WHAT TO SEE IN AKROTIRI IN SANTORINI? IS IT WORTH VISITING AKROTIRI?
Akrotiri is a small village in the south of the island of Santorini, very famous for its archaeological excavation site. During a stay in Santorini, passing through Akrotiri will allow you to discover magnificent views of the caldera, and to learn more about the history of the region.
WHY VISITING AKROTIRI IN SANTORINI:
- Discover the archaeological site of the ancient city of Akrotiri
- Explore the Red Beach, the most iconic Beach in Santorini
- Check out the view at the Akrotiri Lighthouse
- Akrotiri is like the Greek Pompeii
FULL GUIDE ABOUT AKROTIRI IN SANTORINI
1. Visit Akrotiri, the Greek Pompeii
Akrotiri was an ancient city, which was ravaged by a terrible volcanic eruption around 1500 BCE.
Its very large archaeological excavation site is its main attraction. Indeed, Akrotiri is one of the major archaeological sites of Greece.
It is often compared to Pompeii, because here too it is a volcano that caused the rapid destruction of the city. And here too, the eruption allowed the preservation of the remains for many centuries. It is actually considered one of the greatest natural disasters that humanity has known.
The millions of tons of ash that were thrown into the air during this eruption completely covered the region. The city was buried more than ten meters deep.
>> READ ALSO: THE 25 BEST THINGS TO SEE IN SANTORINI
2. The archaeological site of the ancient city of Akrotiri
If you don’t yet know what to do in Greece, the ancient city of Akrotiri is a MUST! It was in 1967 that the archaeological team of Professor Spiros Marinatos uncovered this superb archaeological site.
Since the end of the 19th century, there had been rumors of a vast ancient city on the island of Santorini. However, nothing had come to light before the professor’s excavations began.
The ash perfectly preserved the numerous remains that were found. The pottery, wall frescoes and mosaics even kept their original colors.
Today, although excavations continue, many of the most beautiful pieces that were discovered at this site are no longer there and are on display in museums such as the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
THIS IS HOW THE CITY LOOKED LIKE BEFORE ITS DESTRUCTION
Some major discoveries still remained on the island of Santorini, and you can admire them in the prehistoric museum of Thera.
As you discover the archaeological site of Akrotiri, you will visit the streets of this ancient city, and you will see how the layout seems modern and reminiscent of the villages that are still found on the island of Santorini today.
MORE INFO ABOUT THE ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE:
3. Visit La Ponta, the Venetian fortress
In this small village of around 500 inhabitants you can visit one of the five fortresses of the island of Santorini.
Like all the historic buildings of the Santorini archipelago, the Akrotiri fortress, which is located on a hill dominates the entire village. Unfortunately it was largely damaged by the earthquake which occurred in 1956.
In the Venetian tower of this castle, you can enjoy a superb panoramic view of the village and its surroundings.
4. Akrotiri Lighthouse
The Akrotiri Lighthouse, perched on the western tip of the island, is one of the oldest lighthouses in the country still standing.
Built by a French company at the end of the 19th century, it is unfortunately not accessible to visitors. However, you can reach it during a beautiful walk on the path which runs along the northern coast of this part of the island.
As the lighthouse faces west, it is one of the best places to enjoy a sunset on the island of Santorini.
5. The Red Beach
Akrotiri is located near some of the most popular beaches in the archipelago.
The best known of all, Red Beach, is just south of the village. It owes its name to the red cliffs which form a setting around the volcanic sand beach. Access to this place is not necessarily easy, but once there, you will be able to appreciate a unique setting and enjoy pure and calm water.
>> READ: BEST BEACHE IN SANTORINI
6. Wander through the streets of Akrotiri
After visiting the most interesting places in the village and its surroundings, you can take a short walk in the alleys of Akrotiri, to soak up the authentic atmosphere.
As everywhere on the island, you will notice that many religious buildings are present, the most striking being undoubtedly the church of Agios Nikolaos.
You can stop at the main square where you will find some shops and places to take a short break.
If you want to have a typical, generous and delicious Greek meal in Akrotiri, we recommend Theofanis, a beautiful restaurant serving amazing food!