Santorini (Greek: Σαντορίνη, pronounced [sandoˈrini]), officially Thira (Greek: Θήρα [ˈθira]) and classic Greek Thera (English pronunciation ), is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece's mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera.
An alternative name for Santorini is Thira. Santorini is also a name for the family of islands surrounding Thira, once forming a single island prior to a major volcanic event in approximately 1628 BC The small island cradles a rich variety of landscapes and villages. Visit traditional architecture in the small village of Mesa Gonia (now shown as Episkopi Gonias in Google maps) containing a mixture of ruins from the 1956 earthquake and restored villas as well as a winery at the foot of the settlement. Pyrgos is another notable village set inland with its grand old houses, remains of a Venetian castle and several Byzantine churches. The island has one natural source of fresh water, a small spring situated in a cave behind a small chapel located halfway up the steep footpath between Kamari and the entrance to Ancient Thira. This spring only provides a small quantity of water; however, it is of good quality as it comes from the only remaining limestone outcrop of the pre-volcanic island. Prior to the early 1990's, it was necessary for water to be delivered to the island via tanker from Crete. Now most hotels and homes have access to water provided by a local desalination plant. While this water is potable, it is still rather salty, so most visitors drink bottled water while in Santorini.