Santorini is an archipelago in the southern Aegean Sea and is one of the most famous and breathtaking islands in all of Greece. The landscape is filled with white washed buildings, stunning blue waters, and wild and rugged terrain. But beneath the surface of this idyllic paradise lies a deep and powerful history of volcanic activity. The island is located in the centre of Christiana-Santorini-Kolumbo volcanic field, which includes the extinct Christiana volcano, the Santorini caldera, and the underwater Kolumbo volcano.
The volcanic eruption that occurred on Santorini around 1600 years BCE is considered to be one of the most powerful in human history, with a volcanic explosion estimated to be equal to 100,000 times the power of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. This eruption is thought to have destroyed the Minoan civilization that inhabited Santorini and Crete at the time and likely sent a massive tsunami through the Mediterranean. Lasting several years the volcanic activity has completely reshaped Santorini, dividing it into 5 smaller islands and forming a 12 x 7 km caldera. For a long time Santorini’s volcano has been relatively quiet, although it is still considered active. The most recent volcanic activity was in 1950 when an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale shook the island and caused a minor eruption. This eruption lasted for about two weeks.
The volcanic landscape is still visible today, with the caldera at the centre of the island being a reminder of the power of the eruptions that occurred here. The island is also home to a number of hot springs and other geological features that hint to the activity that occurred beneath its surface.
Today, Santorini remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The island has been built up over the years and is now a hub for luxury hotels, resorts, and restaurants. But beneath the modern façade lies an ancient history, one that continues to fascinate visitors from all over the world. The next time you visit Santorini, be sure to take a moment to explore the island’s volcanic history and pay your respects to the incredible power of nature.