Santorini Landmarks and Monuments

(Santorini, Cyclades, Greece)

View of Ancient Thira (Thera)The year of 1956 saw a major earthquake destroy many buildings all over the island of Santorini, although thankfully a number of important 18th-century landmarks escaped from this seismic activity, remaining completely intact for future generations to enjoy. Where possible, the most noteworthy of the damaged landmarks and historical monuments of Santorini were reconstructed or restored, so there is still plenty to see, particularly in Fira, the island's capital.

The town of Fira is traditionally Cycladic is character, brimming with picture-postcard whitewashed houses and cobbled streets. Fira contains some of Santorini's most beautiful landmarks, which often date back to the Venetian times and including a number of churches with distinctive blue domes. For the most ancient sites, check out the archaeological remains within both Akrotiri and Thira (Thera).

Further picture of the Ancient Thira (Thera) remains

Ancient Thira (Thera)

Address: Thira, Santorini, Greece, GR
First settled during the 9th century BC by the Greek race known as the Dorians, Ancient Thira comprises a somewhat eclectic mixture of ruins, with architectural elements from Hellenistic, Roman and also Byzantine eras. Tourists will find these remains to be quite fascinating and the stunning views are an added extra. The main landmarks within Ancient Thira include a number of temples, mosaic floors, a marketplace (agora), a theatre and even a historic gym. Those driving to Ancient Thira from Kamari will be able to reach the site in a matter of minutes, while there is also a rather rough pathway here from Perissa, which takes around 45 minutes on foot.
Open hours: daily, 08:00 to 14:30
Admission: charge

Ancient Akrotiri photograph

Ancient Akrotiri

Address: Akrotiri, Santorini, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 22860 81366
Located on the southern side of the island, Akrotiri is a truly ancient landmark and some 3,500 years ago, was a thriving Minoan outpost / Bronze Age settlement. The remains of Akrotiri are nothing short of a 'must see' and are remarkably well preserved, since they were actually completely buried by volcanic ash, following a major eruption in 1650 BC. Akrotiri was only uncovered as recently as the late 1960s, after careful excavation, and some building are still standing, three-storeys high, in many cases dating as far back as the 16th century BC. It is believed that the settlement safely evacuated before the disaster, since no human remains have ever been for on this site. A number of exceptional pottery pieces and frescoes were found here and are now displayed at Santorini's Museum of Prehistoric Thera, in Fira. An extensive roof structure covers the archaeological site of Akrotiri, protecting it from the elements.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Fira Catholic Cathedral photo

Fira Catholic Cathedral

Address: Fira, Santorini, Greece, GR
Located in the capital town of Fire, this important Roman Catholic cathedral is a beautiful and extremely ornate building, quite different in its appearance to the numerous neighbouring Byzantine landmarks. Fira Catholic Cathedral features a distinctive peace-colour facade and is topped by a tall bell tower and pale blue dome. Step inside and you will discover that the interior is equally impressive, being a mixture of pastel shades and boasting a selection of large, religious paintings.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free, donations suggested

Distant image of the Caldera lake


Famous throughout Santorini, the island's Caldera is an enormous cauldron-like depression, which was the direct result of volcanic activity within the Aegean Sea some 3,500 years ago, which some scientists link to the Lost City of Atlantis. Measuring around 6 km / 4 miles across, the Caldera ranks highly amongst the world's most outstanding natural landmarks and is now filled with water. Houses and hotels are crammed in around the steep rocky walls of the Caldera, each competing for the very best view and surrounding scenery. The northerly section of Santorini's Caldera is home to the village of Oia, while Fire lies on its easterly elevation.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Faros Lighthouse image

Faros Lighthouse

Address: Akrotiri, Santorini, Greece, GR
Close to Akrotiri and situated on the southern side of Santorini, Faros Lighthouse is a much photographed coastal tower, much photographed by tourists. The lighthouse itself is actually owned and operated by the Greek Navy and offers a superb vantage point. Although you are unable to actually step inside the lighthouse, this is a very peaceful and tranquil spot to spend an hour or two.
Open hours: daily - view from exterior only
Admission: free