Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements of a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. The island’s principal port is Athinias. The capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff.
The name Santorini is a contraction of the name Santa Irini, from the name of the old cathedral in the village of Perissa – Before then, it was known as Kallístē, ”the most beautiful one”.
Firá is the picturesque capital of the island; perched high up on the edge of the Caldera, it looks like a marvellous painting. Firá, together with Oia, Imerovígli and Firostefáni, located high above on a cliff, make up the so-called “Caldera’s eyebrow”, the balcony of Santorini which offers an amazing view of the volcano. All these villages are surrounded by vast vineyards; whitewashed cliff-top towns with castles affording amazing views out over the Aegean.
Crescent-shaped Santorini (or Thíra), the precious gem of the Aegean, is actually a group of islands consisting of Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni in the southernmost part of the Cyclades.