Sight-seeing suggestions for Santorini
Santorini is considered as the most beautiful destination in Greece and is the third most popular destination in Europe. The island took its current form after a series of volcanic eruptions in the past, that have affected, the entire geographical area of the Aegean sea to Crete.
The real name of Santorini was Kallisti and Strogili. The island was populated in the 16th century b.c., during the Minoan era. Since then, Santorini served as a very important commercial center of the time. Around the years 1550-1500 b.c. a strong eruption of Santorini volcano, caused the disruption of the central part of the island and thus created two smaller islands Thirasia and Nea Kameni.
When Constantinople (Instabul) was captured, Santorini came under the Venetian rule and then acquired its current name, derived from Agia Irini (Santa Irini). During the next six centuries, the island was initially under the command of the Duke of Naxos and then was occupied by the Turks, until ended up to be attached to the Greek state.
In 1956 a large volcanic eruption and an earthquake, hit the island and destroyed it completely. However, residents were able to rebuilt their homes and rebuilt their fortunes, giving great impetus to the cultural and tourist development of the island.
Here are some of the attractions worth visiting during your stay in Santorini.
In summertime, daily trips are organized to the volcano and the hot springs that are located nearby. From the port of Athinios and the old port of Santorini, boats are departing regularly to the volcano area. These tours include walk at the volcano hill, swimming in natural spa’s and a stop at Thirassia island
for swimming and lunch.
Akrotiri village is located on the south coast of Santorini and there is one of the most important prehistoric
settlements of the Aegean sea. The colonization of Akrotiri goes back to the Neolithic era.
The large area of the settlement, the elaborately constructed drainage system,and the
high-rise buildings with beautiful murals, testify the great progress of the settlement. Akrotiri often communicated with Crete, the Greek mainland , the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria and Egypt. Earthquakes and explosions, that followed the next years, marked the end of the settlement at about the end of the 17th BC century. The perfect condition of the discoveries, is due to the volcanic lava from the eruption, which covered the entire island, just as had happened with Pompeii.
The prehistoric museum of THIRA houses discoveries from the excavations at Akrotiri, from River village and other archaeological sites on the island.
It is a wonderful exhibition that takes you to the island’s history. It is one of the most important museums in Greece with a large collection of Cycladic art exhibits, fossils and finds from the 17th century BC from Akrotiri excavations, such as the mural with the blue monkey, the murals with ladies, the gold figurine of the chamois and more.
Built in 1960, in order to replace the old museum that was destroyed after the big earthquake in 1956. It includes many finds such as statues and sculptures from the Archaic to the Roman era, inscriptions from the Archaic to the Roman periods and vases and pottery from the Geometric to the Hellenistic era.
Panagia Episkopi is a Byzantine church built back to the 11th century BC with beautiful murals.The church survived of several looting and natural disasters, particularly earthquakes. The 15th of August a big traditional fest is taking place there to celebrate the Virgin.
The mansion, is one of the most remarkable recent monuments of Santorini, and is located in Messaria village.Combines uniquely the traditional architecture of Santorini, containing many sophisticated, modern decorative elements.The ceiling, with exquisite murals, the furniture and tools upstairs, are maintained with great care. Guests have the opportunity to understand the era of the time and the life of the great landowner of the 19th century. The ground floor hosts a five stars hostel and offers guided tours and tour operators for the upper floor. Since the 1985, the building was recognized as a work of art and has been surrounded by a protection zone of 50 meters.
Gyzi Mansion,is housed in an awesome old mansion in Thira. There, are hosted many exhibitions with traditional costumes, as well maps and photos of Santorini, from the 16th to the 19th century and manuscripts from the catholic church. of the island.
In Megalochori Santorini, there is the famous wine-producing unit, where visitors can watch the production process and the proper bottling of wine, as well as to try and buy great varieties of the famous Boutari wines.
The Naval Museum of Oia is located in the picturesque village of Oia,into the ruins of the Venetian castle. The museum has many artifacts from the naval history of the island and a great collection of books.