The name of the island,"Thira", emanates from the ancient Spartan Thiran, who originally colonised the island. The name "Santorini" emanates from the passing of French Crusaders, which during their passage, they stayed for a while near the church of Agia Irini (Santa-Irini) of the island. Before the enormous volcanic eruption of the ancient years, the island was round and it was called Stroggili, while it later acquired the names of Callisti or Callisto. After the liberation of Greece, the name “Thira” was officially established, even though foreign maps continued to call it "Santa-Irini", and the Greeks adopted it as "Santorini".
Santorini is amongst the most famous islands worldwide, because of its extraordinary landscape, which took its current form after the repeated eruptions of the volcano. The last eruption of the volcano was in 1950, while future eruptions are almost certain. It is a strange island, bearing no relation to the remainder Cyclades, since it did not develop as the other islands; as its history was buried and reborn through the volcanic lava. While reaching Santorini by boat the visitor can distinguish, the islands of the volcano to the right, Palaia and Nea Kameni (New and old Kameni), and behind them the graphic island of Thirasia.
While residing in Santorini, you should visit Ancient Thira in Mesa Vouno (meaning ‘the inside mountain’, the archaeological space of Akrotiri (unfortunately it will remain closed during 2008), the Archaeological and Folklore museums of the island. Thira is famous for its vineyards and the varieties of wine; therefore you should also visit the museum of wine, while, simultaneously, you may sample wines, making sure to taste the ‘Visanto’.
.: Regions of Santorini
Regions you should visit are the coastal village of Kamari, Ia, Pyrgos, walk in the graphic Kasteli, the traditional settlement of Megalohori, and, of course, Fira, which is the capital of the island.
Another unique experience is an excursion to Palaia and Nea Kameni, where you can swim in hot waters and also visit the graphic Thirassia.
Do not forget to taste local dishes, such as tomato-balls, fava, kapari, the white eggplants, small cucurbits that have a characteristic round form, kaltsounia, a kind of cucumber with a particular taste, and the plum tomatoes of Santorini!
The beaches of Santorini that wait for you to enjoy them are unique, and the most famous among them are the black beach of Kamari, Perissa, Perivolos, the red beach and, of course, the white beach, which is accessible only by a small boat.