Akrotiri, Santorini

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Updated: October 26, 2020

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ancient ruins

Over 3700 years ago, the ancient city of Akrotiri was covered in ash when a massive earthquake set off a volcano. Today, the indoor archaeological site is a popular cultural attraction for visitors to Santorini.

The very well preserved ruins of Akrotiri are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular cultural attraction for visitors to Santorini. The ancient city was buried in ash during a volcano triggered by an earthquake in the 17th century B.C. Archaeologists began modern excavation of the site in 1967. Currently the ruins are housed in a building covered by a bioclimatic roof that opens and closes to allow air flow. This makes it a cool dry place great to escape the heat of summer days. A raised boardwalk winds through the large area, with staircases down into sections of the the dig. The exhibits are well signed, and there are video monitors with visual displays as well.

I highly recommend booking an Akrotiri tour guide (meet guide at entrance) to show you around the site and discuss the history of the island, the eruption, and the ensuing destruction. There are also Akrotiri private tours that include hotel pick up and drop off.

Another option is the excellent private tour of Akrotiri and 3 Santorini wineries.

Other things to do in the area include a visit to the nearby village of Akrotiri, a short 10 minutes walk away with a handful of cafes and shops. There’s a Venetian Castle above the village, a lighthouse at the southwestern tip of the island with fabulous views into the caldera, and a handful of nice beaches including Red Beach and Vlychada Beach.

The Ancient Ruins of Akrotiri in Santorini – Video

Akrotiri Ruins Information

  • Location: Akrotiri Ruins
  • Hours April 4 to October 31: 8am to 8pm. Thursday 8am to 3pm. Closed Monday.
  • Hours November 1 to March 31: 8am to 3pm. Closed Monday.
  • Tickets: 12€ for adults, 6€ for E.U. senior citizens and individuals <25 from Non E.U. countries. Combined ticket of 15€ per person includes one entrance to the archaeological site of Akrotiri, the archaeological site of Ancient Thera in Kamari, and the museum of Prehistoric Thera in Fira. The combined ticket is valid for 3 days at each.
  • Parking: Paid parking in lot across from entrance
  • Bus: Stops directly in front of entrance on route from Fira to Akrotiri.
  • Dining: There are a handful of cafes 10-14 minutes walk away.

The Ancient Ruins & Historical Site of Akrotiri

site entrance

The entrance into the archaeological site.

entrance to building

Entrance to the building the excavation is housed inside of.

seating area for tour groups

Large viewing area for groups and individuals.

raised boardwalk

Raised boardwalk winds above and through the site.

historical information

Well presented historical information.

scale model

Scale model of the excavation.

video monitor

Video monitors throughout show short videos that highlight elements of the site.

archaeological signage

Excellent information and signage throughout the site.

bus stop

There’s a large paid parking lot directly across the street from the entrance.

bus stop

The public bus stops directly across the street from the entrance.

ancient ruins

ancient ruins

ancient ruins

ancient ruins

ancient ruins

site approach

After you purchase your ticket, there’s a short walk from the entrance down to the ruins.

signs to beaches

There are a few excellent beaches not far away.

light house

The lighthouse is another popular site to visit in Akrotiri.

village castle

A short walk above the village of Akrotiri is a Venetial Castle.

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