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What Pompeii is to Italy, Akrotiri is to Greece.
The remnants of the ancient Grecian city, which thrived as a sophisticated urban hub during the mid to late Bronze Age, provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Santorini’s Minoan residents.
Today, tourists can see what remains of the town by visiting its active archaeological site, which is located on Santorini’s southern tip.
Like southern Italy’s ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was buried under ash and pumice after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Akrotiri was covered and preserved by the eruption of the Thera volcano.
One major difference between Akrotiri and Pompeii, however, is that as archaeologists worked to excavate Akrotiri, no human remains were found. This led scientists to speculate that the island of Santorini may have been fully vacated before Thera’s eruption, which geologists believe is one of the most destructive natural events in recorded history. According to our tour guide, Akrotiri locals were likely warned of the impending disaster by a series of pre-eruption earthquakes, giving them enough time to evacuate the area.
As I strolled Akrotiri’s ancient streets, I tried to imagine what it would have been like to be living in the city’s heyday. For its time, the society was strikingly modern: Stone staircases were constructed within multistoried public buildings, and an advanced sewage and drainage system had been developed. Various fresco artworks with clear Egyptian influences help paint a clear picture of who these people were — sophisticated, cultured and accustomed to living a somewhat cushy lifestyle.
The site is open to the public from November through March, every day except Monday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. From April to October, the attraction can be visited daily between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The DetailsVisit Greecewww.visitgreece.gr