The people who lived on prehistoric Santorini called the island “Strongyle” (round). In 1650 BC the massive Thira volcano erupted, sinking the center of Strongyle and leaving behind an incredible caldera. You will marvel at its towering cliffs as tender boats convey you to the port at Athinios, where our airconditioned bus waits to take you to Santorini’s most significant archeological site, the village of Akrotiri.
From Athinios we will drive south. We will stop at the ruins of the island’s famous windmill for photos, and to enjoy the incredible panoramic view. We leave the windmill for Akrotiri, where you’ll have a chance to explore this ancient village – its amazing ruins will take you back in time. These advanced people built two- and three-storey homes and grew crops, and you will marvel at the remnants of the houses, shops and workshops that surrounded the village square thousands of years ago. Akrotiri had been a bustling town, but its inhabitants abandoned it before the Thira eruption, a mystery archeologists and historians are still trying to solve. The ash from the volcano buried the city, preserving many of its structures and some of its incredible frescoes. Could Akrotiri be the lost city of Atlantis? We’ll let you decide.
After Akrotiri we’ll drive to Fira, the capital of Santorini and its largest town, where we’ll visit the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, also known as the Church of Ypapantis, famed for its elegant construction and its beautiful frescoes, which were painted by Santorini artist Christoforos Assimis. After our visit to the cathedral, you can linger in Fira to shop and enjoy a coffee or a snack, or you can take the Santorini Cable Car, the teleferik to the port below, an incredible descent of more than 200 meters toward the deep blue waters of the caldera. Our tender boats will be ready, once you disembark from the teleferik, to bring you back to the ship.