sea amongst the 6 thousand other Greek Islands.
The island of Santorini is part of a circular archipelago in the the metamorphic complex of the Cyclades islands group. This group is a remnant of a volcanic caldera, or sinkhole formed by a collapse following the evacuation of magma. Essentially, Santorini is the result of an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed what was once previously one larger island, creating the current geological formation. It is one of the biggest highlights for tourism in the Aegean Sea, and a world mecca for volcanologists.
The main stretch of Santorini curves around a 32 square mile lagoon with three edges consisting of cliffs towering nearly a thousand feet above the water. The rest of the island slopes smoothly down into the Aegean Sea, with white, black, and red sandy beaches, and rocky reefs adorned with colorful coral and aquatic life.
Santorini remains the home of a small, but flourishing wine industry, based on the indigenous Assyrtiko grape variety. White varieties also include Athiri and Aidani, whereas red varieties include mavrotragano and mandilaria.
Assyrtiko is famed to be the Grecian island’s essence in a bottle, and is renowned throughout Europe. During the rule of the Venetians between the 14th and 16th century, Santorini wine was some of the most valuable and sought after in all of Europe.
While visiting vineyards in Santorini, you will notice the extraordinary and unusual way the vines grow. In contrast to the majority of grape vines around the world that grow along trellises, in Santorini, the vines grow in tight bunches almost like tumbleweeds. Woven closely to the earth along the rocks, their growth is tightly bound, seeking shelter from the powerful gusts of sea air. The fresh oceanic breeze, along with the rich volcanic soil, imparts the refreshing acidity for which the wine has become so well known.
Santorini’s whitewashed villages, blue cupolas, flawless beaches, exquisite Grecian food and wine, and breathtaking sunsets make it a destination for millions from across the Earth every year. Take a peek at some of these stunning captures of the island’s magic!