Akrotiri archeological site & Oia (4 hrs)
Two contrasting places, and the most popular destinations on Santorini — the Akrotiri ruins and the splendid village of Oia.
A NOTE ABOUT DRIVING TIMES
Fira-Oia, 30 min; Oia-Akrotiri, 45 min; Akrotiri-Fira, 30 min.
Cover the the ruins at Akrotiri and the hugely popular village of Oia in an easy-going half day. You’ll have about 70 minutes to stroll around Oia (typically the first stop) and an hour at the archeological site.
The village of Oia (pronounced “EE-ah” in Greek) is a place of unparalleled beauty and one of the most photographed places in Greece. Here the classic Cycladic houses line the cliffs, their smooth and brilliant white exteriors almost shining in contrast to the volcanic rock and occasional burst of colour, most notably the cobalt blue that crowns the churches here.
In a bygone era Oia was both a fishing village and a busy centre of sea trade. At the top of the town you can see evidence of its affluent past in the elegant 2-story homes built for the sea captains.
Looking at Oia today it’s hard to imagine it as anything but thriving but the 1956 of earthquake did a lot of damage and many inhabitants left, leaving only a few hundred to hold down the fort until the 1980’s, when the population began to rebuild and the village along with it.
The main attractions in Oia today are the narrow paths that wind down through the homes carved into the slopes, as well as the caldera and sunset views. Near the spot where everyone gathers to watch the sun go down are the remains of a Byzantine castle from the 15th century. Sadly, much of the fortress was lost in the 1956 earthquake. Today only part of the watchtower (“Goulas”) remains, it’s vantage for spotting pirates transformed into a lookout point for tourists.
Artists of all sorts have been inspired by the splendour of Oia, the magic of the volcano and the vastness of the Aegean, which is why you’ll find a good many galleries amid the vast selection of boutiques.
Besides attracting the world with its great natural beauty, Santorini also draws tourists from all over the world thanks to the Akrotiri archeological site. The ruins bring to light a prehistoric Minoan society, which will boggle your mind when you realize that we're talking about 3000 before Christ! Like Pompei, a volcanic eruption brought everything to an abrupt end and froze everything in time for thousands of years (although the Akrotiri ruins are a lot older than Pompei). A local guide is very useful at the ruins in order to understand what you're looking at and the significance of it all. See the Other Costs & Notes section at the bottom of this page for details. Read more about the Akrotiri ruins.
DURATION: 4 hrs
OTHER COSTS & NOTES
The following rates for optional items that we book for you are valid if you pay in cash, and reflect 10% off the full rates that apply when paying by card or Paypal.
- SANTORINI OTHER COSTS
- The cable car or donkey ride to get up to the meeting point in Fira costs 6 Euro pp, to be paid on the spot in cash (cannot be pre-booked)
- Black beach umbrella/chaise rental, 30 Euro pp
- Akrotiri ruins entrance fee, 12 Euro pp
- Local guide: 4 hrs, 300 Euro*
*If the tour falls on a Sunday or Bank Holiday a supplement of 140 Euro per guide applies.
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