Separate fact and fiction in Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece

The island of Santorini, Greece, is a beautiful port for travelers on a European cruise to explore, but the majestic scenery isn't the only thing on offer here, as the isle has an "explosive" history.

Volcanic activity is the key factor at work in the history of Santorini, as a massive eruption around 1600 B.C. changed the island forever. The eruption literally caused the center of Santorini to implode into the sea, creating a massive water-filled crater that is now known as the caldera. Some scholars believe that this eruption is what eventually gave rise to the legend of Atlantis, with the lost Crete civilization of the Minoans possibly having been swallowed up in the implosion. Whether this is fact or fiction is ultimately up to you, but you'll have a chance to visit the crater and the Santorini Volcano on your trip.

Not buying into the Atlantis myth? There are plenty of shore excursions that don't go anywhere near the volcano. For example, consider a trip to the island's wine region, which features some of the oldest vineyards in the world. Or simply meander in the laid-back town of Oia, a small Greek village that's known for its old-world charm.