March 9, 2016 Eugenia Papadopoulou

Where is the volcano?

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Congratulations, you are in one of the most beautiful, romantic, breathtakingly beautiful islands in the world! Santorini! One of the most famous and dangerous volcanoes in the world is on Santorini as well! Very interesting… but, wait a minute: volcano? Is there a volcano here? Where is it?! I don’t see it…

Well, dear visitor and reader I have to inform you that even if you do not see it clearly, even if you can not recognise it easily there is a volcano on Santorini. An active volcano. Here. That volcano during the Late Bronze Age(17th century b.C) exploded giving the Minoan eruption, one of the largest volcanic events on Earth in recorded history . The dramatic Minoan eruption probably inspired the legend of Atlantis, that devasting it was. But, where is this crater now? Well, Santorini’s volcano is an underwater one and it is called caldera.

What is a caldera?
There is a very helpful definition about the scientific term caldera on geology.com:
Calderas are some of the most spectacular features on Earth. They are large volcanic craters that form by two different methods: 1) an explosive volcanic eruption; or, 2) collapse of surface rock into an empty magma chamber. In other words, the caldera of Santorini was created after the cataclysmic Minoan eruption and nowadays is the area, the “basin” among Santorini – Thirassia and Aspronisi.

As you understand, Santorini is gifted with a unique natural beauty and a wild scenery that was created by the intense geological activity and the numerous volcanic eruptions that took place in various geological periods throughout millenniums of years. Now you understand that the unique wild beauty that we experience all around you: the cliff, the black sandy beaches, the different layers of the various materials on the caldera are the consequences of
In the middle of the caldera you will see two other islets. They are quite different: First of all they are very dark and then the material seems completely different. You are right, this two islands are different, they are made out of lava and both of them were created after the caldera. In other words these two islands are much younger than Santorini, Aspronisi and Thirassia. Just in the middle of the caldera there is Nea Kameni island, the New Burnt island , and behind it the smaller one is called Palaia Kameni, the Old Burnt.

Nea Kameni island is a pole of attraction for tourists, especially during the touristic season. There are different types of daily cruises held with various types of vessels, you just need to choose the most appropriate for you! Hiking all the way up to the lava stone you explore the active volcano! Although the volcano is dormant at the present time, at the top of Nea Kameni there is current active crater (there are several former craters on Nea Kameni), there steam and carbon dioxide are given off and certainly walking up there is one in the life time experience! Then, the boat takes you to the Warm Springs bay known for their therautic purposes. There you will get impressed by the yellowish colour of the water. That is because of the fact that it contains a large amount of sulfur. You don’t have to worry though about the volcano, you are absolutely safe since seismologists and volcanologists monitor very carefully the seismic sequence that occure and the scientific community and the Institute of Geodynamics, National Observatory of Athens is responsible for it.

Now you know where the volcano is! So book a tour, take a flat pair of shoes, your sneakers are the ideal outfit, a hat, lots of sunscreen, a bottle of water, your camera, and your selfie stick 😛 and off we go to the exploration of the volcano! Do not forget your swimsuit, we will swim at the warm springs of course, who doesn’t want to feel a little bit healthier and younger?!

Lots of love,
Eugenia, your Santorini guide :)

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