Ancient Thera, Santorini – Image courtesy of greece-is.com
Major sights on Santorini
Check out the must-see attractions of Santorini (believed by many to be the site of the lost city of Atlantis), including the following. . .
Seen either from the walking path between Firá and Oía and the cliff-top streets in either of the two towns, or from the ferry as you approach Santorini, the caldera is an amazing site. The cliff walls of red, yellow and ochre rock soar out the shimmering blue Aegean Sea.
The caldera was formed around 1600 BC, when the centre of the island was blown away in a colossal volcanic eruption, leaving behind a circular depression in the sea floor and the crescent-shaped bowl of rock known as Santorini.
Many believe that the eruption, which destroyed most of Santorini also produced a tsunami that probably reached as far as Crete, destroying the Minoan civilisation located there.
Browse the cool designer boutiques and enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the many bars, restaurants and nightclubs that cling to the edge of the ancient caldera. Enjoy a ride on the cable car, which floats for 300m past solidified lava flows and rock formations from the volcanic edge of the town to the old port.
Explore the ultimate Greek Island village – all snow-white cubist buildings and blue-domed Byzantine churches set on the rugged lip of the caldera high above the bright blue Mediterranean Sea. Oía is famous for spectacular sunsets and some of the island’s finest hotels, which are located on the edge of the crater rim.
Explore probably the most important archaeological site in the Cyclades, famous for stunning frescoes of the Minoan civilisation. Wander through the streets of the ancient Minoan settlement, frozen in time following the eruption of 1600 BC and discover about 40 buildings uncovered to date.
Museum of Prehistoric Thira
Browse marble figurines, ancient vases and clay statuettes of various birds, livestock and dolphins from the dig at Akrotiri.
One of the most important and well-preserved Byzantine churches of the island, dating from 1100 AD. Another not-to-miss church is the monastery of Profitis Ilias, located at the highest point on Santorini – perfect for great views across the island and of distant Crete's mountains on a clear day. (Just don’t photograph the nearby military installation!).