Santorini is one of the most touristic destinations in the world due to the famous Caldera, which is the only inhabited maritime Caldera in the world. Not a few are those to believe that this beautiful Aegean island has nothing to show beyond the unique view and the famous sunset. Yet, Santorini is a destination that has to offer visitor unique experiences and several attractions, such as archeological sites, museums and art galleries as well as agritourism and sports activities.
In Fira, besides the countless restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and the impressive view of the Caldera, you will also find interesting museums and art galleries. Two excellent museums worth visiting are the Archaeological Museum of Santorini, with exhibits from various periods of the island and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, which will mainly find findings from the excavations in Akrotiri. A 17th century mansion houses the Gyzi Megaron, which exhibits paintings, photographs, documents and other objects from the Venetian occupation to the present day. Beyond the museum at the Gyzi Megaron, cultural events take place throughout the year. From Fira you can follow the hiking trail leads to Oia (about 9 km.) having the unique view of the Caldera constantly on your side, passing also thought Firostefani and Imerovigli.
Hordes of tourists flock to Oia every day to enjoy one of the most famous sunsets in the world and to walk in the picturesque alleys having some window-shopping. In Oia you will find the Atlantis books bookstore, which has been included in National Geographic's list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, the interesting Maritime Museum, as well as several galleries with unique works of art.
Traditional Villages of Santorini
The traditional villages in Santorini are, in a way, the "identity" of the place, as the inhabitants try to retain the characteristics of their place hindering its alienation from mass tourism. Not a miss a stop to the medieval Pyrgos, which has been declared a monument since 1995 and for many is the most beautiful village of Santorini with a wonderful architecture. Vothonas is another unique village with the cave houses carved in the volcanic rocks of the homonymous ravine. There you will find the Wine Museum built literally in a cave at a depth of 6 meters, where you can learn the history of Santorini wine. Villages of particular interest are also Emporio, which was the center of trade in the past, Megalochori with large wine production.
It is perhaps the most famous attraction of the island that attracts hundreds of visitors daily to have a look at Palea and Nea Kameni, the islands created by volcanic eruptions and in which there are a total of 8 volcanic craters. Nea Kameni emerged from the sea in May 1707 and is the newest island in the Mediterranean. During your excursion you can swim in the hot springs of the bay of Agios Nikolaos and visit the island of Thirasia.
Prehistoric city of Akrotiri
In Akrotiri is the most important archaeological site of the island and one of the most important in the Aegean. According to excavations that began in 1967, the first settlements date back to the Late Neolithic Age (4500 BC), while the city was abandoned in 17 BC owing to the strong earthquakes that hit the area, before the eruption of the volcano. The volcanic ash and eruption materials that covered the city protected it and preserved it over the centuries.
Tomato Industrial Museum
In the area of Vlychada, the first industrial tomato museum in the world has been operating since 2014, in the area where the D. Nomikos tomato factory was once housed. Visitors have the opportunity to get acquainted with the traditional methods of processing a very important product of the island, as well as to see up close processing machines, old tools, the first labels and several more interesting exhibits in the museum. The museum also houses the Santorini Arts Factory art and culture center, hosting a number of cultural events every summer.
Several wines of Santorini are among the top worldwide and definitely a visit to one or more wineries on the island is a good opportunity to get to know the reasons that make them so special. During your visit you can learn the history of Santorini wine over the centuries, the production phases as well as taste some of the most famous Greek labels in the world. There are many wineries to visit in Santorini and each one has its own unique history, so whoever you choose to visit will definitely leave with the best impressions for the special Santorini wine.