As if you needed another reason to visit one of the most magnificent places in the world, the Greek island of Santorini, the archaeological site of Akrotiri is now open to visitors after being closed for the past seven years.
Akrotiri, known as the “Pompei of the Aegean”, is considered to be one of the most fascinating and important archaeological sites on the entire island. It reveals part of an excavated city that flourished thousands of years ago, nearly 20 centuries BC. Similar to Pompeii, it was buried by the ash of a large volcanic eruption that occurred on the island in about 1613 BC and is thought to be one of the most important sites not only inGreecebut in the entire region of southeastEurope.
After the 1450 BC eruption, Santorini was uninhabited for nearly two hundred years while the land cooled and both plant and animal life could be regenerated. The ruins of Akrotiri remained buried beneath the ash until about 150 years ago when Suez Canal workers who were quarrying volcanic ash made the discovery.
The lava and ash that had covered the entire island and destroyed the Minoan civilization, helped preserve the buildings, streets, furniture and pottery, making it one of the best preserved sites on earth.
Visitors can glimpse this ancient world in the Minoan period with its elaborate architecture and incredibly detailed frescoes. It’s thought that the 40 buildings that have been uncovered are just 1/30th of what remains to be discovered. Here you’ll tour the ancient city streets, lined with stores and warehouses, including many large earthen jars with traces of olive oil and fish left behind.
Admission is just €5, and on Sundays between November 1 and March 31 it is free. The site is open from 10:00 to 17:00 Tuesday through Sunday, and closed on Mondays.
Of course, Santorini itself is one of the most spectacular destinations in the world, filled with picturesque scenery and historical sites to explore. Located about120 milesoff theGreecemainland, Santorini is known for its villages’ whitewashed architecture and the dazzling turquoise Aegean Sea.
One of the best ways to explore the island is to rent an ATV, readily available for only 20 Euros a day. Take your time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery that includes volcanic beaches, historic cliffside villages and magnificent sunset views.
Stop for a break and enjoy a cup of traditional Greek coffee at the Santorini Café, with all the “flavors and aromas” of the Mediterranean at your fingertips, as well as panoramic views of the water.
The hardest part about visiting Santorini is saying goodbye.
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