- Sightseeing Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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This fascinating archaeological site was first discovered in the late 1860s but its buildings date back to earlier than 17th century B.C. This former Minoan outpost, which, according to the Greek Ministry of Culture, is considered one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean Sea, was once a thriving port town. The city was later destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption, the same one that made Santorini look like it is today. Thanks to years of excavation, enough of the site has been uncovered (only one-third of the site is said to have been excavated) to allow visitors to explore. Here, travelers can look at multi-level buildings, loads of pottery and even drainage systems. What is absent, however, is any sign of its former residences. This has led scientists to believe that Akrotiri's previous inhabitants knew of the eruption and fled the island accordingly.
Most travelers were impressed with Ancient Akrotiri. Visitors strongly recommended securing a guide to take you around the site and explain its rich history. Otherwise, as other travelers who went without a guide noted, you might end up spending your time staring at a bunch of rocks. Some lamented the high entrance fee, especially the extra fee that comes with booking a guide, but those who did said the expense was completely worth understanding Santorini's fascinating history. To get a better glimpse of the frescos and other art found at Ancient Akrotiri, be sure to visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thira.
Ancient Akrotiri is located on the southern end of the island. The site is open April to August from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Sunday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. November to March. In September, hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is 12 euros ($13.40). For 14 euros ($15.64), travelers are admitted to both Ancient Akrotiri and the Museum of Prehistoric Thira. If you're wanting a guided tour, Akrotiri Santorini Guided Tours offers guided tours of the site for 28 euros ($31.38). That price does not include the cost of admission into the attraction. To get to Akrotiri, you can take the KTEL bus from Fira. For more information, check out the Ancient Akrotiri section of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism website.
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