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In recent years, Santorini has been voted one of the world's most beautiful islands (2015 Travelers” Choice Awards Reader's Choice Awards, amongst others).Santorini remains the home of a small, but flourishing wine industry, based on the indigenous Assyrtiko grape variety.White varieties also include Athiri and Aidani, whereas red varieties include mavrotragano and mandilaria.The Cyclades are part of a metamorphic complex that is known as the Cycladic Massif.
The area of Santorini incorporates a group of islands created by volcanoes, spanning across Thera, Thirasia, Aspronisi, Palea, and Nea Kameni.
The subduction compels the formation of the Hellenic arc, which includes Santorini and other volcanic centres, such as Methana, Milos, and Kos.
The inner coast around the caldera is a sheer precipice of more than 300 metres (980 ft) drop at its highest, and exhibits the various layers of solidified lava on top of each other, and the main towns perched on the crest.
The region first became volcanically active around 3–4 million years ago, though volcanism on Thera began around 2 million years ago with the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around the Akrotiri.
The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption (sometimes called the Thera eruption), which occurred some 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization.
Volcanism on Santorini is due to the Hellenic Trench subduction zone southwest of Crete.