Akrotiri (10)

In the south of the island lies the ancient city of Akrotiri. It is one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean, whose remains have been well preserved after being buried under tonnes of volcanic ash for more than 3500 years. For many it is known as the Pompeii of the Cyclades, which also gave rise to the legend of the lost continent of Atlantis.

The site is named after the village located on a nearby hill, but the original name of the settlement is actually unknown.

What we do know of its origins it is that the site was discovered by Professor Spyridon Marinatos in the excavations that started in 1967. Among the findings are valuable frescoes, which are now on display at the Archaeological Museum of Athens and depict scenes of the daily life of the people.

Visiting Akrotiri allows you to uncover a Minoan city from the mid-seventeenth century BC, as it was just before the great volcanic eruption that destroyed the island. A city complete with streets, squares, houses, walls decorated with murals, daily utensils, and even remains of the complex drainage system used by the Minoans. It is an archaeological gem.

It is important to mention that, in recent years, Akrotiri has been closed to the public due to restoration work and new studies being carried out on the site. The city was expected to reopen in 2010, but we recommend that you check before travelling south.

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