We couldn’t see the Caldera from the main road. The manager of our hotel was waiting for us with her dishy looking assistant, who hoisted our (very) heavy bags casually over his shoulders and sprinted across the narrow path to their gate. We followed him past the gate to the top of the stairs, and gasped! There it was! We had never seen anything as spectacular! Brilliant white houses clinging to the sooty cliff face and embracing that ‘cauldron’ of incredible blue!! Breathtaking doesn’t come close.
Known variously as Kallisti (the most beautiful) and Thera (after a king of Sparta who retired here), its present name is derived from its patron Saint Eirene, also refered to as St. Irini. The official name though is still Thira!
Part of the Cyclades, this incredible archipelago is a remnant of some of the worlds largest volcanic eruptions that fragmented what used to be a single island (called Stroggyli meaning ’round’). The eruptions, some 3500 years ago, collapsed the centre of the island and the sea rushed into the resulting hollow creating the gigantic lagoon called the ‘Caldera’.
The massive eruption also destroyed the Minoan civilization, leading to speculation about this being the site of the legendary Atlantis! The archeological site of Akrotiri – where one can get a glimpse into the life of the Minoans – was unfortunately closed during our visit.
The volcano is still active, last eruptiing in 1950, causing an earthquake that destroyed many surrounding villages. We went up close to one of the deceptively benign looking craters on Nea Kameni, an island in the middle of the Caldera! You get to it by boat from Fira, the beautiful but very crowded town on top of the cliff.
Oia was much less crowded, the cave houses delightful and the food surprisingly good! The wine too! We gorged on amazing seafood and delicious green tomato keftades!
Truckloads of tourists converge on Oia in the evenings to witness what is considered one of the the most spectacular sunsets! But the sun did play truant on this day and they all trooped off disappointed, returning us to the peace and remarkable stillness on the edge of the only inhabited Caldera in the world.
65 thoughts on “On The Edge Of The Caldera”
Wow. Talk about great minds think alike. One of my recent posts included my trip to Santorini. Sailing into the harbour across the caldera was a special moment for me.
That caldera is breathtaking isn’t it? Thank you for dropping by!
Santorini is my favorite place all the world.
I have too many favourites, but yes it is high up there with the best! Thanks for reading!
Marvelous pictures Madhu. I think it’s called breathawaytaking.
The place is that! Thanks Anette 😉
Allright allright. Then the place is breathawaytaking. But thanks for taking me there Madhu. I have reduced my travel expenses significantly since I met you 🙂
Yea you! I am giving you the Kreativ Blogger Award! Follow this link to learn the ‘rules’ & to capture the badge to display on your great blog:)
Thank you! I am grateful and honoured!
Love that blue bridge!
Love the blue against the white too! But most of all loved the silence! Thanks for commenting!
Thank you SKEdazzles!
Shame there was no “wine dark sea” for you, but I think you had something equally Homeric with the little boat sailing away into that golden caldera – very evocative. What a place it is:).
My pics don’t do it justice! It is a stunning place!
Yes, isn’t it? One of those sparkling places. But don’t worry about your pics – maybe not quite what you wanted – but they resonated with my memory, which is still quite vivid, after an absence of about 20 odd years (you can imagine what my pictures look like now!) Shame the Minoan digs/museum was closed, I’d have enjoyed hearing you talk about it. It was very rudimentary back then:)
Thank you cooleur!
Beautiful photos! Where is the “dishy” assistant? 🙂
Thank you! No pics of him unfortunately 😦
I hate this post. Hehe. I see this location in calendars.
Your pictures are very pristine, Madhu. I especially like the sailboat a lot. And thanks for a little info, I didn’t catch that “cauldron” before I read it.
😦 I was supposed to get stationed in Greece, but it got jack and was changed to California. 😦 Oh well, California ain’t bad. But Greece, oh Greece, you are darn lucky to be able to get there.
Great Wall of China, then this. Great places, Madhu.
And ow, I think you gonna get along with apetcher.wordpress.com . He was just in Greece.
I know the feeling…I hate skinny, slinky women 🙂
Thank you Rommel for your kind comments! Andrew is an expert on all things Greece and especially the islands! I look forward to reading his posts with interest!
Hello Madhu 🙂 These photos are stunning. A very nice and informative post!
Thanks Paula! Glad you like it!
P.S: The picture captioned “The not so spectacular sunset” is open to discussion 😉 I think it IS spectacular 🙂
One of my favourite ever destinations Madhu, and I was only there for one day- tragic!
Mine too! One day is a bit tight! We spent two nights and could’ve stayed longer!
Simply beautiful! Wow! Yes, I’d love to get to Greece, one day 🙂 & that sunset looks pretty speccy to me – you playing it for irony there? 🙂
Were told it wasn’t as spectacular as usual! Wanted you to be the judge 🙂 Thank you for your feedback!
Awesome photos Madhu….
Thank you Kavi!
I don’t get it…this is the kind of posts that should be featured on Freshly Pressed. Fantastic…esp loved traditional houses & the schooner shot !
I hope you make it to FP & remember me when you do! 😉
Santorini I will see you someday….until then I will make do with Madhu’s updates 🙂
You flatter me 🙂
tis the fact of the matter 🙂
Just Beautiful… Very Inspiring
Thank you Madhu
Thank YOU Darkjade!
Simply stunning. A friend of mine cruised the Greece Isles several years ago, and Santorini was her favorite. It is on my list of places to visit. Seeing your pics is making me move it up on the priority list. Thanks for sharing.
It is one of my favourites too! Thank YOU for reading!
Well I know where I’ll be headed this summer. Great post! I just hope the Minoan exhibition’s open. Great post, great pix. Thanks!
Thank you Sarah! Welcome to my blog 🙂
Thank you! The Caldera is truly breathtaking!
we had a wonderful week in Oia too, it’s a paradise …
It really is!
What an AMAZING Place – beautiful photos – thanks for sharing!
Thank YOU for reading!
Brings back good memories from visiting Santorini!
Happy to have stirred up fond memories 🙂
Spectacular now seems like an ordinary word for me to use to describe this place. Bravo! 🙂
It is indeed one of the most spectacular places we have visited Eliz!
Seriously, these captures are ridiculous!! You surely picked the perfect name for your blog Madhu! Wowzers!
Appreciate that Margie 🙂
Utterly beautiful, Santorini looks amazing.
A magical place- captured in your words and images.
O love the “not so spectacular sunset.” 🙂 I’m sure I also have a Santorini sunset photo lurking somewhere.
Loved your blog.
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