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Santorini Caldera: The word Caldera is derived from the Spanish word Cauldron which literally means depression created by volcanic eruption which extends for atleast a distance of one mile.

3,500 years back Santorini witnessed an awesome volcanic explosion which occurred in the Aegean Sea and as a result created a huge caldera. The Santorini caldera is approximately four miles in diameter.

The Santorini Caldera undoubtedly is one of the natural wonders on planet earth. The volcanic explosion that occurred here more than 3500 years ago forever changed the topography of the Mediterranean coast.

A growing number of scientists and archaeologists link the Santorini caldera to the myth of Atlantis.The Santorini caldera is actually a basin, whichscientists and archaeologists link the Santorini caldera to the myth of Atlantis.The Santorini caldera is actually a basin, which extends for miles together and the landscape is conspicuous by steep rocky cliffs that towers above, almost touching the sky at more than a thousand feet from the sea level and even extends underneath the sea for an additional thousand feet, thereby creating a perfect harbor.

To the northernmost part of the Caldera is the picture perfect town of Oia. This town is much preferred by the tourists and is always buzzing with activity with plenty of bars, restaurants and hotels that are ideally positioned on rocky promontories that provides the discerning international tourist with fabulous panoramic views of the Santorini Caldera. Oia can be reached by a road that meanders along the rather steepcliffs 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. No wonder than that the trip to Oia is not for the faint hearted.

There is also the capital city of Fira which is ideally located to the eastern elevation of the Caldera. The town of Fira is well spread over several high cliffs some of which towers above reaching heights of 1,200 feet above sea level which makes for an awesome spectacle. Fira like Oia is replete with bars, restaurants and hotels that have been built in vantage locales with a view to provide the discerning tourists with amazing panoramic vistas of the Santorini caldera. The principal port of Santorini is just below the cliff and tourists who arrive at the port of Fira always have the option of embarking on a donkey ride that takes them to the summit from where the surrounding natural panorama is absolutely breathtaking to say the least. For the no so agile, there is the option of a cable car ride which is exciting as well.

A peculiar characteristic of Santorini villages is that they have been constructed right on the calderas rim. Also, it is a fact that the peripheral areas of the caldera are exposed to strong and blustery winds.
The volcanic explosion that occurred here some 3500 years ago completely submerged the center of ancient kingdom of Strongyle. The resultant void that was created in the landscape was filled up by gushing sea waters and thus the caldera came into existence. In certain places the Santorini caldera is all of 400 meters deep.

Today, the Santorini Caldera is one of the most important geological configurations on planet earth and rightfully, it has been the subject of higher research in the domain of Geology as well as Archaeology.

The Santorini caldera has an elevation, which varies between 150 to 350 meters. The distance from one end of the island (Cape Exomitis) to the other end (Cape Mavropetra) is 18 Kms. The island's breadth varies from 2 to 6 Kms.

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Additional Photos by vojko dular (yeln) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1077 W: 55 N: 2227] (11516)
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