Once there was a large, circular-shaped island in the Aegean Sea. A major volcanic eruption occurred around 1450 BC, and the big island broke into five smaller ones, named the archipelago of Saint Irine, or Santorini. Looking at the two bigger chunks – Thira and Thirassia – you can still see the outline of the original island.
The dormant volcano lies between Thira and Thirassia, forming the islet of Palea Kameni. Volcanic activity here was last recorded in 1950, when it caused a major earthquake. Nowadays only thermal springs and hot gases show that the volcano is not extinct.
Thira’s capital is situated on a steep rocky outcrop over the caldera; it is a place of unforgettable beauty.