Ancient Akrotiri is a Minoan Bronze Age settlement close to the modern village of Akrotiri
. It's around 12km from the islands capital Fira
and that's about a 20 minute drive.
The ancient village was buried by the volcanic eruption that created the caldera and gave the island it’s unique characteristics, the eruption is believed to have occurred between 1642-1540 BC meaning the site is over 3500 years old.
The Ancient Akrotiri site is similar to that of Pompeii in Italy in the way that the buildings pottery and other artefacts are preserved in volcanic ash. The archaeological dig is still on going and they believe that they’ve barely scratched the surface of what might be found on the site. If you want to know more about the remains and what happened all those years ago then there are guided tours available which bring the place to life, they can be a little expensive but if it's something you're interested in you'll get a lot from the tour.
The whole area is sheltered thanks to a modern structure put in place to protect the site, there are wooden walk ways to guide visitors around and keep them away from the delicate remains. The new building also helps to keep the heat of the sun off meaning you can visit at any time of the day, even in July and August.
The admission fee is 12€ per person and the opening hours are usually 10.00-17.00 but it's sometimes closed on Mondays. If you also plan to visit Ancient Thera
and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera
then look out for a pass that gets you access to all 3 for 15€.
Getting to Akrotiri is easy as there’s a bus stop right outside so if you’re staying elsewhere on the island you can get the bus over, alternatively there is a good sized car park for those that have a car, quad or other vehicle.