Santorini Caldera : Santorini is like three islands, the part with caldera view, the beaches, and the rest of the island. The caldera view towns are Fira, Imerovigli, Firostefani and Oia. The Santorini Caldera scenery is unlike anything else in Greece. Santorini is made up of the volcano’s rim and that centers around the caldera, or the area where the island collapsed during the eruption all those years ago. This unique feature also impacted the general landscape of the island and while visiting, you will need to travel high up by foot, donkey, tramway, or even bus in order to get to most of the villages. You will also notice that when ships visit the island, the boat stays away from the caldera and the people travel to the island on smaller boats. The ships aren’t able to drop anchor because the caldera is so deep.
Information About the Caldera of Santorini
The reason why Santorini feels so unique is because it is actually a dormant volcano and a major explosion that occurred 3500 years ago forever altered the shape of Santorini. When the massive explosion occurred, the center of the island collapsed into the ocean, instantly decimating everything that was on top of it. Many believe that this is what inspired Homer’s tale of the Last Kingdom of Atlantis. Although this theory hasn’t been proven, it does indicate that there was a sense of loss when the island collapsed.
To the northernmost part of the Caldera is the town of Oia. This town is much preferred by the tourists and throbs with activity with plenty of bars, restaurants and hotels that are ideally positioned on rocky promontories which provide fabulous panoramic views to the Santorini Caldera. Oia can be reached by a road that meanders along the steep cliffs located to the eastern periphery of Santorini. At certain points this road is so narrow that it looks more like a ridge that can barely accommodate two lanes with no railing for protection.
How to Experience the Caldera
There are some things you can do to experience the caldera itself while visiting the island. Fira and Oia are the two towns that offer the most impressive glimpses of this geographic feature. Here are some ideas for the best ways to enjoy it:
- Watch the Sunset in Oia. Being in Oia during the sunset should top your list. The prime spots in the village to watch the sunset start filling up during peak season, so ask around as to the best place to stand and when to get there. This is when both the village and the caldera itself look its most stunning, and Oia is known for having the best views.
- Hike from Fira to Oia. Another great way to experience the caldera involves taking the walking trail from Fira to Oia. Most of the walk has you traversing a trail that is right along the caldera itself. Time your walk so that you can be in Oia to experience the sunset, which will give you the fill experience.
- Enjoy the Views in Fira. Fira is a larger town than Oia, but both the views and the sunset are still stunning. Whether you take the time to gaze at the view or find a cafe, restaurant, or taverna to sit at that has a view, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the caldera here.
While visiting Santorini, you’ll want to spend some time experiencing the beautiful caldera. Be sure to take plenty of pictures when you do!