Akrotiri - History and Facts | History Hit


Megalochori, Dhmos Ohras, Greece

Akrotiri is a beautifully preserved ancient site in Santorini, famed for its incredible frescos and its connection with the Minoans.

Peta Stamper

15 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Akrotiri

Akrotiri is a beautifully preserved prehistoric site in Santorini, famed for its incredible frescos and its connection with the Minoans. Covered by a bioclimatic roof, today visitors can walk among the site which features as one of our Top 10 tourist attractions in Greece.

Akrotiri history

In fact, Akrotiri was inhabited as early as the 4th millennium BC – some say earlier – during the late Neolithic period as a small fishing and farming village. It would then thrive and grow into a larger settlement measuring up to 20 hectares in the next millennium, during the Bronze Age.

Increasingly frequent earthquakes in the area meant that Akrotiri was finally abandoned, some say in the 17th century BC, but it was a volcanic eruption that truly ended the tale of this magnificent place. Buried in volcanic ash, preserving many of the fine frescoes and artworks, the settlement was excavated after 1967.

Akrotiri today

Today, the stunning ruins of Akrotiri now stand in testament of the sophisticated urban settlement which once existed there. The buildings are not only multi-storey, many of them contain vivid frescoes of various themes. This excellent state of preservation has drawn parallels with another famously volcanically preserved site, earning it the moniker of the “Minoan Pompeii”.

Yet, Akrotiri has another claim to fame. The site is generally considered that Akrotiri was linked with Knossos and would have been a Minoan site. However, some have gone further, claiming that it was the lost city of Atlantis.

Getting to Akrotiri

Directly south of the modern day village, you can get public transport to Akrotiri as there are regular buses from Fira bus station to the car park at Akrotiri Red Beach (20 minutes).

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