Archaeological TourHalf day - approximately 5 hours

Destination 1Museum of Prehistoric Thera

The Museum covers the island's history starting from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Cycladic I period. The history of Akrotiri goes back to 3300 B.C., and the city flourished especially during the mature Late Cycladic I period (17th century B.C.); the artifacts from this period are abundantly illustrated.

The collections are ordered chronologically, and include ceramics, sculptures, jewelery, wall paintings, and ritual objects. The monumental art of wall-painting is represented in great detail. The island's complex network of contacts with the outside word is also explained.

Destination 2Akrotiri excavations

The archaeological site of Akrotiri is one of the main attractions of Santorini. Located on the southern side of the island, between the village of Akrotiri and the famous Red beach, this site is visited by thousands of visitors every year. Excavations on Akrotiri started as early as the 1870s by the French Archaeological School of Athens.

Destination 3Panagia Episkopi

The Panagia Episkopi is the previous middle-Byzantine cathedral of the Greek Cycladean island of Santorini (Thira). It is also called Panagia tis Episkopis (Παναγία της Επισκοπής) or Church of Episkopi Thiras. According to a traditional, now almost completely destroyed inscription, the church building was commissioned by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos at the end of the 11th century, and took the place of a previous three-aisled early Byzantine basilica. The church was dedicated to the Panagia ("All-holy"), a Greek Orthodox appellation for the Virgin Mary. The second part of the name (Episkopi) means "episcopal". The Panagia Episkopi was the seat of the Orthodox diocese of Santorini until 1207 and from 1537 to 1827.[1]

Destination 4Ancient Thera

Ancient Thera is an antique city on a ridge of the steep, 360 m high Messavouno mountain on the Greek island of Santorini. It was named after the mythical ruler of the island, Theras, and was inhabited from the 9th century BC until 726 AD. Starting in 1895 the city was systematically investigated by Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen, who excavated there until 1904. Later excavations by N. Zapheiropoulos between 1961 and 1982 under the auspices of the Archaeological Society of Athens unearthed the city's necropolis in Sellada. Findings from these excavations are on exhibit at the archaeological museum in Fira. Excavation work was again taken up between 1990 and 1994 under the leadership of Wolfram Hoepfner of the Free University of Berlin and resulted in a more precise understanding of the history of the southern Aegean.


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