Santorini’s resorts will help you fall in love with the island’s romantic scenery and relax in its 96 square kilometers of dramatic blue coastline. However, a stay on the beautiful island is not complete without visiting its glorious past. Santorini was formed about 3,600 years ago during the Minoan eruption. When the volcano erupted, it brought the island to life and became a center of its history. Therefore, Santorini is full of lost ruins, ancient volcanic cities, and exploratory relics. Take a journey through time and visit some of these ancient Santorini attractions to truly live like the locals.
The Prehistoric Town of Akrotiri
Hidden in the southern tip of Santorini, you’ll find the ancient ruins of one of the most sophisticated and advanced settlements of the Bronze Age. The city was extremely prosperous for many years, until a volcanic eruption obliterated the area and all of its inhabitants. Thera, the volcano that the city sat upon, encased the entire town in volcanic ash and matter, preserving the buildings and its contents. To this day, visitors can walk through the city and view the very identifiable houses, pots, and rooms. You can understand just how the people lived in those days and see their daily activities up until the volcano’s eruption. For any architecture or ruins lover, this is the perfect place to feel history and physically see the past.
The Ruins of the Byzantine Castle
Santorini is known as one of the best places in the world to view the sunset and the Byzantine Castle Ruins is the best spot to see the golden sun disappear beyond the crystal blue water. The castle sits at the most pinnacle point of Oia and was once the seat of the Argryi family when the city was under Venetian rule. It is also called Fort Londsa because the castle was equipped with a complete 360 view of the island. Just as the Argryi family used the castle as a lookout point, you too can visit the ruins and stand in the same spot as you look out at the sunset. You’ll be able to capture that glorious postcard image as you snap a photo of the sunset amongst the iconic churches of Santorini and the area’s white and blue architecture. Be sure to arrive early though because space is limited and the ruins tend to fill up extremely fast.
The Antique City of Thera
During the 9th century, the city of Thera was inhabited by the ancient Greeks. Named after the mythical ruler of the island, Theras, the ancient city once stood on a ridge of the Messa Vouno mountain in Santorini. It consisted of a street about 800 meters long with several small cul-de-sacs branching off it, residential areas grouped around an Agora, and a small sacred area complete with temple grounds and public facilities. The ancient city is open to the public every day so that you can see the town for yourself. Take in the buildings constructed from the mountain’s local limestone and the theater that once served as the center of entertainment as you wander into the past. You’ll get a real feel of what it was like to live back then and how the people of Thera gathered, communicated, and lived.
Santorini is a beautiful island full of many iconic attractions and sights. However, the true beauty of the island can only be seen by journeying to its past. These ancient sites can take you there and show you what it truly means to visit Santorini.