Ancient Akrotiri picture
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Details

Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.8scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

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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More Best Things To Do in Santorini

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Time to Spend
#1 Kamari Beach

Santorini's volcanic history has led to the formation of some of the more unique beaches in the Greek Isles, and Kamari is no exception. Sitting about 4 miles southeast of Fira on the island's east coast, this stretch of black sand is one of the largest in Santorini. The beach is backed by the town of its namesake, a popular resort area where you'll find numerous hotels, restaurants, beachside bars and shops. On the beach, visitors can take advantage of the available lounge chairs and umbrellas.

Travelers enjoyed the clear blue waters of Kamari and suggested planting your feet towards the southern portion of the shore. That's because the views of the imposing Mesa Vouno hill, where you can find Ancient Thira, makes for a picture-perfect Greek beach setting. No matter where you decide to kick back on Kamari Beach, travelers strongly suggest bringing protective footwear. The sand and pebbly terrain can get quite hot with the sun beating down on it, especially after a couple hours, so bring sandals if you're hoping to spend the day on the beach. Some visitors even suggested bringing water shoes, commenting that the underwater terrain at the shore quickly goes from sand to slippery solid rock. 

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