Santorini is known for its picture perfect locations -- but not all tourists know it sits on a live volcano.

CNN — 

Secrets of the deep

Santorini is part of one of Europe's most important volcanic fields.

The deep-drilling JOIDES Resolution completed its first Santorini research trip in 2023.

An extraterrestrial ocean

Evi Nomikou has been studying Santorini for 20 years.

The JOIDES Resolution expedition isn’t the first major study of the area. Nomikou says that the long-studied extreme conditions found at Kolumbo led NASA to fund a groundbreaking expedition in 2019. “At the bottom of its crater there is an extra-terrestrial ocean with life forms that can be found on other planets.”

Crater hikes and thermal springs

Santorini's beaches are beloved by visitors.

A simmering volcano

Tourists can take boat trips to Nea Kameni, home to an active volcano.

Thanks to its global fame, Santorini has seen some the biggest tourism investments in the country. Hilton and Nobu are among the brands to have arrived on the island in the past few years, and property prices are among the highest in Greece.

Volcanic food and wine

The island is known for its assyrtiko wine, grown in the volcanic soil.

In their everyday life, locals have little time to think about the volcano beyond excursions. In summer, the island is packed. Overtourism remains one of the biggest challenges as Santorini’s unique morphology continues to bring in the crowds. Last year the International Union of Geological Sciences, in collaboration with UNESCO, included the caldera of Santorini in its first list of top 100 Geological World Heritage Sites.