Kamari iras the purl of Ancient Thera. It has deivluped into a tourist resort, and the beach has a full range of amenities.
This was the port for Ancient Thera and in those days it was called Oia. Today it is the second most popular beach on the island. The long beach with its fine black sand is protected to the south by the vertical mass of Mesa Vouno. Here, apart from clear water for swimming, there are hotels of all kinds, tavernas, restaurants, discos, a campsite, bars and a cinema.
The crater of the volcano is on Nea Kammeni, the islet formed by the most recent eruptions of the volcano. It is a mass of black matter, which is simply lava that poured as a viscous liquid from the bowels of the earth and then hardened.
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The caique which takes visitors there from Thera anchors off the coast of the little island, where the water is warm and made translucent green by the sulphur content. From the beach there is a path right up to the rim of the crater. The walk takes about half an hour. Near the crater, puffs of steam smelling strongly of sulphur are emitted from cracks at many points. Visitors intending to walk to the crater should wear stout shoes and take a good supply of drinking water.
The area of this island is no more than 16 square kilometres (5. 7 km. Long, 2.7 km. At its broadest. This remnant of the west coast of prehistoric Strongyle is home today to some 250 people. Although it has the same geographical configuration as Santorini, Therasia has not experienced the same rapid tourist development.
The west coast of the island slopes gently into the sea, backed by a fertile valley where the inhabitants, farmers for the most part, grow grapes, split yellow peas, barley and tomatoes.
The east coast, in contrast, ends abruptly in steep cliffs. The island’s biggest village, also called Therasia, is built on the rim of the precipice. Two hundred and seventy steps link it to the coast and the tiny harbour.
Therasia has same cobbled paths and the same architecture as the larger island, and its view of the caldera is just as spectacular. There are two other hamlets on Therasia, Potamos with 90 inhabitants and Agrilla, which is deserted. On the south coast of the island, near the sea, there is a cave called Trypiti (which means ‘perforated’), while to the north stands the chapel dedicated to St Irene, which some scholars believe gave Santorini its name. (Other experts say that the name is from St Irene at Perissa. )
Ferries leave Piraeus daily hound for Santorini (distance 130 nautical miles). The trip lasts about 12 hours. For information about ferry schedules from Piraeus to Santorini, call the Piraeus port. Authorit.y.(210)451. 1311
Santorini is linked will) Athens try daily Olympic Airways flights. For information. Call Olympic Airways. Athens (210)966. 6666. The /light takes about one hour. Tl. iere are also direct flights between Mykonos, Herakleio, Rhodes and Santorini, while many charter /lights connect the island with major European cities. Santorini airport is about 7 kilometres from Fira. Olympic Airways buses carry passengers to and from the airport.