he history of Santorini is the history of a place which has the unlikely distinction of evolving and taking shape of itself and which does so constantly, even today. The volcano first manifested itself about 80.000 years or so ago. This first eruption was terrific. Apart from the ash, the crater expelled other, heavier substances, which covered the surface of the sea and joined with the exciting islets to form an approximately circular island with a diameter of 14 to 15 kilometres.
About 3.000 B.C the island was inhabited by people who called it Strongyle (that means "round"). The volcano erupted for a second time, equally destructively , at 1450 B.C wiping out all the life on the island and sacking the greater part of Strongyle beneath the waves.


ll that was left above the surface of the sea were segments of its perimeter which today are called Santorini , Thirasia , and Aspronisi. In order to get a concrete picture of the life of Strongyle inhabitants, all the visitor need to do is go at Akrotiri village, where a complete town, dating from this period, has been discovered under the ash. The visitor of the archaeological site has the opportunity, thought the ruins found there, to come close to the roots of the Aegean civilization, the civilization of Europe.


owards the end of the 12th century B.C Dorians from Sparta arrived at the island under their king Theras, great-great-grandson of Oedipus. The island changed its name once more, and harbour, cities and temples rose. During the Hellenistic period ( 300-145 B.C.) Santorini was a naval base for the Ptolemy's of Egypt. The ancient city of Thera, at Mesa Vouno dates from this time. Both the over lordship of the Ptolemy's and the importance of Santorini as a base ended with the coming of Romans.
Santorini was covered to Christianity in the 3rd century. The most worthwhile Byzantine monument to have survived is the elegant little church of Our Lady "Episkopi Gonia" built by the Emperor Alexios I Comnenus (1081-1118) on early Christian ruins.


he "Franks", as the Crusaders called in medieval Greece, arrived in 1204. Their capital was the Skaros fortress, and their arrival was the start of trials for the islanders. There were disputes between the Dukes of Naxos and of Santorini (the name dates from this period), attempts on the part of the Byzantine Empire to liberate the island, Turkish raids and outbursts of jealousy between Genoa and Venice. In any case it was the islanders who footed the bill no matter who might be fighting whom. Life did become a little quitter when Santorini became part of the Ottoman Empire, in 1579. The Turks did not colonise the island that retained. As piracy gradually died out, the island began to recover, to engage in trade and to acquire its own fleet. In 1821 the fleet of Santorini was the third largest in Greece with 5.000 tons. Alongside the human life of the island, the volcano continued to have a life of its own. Various craters in the centre of caldera erupted from time to time. There were fourteen such eruptions of the volcano between 198 B.C. and 1950.
Nowadays Santorini is an international resort that attracts people worldwide who come to experience its unique atmosphere.

he world famous island of Santorini is the southern most island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea, and is located 63 nautical miles north of Crete. Its surface area is 73 sq. km. and its population, distributed among thirteen villages, just exceeds ten thousand seven hundred souls, according to the census of 2001. Great poets have sung its praises, a 4.000 year old history. And the eternal rock continues to stand, strong and majestic, rising proudly from the sea and guarding well the secrets of Atlantis...
Home page Hotel facilities
Atlantica Traditional Apartments 84700 Megalochori - Santorini Island - Greece Tel.:+30 22860 28905 Fax: +30 22860 28906
[ 2004 design and layout by - greece-online - Geneva - Switzerland. All rights reserved]