Photographs of Santorini



Ideally, the highest point on a volcanic island would be right in the middle of it. That is, in case of Santorini, inside the caldera. Unfortunately this is not going to happen until a couple of thousand years from now, if at all. If not from an airplane, the best look at the whole of the island is from the highest mountain Prophitis Ilias, which, ironically, is not of volcanic origin.


At a flat stretch down the other side of Prophitis Ilias, Santorini's airport welcomes a good share of tourists.
From Prophitis Ilias Airport from Prophitis Ilias


It is the typical photograph of Santorini, a church with a blue cupola with the Caldera as background, which I do not provide here. This church sits in the village Exo Ghonia with the mountain Prophitis Ilias (567 m) behind it.


Some blue cupolas in the town of Oia, lit by the evening sun. Oia attracts tourists to watch the sundown.
Church with Prophitis Ilias behind Church in Oia


Santorini is not known as an island for hikers. Nonetheless it is good for a few long walks, the best along the caldera rim from Fira to Oia with a constant great view. The rock of Skaros invites for a deviation from this route. The island Thirassia forms the opposite side of the caldera.


Mouzaki Bay is in the northeastern part of the caldera, the view goes on to Skaros and Fira and the mountain Prophitis Ilias.
Cacti Mouzaki Bay


Some flowers close to Oia, with Skaros and cruising ships at Fira in the background. A view to the south.

Modern Ruins

A view to the north from the other side of Santorini, and no flowers, but skeletons of houses never completed - the financial crisis bypasses excavations.
Flowers Modern Ruins

Lava Rock

A large rock of lava sits on the caldera rim. Most of Santorini is the typical layer-cake of alternating lava and ignimbrites, topped by a mighty bit of tuff donated by the last big eruption some 3600 years ago.


Near Cape Akrotiri this white chunk of tuff stone makes the foreground of a view across the small island of Aspro to Thirassia, both actually part of the caldera rim, with either submerged or destroyed parts in between.
Lava Aspro and Thirasia


Another photograph at Cape Akrotiri shows the outer coast, a place called Cape Mavro Mouno, steep black cliffs against the Mediterranean Sea.


Volcanic deposits are often very colorful. This popular bight near the excavations of Akrotiri is called the Red Beach thanks to its reddish shade coming from iron oxide. One awkward thing: It looks as if a good one hundred people must have been buried under a landslide...
Cape Mavro Vouno Red Beach


Green energy and religion side by side. Photographer's luck or lack of modern electricity, up till now there are no wind power farms on the island.


The many vineyards on the island look different from those on the European mainland. The climate is warm, sunshine abundant, yet the wind is too strong in the middle of the Mediterranean for vine stakes.
Windmill Winery


The fanciest way to live on Santorini is on top of the caldera rim enjoying a gorgeous view. The biggest settlement is Fira, at the same time being the target of the many cruising ships and a traffic center.


Well, it wasn't our ship, but I nonetheless took aim at it leaving the caldera after anchoring for a day at Fira. The channel between Nea and Palea Kameni is in the background.
Fira Cruising Ship


Nea Kameni is a new young cone rising from the caldera bottom. Its last eruption back in 1950 was a small one and nothing in comparison with the caldera-forming events more than 3000 years ago.

Volcanic Island

The island consists of several lava flows dating from only hundreds of years ago. Further eruptions are only a matter of time and expected not to be threatening any of the settlements on Santorini.
Nea Kameni Nea Kameni

Tourist Ship

Boat trips are available to Nea Kameni. Unfortunately there is no regular traffic, one has to take a round trip with barely one hour to set foot onto the volcano.


Eruptions on Nea Kameni have not been too violent leaving only small craters. With no facilities, no ice cream nor beer, the air above the volcanic soil simmering under a merciless sun, hence after one hour many people are probably lucky to board the ship again.
Ship Crater


The boat trip goes on and takes a course at Palea Kameni, offering nice views at both islands and the lava flows with the caldera walls as background.


While anchoring at the hot springs on Palea Kameni I took this shot of lava with orange discolorations coming from volcanic emissions below sea level.
Lava Lava