Santorini has so much to offer. However, there is one experience that may be skipped if you have not done any research. If you have started your things to do in Santorini list please considering adding the Akrotiri Archeological site. Yes, right on the south side of the island is an archaeological site for you to explore! It’s easy to get caught up in Santorini with all the beautiful views, the water, shopping and beaches. But don’t skip this part of ancient history! Akrotiri is considered to be one of the most important Aegean prehistoric settlement to ever be discovered.
What Happened and the Discovery of Akrotiri on Santorini
The excavations began back in 1870 by the French Archaeological School of Athens and continues today. What they found was a Monoan civilization constructed around the year 4,500 B.C., the Bronze Age. They uncovered a whole urban center and ports. Around 1627 BC the civilization of Akrotiri was destroyed by the eruption of the volcano Thera. The island was completely covered. However, archeologist believe due to there being previous earthquakes the island was pretty much abandoned as no human remains have been found.
What you will see at the Akrotiri archeological site
Throughout the years the excavations continued and it is open to the public to view. What has been excavated? Ash actually covers and protects and Akrotiri was covered. You will find that it looks like time has stood still. As objects are uncovered they are brought to the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. However, at the excavation site you can view the structures of buildings, rooms, staircases. You will find tools, pottery and fresco’s.
Admission Information for this Aegean prehistoric settlement
The summer schedule for Akortiri is open April 1st– Oct 31st. Winter months the hours are a little shorter and closed on Mondays. The site is made very comfortable as it is covered with a roof to block out the sun rays. You can explore on your own, but there are also guided tours for hire. The general admission is 12 Euro, however there are different price structures for senior citizens, students, teachers and more. Also, there are days throughout the year that they have free admission for everyone. It is a good idea to check their web site for all up to date information.
For you history lover’s and even if you are not- the Akrotiri Archeological site is not a regret to add to your things to do in Santorini. It is always a good thing to study some history while you travel, you never know what you will find and learn!