Santorini is the southernmost island of Cyclades and is located between Ios and Anafi.
Thera, Therassia, Aspronisi and the volcanoes (Palaia Kameni and Nea Kameni where the crater of the volcano exists) form the cluster of islands which is called Santorini.
The great crater formed by the volcanic eruption of around 1600 BC, adds to its distinct atmosphere: settlements are built on the edge of the crater’s inner walls and not on the sea level, as in other islands. In addition, Santorini is one of the few places worldwide where architectural complexes of underground rock-hewn houses still survive inside the volcanic soil.
The Caldera and the whole cluster of the Santorini islands have been characterized as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The name Thera is taken after the legendary settler Theras of Sparta, who settled in the island and founded the homonymous town in Mesa Vouno approximately the 10th century B.C.
The name Santorini was given in 1153 by the Venetians and is referred to Arab geographer Edrisi.
It is a pronunciation of both words Santa and Irene (Saint Irene), taken after either from the name of the church in the valley of Therassia, or from the name of the early Christian basilica in Perissa, which is not preserved.
The capital of the island is Fira. The name derived from corruption of the word Thera, which is the official one.