This bus tour takes us to the Southern part of the island where you will visit the hidden gems of the area. Akrotiri is the first stop on our tour and what better way to start the day.
Ask us for, the nearest, to your hotel, meeting point.
|RETURN TIME||After sunset|
|WEAR||Low heeled comfortable shoes, hat, sunscreen|
|DIFFICULTY||Due to extend walking and slippery surfaces please inform us if you have walking disabilities or using a wheelchair before booking this tour.|
The tour starts with a guided visit with professional licensed guide in the Minoan Site of Akrotiri. This Bronze Age settlement on the southern side of the island was an important port town those times but it was buried under volcanic ash after the eruption of Thera in about 1,600 BC. This volcanic ash preserved the entire town and the wall frescoes in perfect conditions so as it is often referred today as Prehistoric Pompeii. Due to its way of destruction, Akrotiri has frequently suggested as the Lost Atlantis.
After Akrotiri, we continue to Perivolos Beach with the black sand. This is considered the trendiest beach of Santorini and it is lined up with taverns, cafeterias, beach bars and water sports centers. Time at leisure for lunch or swimming. Lunch not included in the price.
A walking tour in Megalochori (30 minutes) follows, one of the most beautiful and traditional villages of Santorini. This village distinguishes for the Cycladic houses, the Neoclassical buildings, the impressive cave houses and the white churches with blue domes.
We continue to the Mountain of Prophet Elias, the highest peak of the island (567 m). On top of the mountain, there is the Monastery of Prophet Elias with breathtaking view to the island and the Aegean Sea. Photos stop (20 min).
Then we visit the Santo Wines Oenotourism Center. Santorini is very famous for its wine production and there are actually many wineries on the island. The volcanic substances of the soil give a special aroma and taste to the grapes. In Santo Wines, you can see the entire wine making process from grape pressing up to bottling. You can also taste the distinctive wines of the island, while specialized enologists give away the hidden secrets of wine. After this visit to Santo Wines continue to Oia to watch the romantic sunset. Oia is the most photographed place in Santorini. Its beauty, the traditional architecture and the amazing sunset have inspired many artists and poets. Return to hotels after sunset.
The earliest excavations on Santorini were conducted by French geologist F. Fouquet in 1867, after some local people found old artifacts at a quarry. Later, in 1895-1900, the digs by German archeologist Baron Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen revealed the ruins of ancient Thera on Mesa Vouno. Also, a little later, R. Zahn excavated in the locality of Potamos, near Akrotiri, under the auspices of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens. Extensive modern excavation was started in 1967 by Spyridon Marinatos, and revealed the full value of this site. Spyridon Marinatos choice of site proved to be correct, and just a few hours into the excavation, the remains of the buried city began to be discovered. The next step was to determine the extent of the city, to which it took two whole seasons devoted to the site in 1967 and 1968. In the early years of the excavation, a great deal of attention was paid towards the organization of proper facilities for the dig, including substantial workshops, laboratories built for storage, repair and treatment, and areas for examination of archaeological finds. Because of the site being preserved in thick, volcanic debris, Marinatos noted that many of the buildings were preserved to a height of more than a single story, creating unique challenges for excavation. He experimented with tunneling into the pumice, but this technique was later abandoned. Some historians hold that this settlement, as well as the disaster that left it unknown to most of history, as the inspiration behind Plato’s story of Atlantis, as mentioned in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias. Excavated artifacts have been installed in a museum distant from the site (Museum of Prehistoric Thera), with many objects and artworks presented. Only a single gold object has been found, hidden beneath flooring, and no uninterred human skeletal remains have been found. This indicates that an orderly evacuation was performed with little or no loss of life.
The Monastery of Prophet Elias in Santorini
The Monastery of Prophet Elias is built on the highest peak of Santorini, at 565 meters above the sea. This Monastery is one of the oldest of Santorini as it was built in 1712. It is found between Pyrgos and Kamari villages and the road passes through rocky landscapes and vineyards. Trekking there is a nice experience as you can enjoy all the natural beauty of Santorini. In the first two centuries of its construction, this monastery played a major role in the economic and cultural life of the island. Built in the style of a fortress, the monastery used to owe a ship in the 18th century, which carried out trade business with the rest of the Aegean and the Mediterranean, bringing prosperity to the Monastery. In the first half of the 19th century, it ran a school of Greek language and literature. The monastery started to decline in the 1860s and suffered much destruction in the strong earthquake that hit Santorini in 1956. Today the Monastery of Prophet Elias hosts an important collection of rare ecclesiastical items, hand-written books and Byzantine icons. It also has workshops on printing, shoemaking and candle making. The monks also deal with wine making. From the yard of the Monastery, you get excellent and breathtaking views of the whole island of Santorini.
Oia, pronounced Ia, is the most famous of all villages of Santorini. It is known throughout the world for its quiet life and fantastic sunset, and is certainly the most beautiful and picturesque village of Santorini. The village is also situated on top of an impressive cliff and offers a spectacular view over the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni and the island of Thirassia. Oia is situated on the north of the island, 11 km away from Fira. It is a traditional village with charming houses in narrow streets, blue domed churches, and sun-bathed verandas. Its streets have plenty of tourist shops, taverns, cafes, and other shops. Oia is much quieter that Fira and the busiest area is the main pedestrian that runs along its length. The volcano from here is much less imposing but you can still get some gorgeous views. Oia has several cultural attractions like the Maritime Museum which houses a small library, items from the maritime life of the area, and the vestiges of a Venetian fortress. Many artists fell in love with the area and settled there. For that reason, the village of Oia has many art galleries.