Akrotiri

The most prominent archaeological site in Santorini -and one of the most important archaeological sites in the Aegean– is Akrotiri and the findings of the excavations that began in 1967. Akrotiri (Promontory) is located at the southwestern tip of the island, 15 km from Fira. After several years, the archaeological site re-opened for the visitors since April 2012, after the new roof was in place.

The big excavation

First signs of habitation in Akrotiri date back to the Late Neolithic Period (at least from the 4th millennium BC). By the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), there was a settlement in Akrotiri that was expanded in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (20th-17th centuries BC) becoming one of the main urban centres of the Aegean. The growth of the town ended abruptly at the end of the 17th century BC, when its inhabitants left due to powerful seismic foreshocks. Then, the volcano erupted, and volcanic material covered the town and the rest of the island, preserving the buildings and their contents to this day. Professor Spyros Marinatos began systematic excavations in Akrotiri, in 1967. After Marinatos died, in 1974, excavations continued under the direction of professor Christos Doumas.

INFO:Visiting hours 10.00-17.00

For information please contact: +30 22860 81939 and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera: +30 22860 23217

Ancient Thera

stands on Mesa Vouno, at an altitude of 396 m. It was founded in the 9th century BC by Dorian settlers, led by Theras; habitation continued until the early Byzantine era. Excavations have mainly brought to light the areas built during 2007. Routes are well-planned and marked with signs.The position is naturally fortified because the steep slopes of the mountain made the city inaccessible from land or sea and also a great observatory to the SE Aegean Sea. Public and private buildings are built along the main axis of the city in direction from the NE to the SE corner of the rock. Smaller cobbled streets adapted to the terrain, intersected the main road.Building remnants belong to the Hellenistic era, which is the last period of the city's prosperity. The residential development is amphitheatrical due to the inclination of the terrain and to the building in such way so there was a view of the sea.Few private houses have been excavated organized in neighborhoods, mainly in the eastern part of town. The habitation sites were built around a closed courtyard and beneath it was a tank collecting rain water. Homes had more or less spaces, or were developed vertically with a second floor depending on the social and financial status of the residents. (Data taken from the text of archeologist Angeliki Birtacha in the book "Santorini: And the sea brought forth the earth"/ Topio Publications).

Key monuments

  • THE SANCTUARY OF ARTEMIDOROS
  • THE AGORA,THE ROYAL STOA
  • THE TEMPLE OF DIONYSUS
  • THE AREA OF THE SANCTUARIES
  • THE SANCTUARY OF APOLLO
  • KARNEIOS
  • GYMNASIUM FOR EPHEBES
  • THE CEMETERIES
  • THE THEATRE.
INFO

The site is open from 8:30-14:30, Mondays closed.
For information, please contact the museum of Prehistoric Thera:Tel.: +30 22860 23217