THE MYSTICISM OF SANTORINI
Santorini is indisputably one of the most captivating of Greeceʼs archipelago of 6,000 islands. It lies southeast of the mainland and its gigantic steep cliffs are the remnant of a volcanic caldera - an enormous volcanic eruption that ripped the single island apart over 3,000 years ago. So powerful was the eruption that it is believed it may have indirectly led to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km to the south, through a mammoth tsunami. It left a central lagoon, surrounded by sheer cliffs, with the most populated ridge sloping down to the Aegean Sea. Such privileged location may have blessed Santorini with unequivocal views of natural beauty, yet its unprotected bay left the early inhabitants vulnerable to severe weather variations; hot summers, and stormy winters. To survive, the ﬁshermen of the island carved the face of the rock, creating cave dwellings which are still lived in today. Far away, accessible only by sea, and built to blend harmoniously with its surrounding, the secluded cave houses of Santorini captured the imagination of travellers throughout the years.
But, the mysticism shrouding the island has always remained in its association with the fabled lost city of Atlantis. This mysterious ancient metropolis is a utopian paradise mentioned in Plato's dialogues ‘Timaeus and Critias,’ written in 360 BC. It is described as a powerful and highly advanced kingdom believed to have existed about 12,000 years ago. Suddenly, and in just one day the great city of Atlantis disappeared below the surface of the waves - never to be seen again. The island’s sudden disappearance has spurred endless speculations about what really happened to this once thriving civilisation. Many expeditions were sent everywhere to uncover the archaeological mystery, but concrete evidence was never found, and mainstream science began to dismiss the legendary city as a myth. It remained so, until scholars digging in Turkey around the late 1800s excavated a site that matched the ancient Greek description of the advanced metropolis. Stories like theses together with a dynamic landscape and unique sunsets, turned Santorini into a distinctive paradise with allure and charm. Hence, it is a place whose history can never be simply forgotten.