Culture

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

Akrotiri
. It is located at the southwestern tip of the island, 15 km from Fira. It is a promontory with sheer cliff shores. It became globally known thanks to the prehistoric settlement discovered there in excavations conducted since 1967. First signs of habitation in Akrotiri date back to the Late Neolithic Period. By the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), there was a settlement in Akrotiri that was expanded in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (20th-17th centuries BC), becoming one of the main urban centers of the Aegean. The growth of the town ended abruptly at the end of the 17th century BC. The inhabitants left due to powerful seismic foreshocks. Then the volcano erupted and the material covered the town and the rest of the island, preserving the buildings and their contents to this day.
For information please contact +30 22860 81939 and the Museum of Prehistoric Thira at +30 22860 23217.
 
Ancient Thira
. This historical city stands on Mesa Vouno, at an altitude of 396 m. It was founded in the 9th century BC by Dorian settlers, led by Thiras; habitation continued until the early Byzantine era. Excavations have mainly brought to light the areas built during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
For information, call the Museum of Prehistoric Thira (+30 22860 23217) or the Archaeological Museum (+30 22860 22217). 

MUSEUMS

Museum of Prehistoric Thira. Exhibits include findings from the excavations at Akrotiri and other Theraic sites ranging from the 4th millennium BC to the 17th century BC. The four sections present the history of exploration in prehistoric Thera, its geologic history, the development of the island from the Neolithic Period to the beginning of the Late Cycladic I period (early 17th century BC) and the Akrotiri heyday (17th century BC, Late Cycladic I period). The fourth and largest section is divided in seven smaller sections presenting the architectural structure of the city, everyday life, murals -the portrayal of the “Women’s House” stands out- pottery, and jewelry. The last room is labeled “Akrotiri»: a cosmopolitan port”. A separate display showcases the gold ibex figurine discovered in 1999, one of the most important findings from the prehistory of the Aegean Sea.
Tel.: +30 22860 23217

Archaeological Museum. Collections include sculptures and inscriptions ranging from the Archaic to the Roman period, as well as pottery artifacts and clay figurines from the Geometric up to the Hellenistic period.
Tel.: +30 22860 22217.

Santozeum. This is an artist run, interdisciplinary creative platform that fosters dialogue between the arts, humanities and sciences in both the local and international community. It aims to create a dynamic environment for young and emerging artists, providing a residency program in the arts, while connecting a global network of pioneers and professionals to Santorini. The Museum currently exhibits a collection of Akrotiri Wall Paintings developed in conjunction with The Thera Foundation, The Getty, and Kodak Pathé.
Tel.: +30 6939763399
www.santozeum.com

Lignos Folk Art Museum (Kontohori). A quite attractive museum, only 1 km away from Fira. The building dates from 1861 and the rooms are infused with the atmosphere of the traditional Santorini home. The attention to detail is also evident at the traditional kafeneio (coffee house), the workshops of the carpenter, the barrel-maker, the shoemaker and others (with their original equipment), the rock-hewn underground house, the kánava (winery), and the cave of the old pumice mine.
Tel.: +30 22860 22792

Cultural Village “Santorini of the past”/Pyrgos. It was founded by Giannis Drosos-Chrysos and is housed at the family kanava dated back to 1895. The visitor will see the old mansion and get to know the tomato processing, the traditional Santorinian fisherman, the musicians (called violitzides), the farmhouse, the grape-crushing area, the wooden wine press. He will also be informed in detail about the marc brandy and Santorini varieties of wine.
Tel.: +30 22860 31101
www.santorinimuseum.com


GASTRONOMY

The distinct taste of the produce grown in Santorini is due to the porous soil and volcanic ash, combined with the aridity and the morning sea breeze.  One of the basic produce of the island is fava (split peas), used since the old times in a variety of recipes. Caper is another plant largely used in the Cyclades. The most tasty and popular produce of Santorini is the dry cherry tomato, called anydro (waterless). Up to 1950, the island’s economy was based on this cherry tomato –hence, many tomatoes canning factories opened, some of which still stand in areas such as Monolithos, Perivolos, and Vlychada. Cherry tomatoes are also used by Santorini’s women to make the so-called pseftokeftedes (tomato balls). Another extremely savory produce, which you will be lucky to taste, is the white eggplant.