Duration 4,1/2 hours (With professional tour Guide)
Pick up locations: Fira Cable car, Athinios port, Airport, Hotels, Resorts.
If you want to explore the history of this island, this tour is not to be missed….
If you arrive by cruise ship in Santorini, disembarkation will be by tender boats to the old port of Fira. Then you get up to Fira by cable car (Round Trip Cable Car tickets – per person 8 euro)
or by a donkey in a traditional way that many travelers choose for fun
In both cases, you will arrive at the exit of Fira cable car, where your licensed tour guide will be waiting for you holding a sign with your name, you will be guided on to the archeological site of Akrotiri, the remains of the earthquake, which was discovered in the bronze age of 1500 B.C. Here you will learn the myths and facts about Santorini. You will continue by visiting the ancient Thira. Returning, you will visit the traditional village of Pyrgos where there are many beautiful churches and a castle built on the top of the village, will continue by car up to the hill, to visit the monastery of Profitis Elias, from here you can admire the entire island, endless blue everywhere. Before ending the tour and returning to the charming capital of Santorini Island Fira, you will be guided to the Prehistoric Museum of Fira which contains original pieces from Akrotiri.
Then will walk to cable car for your departure.
An outpost of Crete, Akrotiri was settled by Minoans as early as 3000 BC and reached its peak after 2000 BC, when it developed trade and agriculture and settled the present town. The inhabitants cultivated olive trees and grain and developed sophisticated forms of art and architecture.
Scholars think that Santorini s volcanic explosion in 1450 BC was so powerful that it destroyed the flourishing Minoan world on Crete as well. At Akrotiri, pots and tools are still where their owners left them before abandoning the town. Unlike Pompeii, no human remains were discovered at Akrotiri the residents clearly had ample warning of the town s destruction.
After the eruption in 1450 BC, Santorini was uninhabited for about two centuries while the land cooled and plant and animal life regenerated. The ruins of Akrotiri remained buried until 1860, when workers quarrying volcanic ash for use in the Suez Canal brought it to light once again.
Systematic excavations began under Professor Spyros Marinatos of the University of Athens in 1967 and continued until 2005,
What you will see
Ancient Akrotiri provides a rare glimpse into urban life in the Minoan period. Its elaborate architecture and vivid frescoes demonstrate the high level of culture on ancient Santorini. It has been estimated that the 40 buildings uncovered so far account for only 1/30th of the huge site.
The impressive buildings of Akrotiri include three-story houses faced with masonry, some with balconies and extensively decorated with frescoes, which were very well preserved in the ash. Most of them are displayed in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Meanwhile, a few frescoes are in the Prehistoric Museum of Thira.
Visitors tour the Akrotiri site along ancient Akrotiri s main street, lined with stores and warehouses of the ancient commercial city. Many large earthen jars, pithoi, were found here, some with traces of olive oil, fish, and onion inside.
There are descriptive plaques in four languages at various points along the path through the town, as well as small pictures of the famous frescoes next to the houses where they were found.
The fascinating ruins of Ancient Thira are located on a high rocky headland called Mesa Vouna, from which there are spectacular views down to the sea.
This hilltop on Thira was first inhabited by the Dorians, whose leader was Theras, in the 9th century BC. Thira was later occupied in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the Hellenistic era (around the 4th century BC).
The ancient houses and larger part of the cemeteries of Ancient Thira were excavated by German archaeologists between 1895 and 1902, while the cemeteries on the northeast and northwest slopes of Sellada were excavated by N. Zapheiropoulos in 1961-1982.
What you will see
The ruins of Ancient Thira are located on a headland called Mesa Vouna between the two popular beaches of Kamari and Perissa. In addition to its ancient ruins, the site offers spectacular views over cliffs that drop into the sea on three sides.
Most of the ruins of Ancient Thira date from the Hellenistic era, but there are also extensive Roman and Byzantine remains. Buildings from different periods are mixed together throughout the site along one main street, which is intersected by smaller streets.
The main street passes through two agoras, which include ruins of several Greek temples. The arc of the theater embraces the town of Kamari, Fira beyond, and the open Aegean. The extensive ruins also include Hellenistic shops, Roman baths, Byzantine walls, and the stone church of Agios Stefanos.
The Hellenistic Temple of Dionysos (3rd century BC) is a small Doric temple built on a man-made platform north of the Agora. The facade and roof were made of marble while the rest of the building was of local stone.
Founded by Artemidoros of Perge in the late 4th or early 3rd century BC, the Sanctuary of Artemidoros was entirely hewn from living rock. It includes various inscriptions and engravings of Artemidoros as well as the symbols of major gods: an eagle for Zeus, a lion for Apollo, a dolphin for Poseidon.
Part of the Sanctuary of Apollo Karneios (6th century BC) is hewn from rock, while the rest is constructed on a platform. It includes a temple with pronaos and cella, a square courtyard with six monolithic pillars and an underground cistern and a small building, probably a repository.
There is a fine view over the site from the large Terrace of the Festivals, where boys danced naked to honor Apollo (the performance was called the Gymnopaediae). This is likely related to the phallic-centered graffiti visible nearby, which dates from the Archaic to Roman period.
The cemeteries of Ancient Thira are on the slopes of the Sellada, either side of the roads that lead to the villages of Kamari and Perissa. The excavated graves span every period from the Geometric to the Roman.
The new Prehistoric Museum of Thira, has several frescoes and finds from Ancient Akrotiri, along with many objects imported from Crete and the northeastern Aegean Islands.
Some of the pots on display – cups, jugs and pithoi – are delicately painted with motifs familiar from the wall paintings. Note the fresco fragments with the painted swallows, who flocked here because they loved the cliffs, and the women in Minoan dresses. Fossilized olive leaves from 60,000 BC prove the olive to be indigenous.
Private Vehicle, fuels, tolls (wherever exist), parking fee, English-speaking driver, Professional English or French-speaking guide, insurance covery of the passengers up to ?500,000 in total, VAT and all taxes.
*Entrance fees in archaeological and historical sites, hotel accommodation wherever needed, beverages and meals.
Pre Historic Museum – per Adult 4 euro
Child (under 17 with passport) Free
Wine Tasting – per person 5 euro
Sundays or Holidays: * Supplement per vehicle 140 euro
* Charge for driver and tour guide based on labor legislation in Greece.
* NOTE: !!! Our Guides are LICENSED and Members of the Union official Guides in Greece.
** NOTE: !!! Our Drivers are Professionals and English speaking.
Please note that not allowed Taxi drivers, Minivan drivers and Bus drivers to do the job of the tour guides, this is prohibited by Greek law.
The tour guide profession is protected by the Greek legislation
Our Company from its establishment until now, works only with official, professional, licensed tour guides.
Please note that in case you may wish to book a private tour through our website, in no way means that you are obliged to follow the exact route of showing the proposed tour.
You have the ability to change the order of the sites, to remove or add attractions, provided it does not exceed the time duration and distances that you have already booked.
We are flexible to any changes that you may wish during your private tour, our aim is your complete satisfaction.
Our drivers and our licensed tour guides are at your disposal in order to provide you with the best service.
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