Legend has it that the island of Santorini in the Cyclades is the site of Platos lost city of Atlantis. The extraordinary landscape of its vvestern edge is the result of the eruption in 1450 BC of a marine volcano, the sheer cliffs of whose caldera rim climb high above the ships at anchor below. Landing is by tender and you can reach the white houses of clifftop Thira Town by cable-car or donkey. Further afield the excavations at Akrotiri offer a glimpse of the Minoan civilisation overwhelmed by the volcano over 4000 years ago. During the 21st through 16th centuries BC, the Minoans lived on the island and built the city of Akrotiri, which was later flooded and preserved under a blanket of volcanic ash. A theory developed by Greek archaeologist and professor Marinatos was that Crete and Santorini were at one time a singular land mass divided by a violent volcanic eruption in 1500 BC.