The ancient capital of Thera. It is located on the S.W. part of the island, 15km. S.E. from Fira or 10km. S.E. from Kamari, built on a rocky slope of Mesa Vouno, at an elevation of 350 meters. The length of the ancient city (archaeological site) is not more than 800m., while its width approaches 200m. The archaeological site, the way it is shape is now, is an oblong area traversed by a central road and its branches.
The German archaeologist Hiller V. Gaertingen excavated the area during 1895-1903, on his own expense, and brought to light the ancient capital of Thera, the city of the mythical King Theras. The city of Thera was the center of the island for a whole millenium. The buildings, the temples, the vases, the pottery, and the coins that have been found, record accurately the thousand-year long history of the island, from the age of the Dorians to the age of the Roman Empire. The choice of location must have not been random. It may be connected to the defensive needs of the inhabitants of the island during the first millenium B.C. This interpretation is supported by the partly preserved strong walls that surrounded the city.
A road paved with flagstones led from the capital to its port, ancient Oia (today’s Kamari). A visit to the archaeological site may start from Fira, Kamari, or Perissa. The excavations that took place along the road between ancient Thera and Kamari brought to light tombs of the Hellenistic and Palaeochristianic periods, which were hewn into the rock. The various artifacts found there, including clay vases, pottery, and gravestones, are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Fira.
If we enter the ancient city from the left side, we see the small Byzantine church of Aghios Stephanos. This small church was built in the place where the palaeochristianic church of the Archangel Michael stood, as a marble inscription on the left wall informs us. Following the ancient road south, we meet the temple of the hero Ar- temidoros, an admiral of the Ptolemies. Engraved on the rocks are inscriptions, holy animals, the Ptolemaean eagle, the lion of Apollo, and Neptune’s dolphins. Above and to the right of the dolphins, the head of Artemidoros is discernible. The symbols of the Dioscuri, Hecate, and Priapos are also distinguishable.
Following the road to the edge of the city, we reach the church of Evangelismos tis Theotokou (“Annunciation of the Virgin”). The tomb of some hero is next to the church. From here, following the uphill road, we reach the archaic temple of Apollo Karneios. A temple of the Doric style, without an external collonade, with a court and a room for the priest, a portico, a sanctuary, and two small shrines. An external doorway is preserved. On the walls and rocks a large number of names of gods is discernible, written in the ancient Theran alphabet of the 7th century B.C. Next to the temple there is something resem bling a raised court or terrace (“doma”), where the “orcheiseis (dances) took place when the Dorians honored the god Apolo on his 9 day long festival, the “Karneia”. S.E. of the temple we find the Gymnasium of the Epheboi, a building of the 2nd century B.C. Here we also find inscriptions praising the manners and the customs of the Dorians. The holy cavern of Hermes and Heracles is located here. There are the remains of a bath near the west side of the Gymnasium. Following the mail road of the city towards its center, we see the remains of private residences right and left. The Agora is located on the center of the city. On its west side we find the Vasiliki Stoa (Roya Portico), a Roman building, very probably of the reign of Augustus. It had an internal collonade of 12 columns which supported the roof of the building, and a separate space for the statues of the imperial family. Next to the portico is a small temple of the Hellenistic period dedicated to the worship of Dionysos. At this temple, during the reign of Augustus, the emperor was worshipped. To the south of the Agora the ruins of the city’s theater, of the Hellenistic period, are preserved. The theater was also used for assemblies. During the reign of Caligula, statues of his mother Agrippina, as Hestia Voulaia, and of his father Germanicus, as Zeus Voulaios, had been erected there.
West of the theater a Hellenistic building with a column- supported court may have been used as a place of assembly for the religious cult of the “Valis-tes”, who worshipped the King. The temple of Pythios Appolo, which was later converted to a Christian church, is behind the house of the Valistes. Also the temples of the Egyptian deities Isis, Serapis, and Anubis. To the N.W. side of the city are the “barracks” and the “Gymnasium” of the Ptolemies. Among others, private residences, hot baths, and a temple of Ptolemy III have been uncovered.
A little to the north there is an ancient temple which was converted to a Christian church, the Sotiras tou Christou (“Christ Saviour”). It is also called Christoulaki (Little Christ). Next to the church, in a natural cavern, there are the temples of Demetra and Persephone. The cemetery of the ancient city is found in the Sellada area, a pass of Mesa Vouno. In the location Plagiades, on the N.E. side of the pass, 7th century B.C. tombs have come to light, with important funeral gifts. Another cemetery has been uncovered on the S.W. side of Mesa Vouno. The excavations, which started on 1895 and are still continuing, keep bringing to the surface artifacts from an age that was considered all but mythological a few years ago.


The village is about 9km. distant from Fira. Except for the churches of the Eisodiatis Theotokou and Aghioi Anargyroi, on the road to Emporio we find the church of Aghios Nicolaos Marmaritis. It is called Marmaritis because the whole building is made of marble (“marmaro”). This church was a pagan temple of the Doric style before the 4th century A.D. Its conversion to a Christian church left the original building of the 3rd century A.D. intact.


A large village with a population of about 1000 people. It is built almost on the center of the plain, on a point which has a view towards both sides of the island. Small, picturesque streets and old mansions compose the beauty of the old village. It was one of the five areas of the island fortified with a castle during the Venetian years. Vestiges of the medieval castle (Mesana), which was equal to Pyrgos, remain till this day. North of the village, a bulky, square building, “Goulas”, is located. It is a strong tower in which the people of the village found shelter and protection from the pirates. Tradition claims that this tower was built by monks from the Monastery of St.John in Patmos to protect the land and wealth of the monastery. The imposing church of Evangelismos is a modern building, built in the 1980′s.
To the right of the village, lining the hill, we see the picturesque windmills of Gavrilos. AKROTIRI A village in the S.W. part of the island, about 12km. distant from Fira. It is built on the most remote part of the island. The excavations in the area brought to light the settlement known as the City of Akrotiri. It was one of the fortified castles of the island during the medieval years. After Santorini was occupied by the Turks, the strong Venetian castle was torn down. The remains of its towers are easily discernible. The old churches of Aghia Triada and Ypapanti tou Soteros are found in the area. From here, a road leads to the southern part of the island, where Faros is.


The sole harbour of the island. The village has very old domed houses, dug in the volcanic rock, and these are the only sights worth seeing there.
A small beach, covered with pebbles, is good for swimming.


Small island op-posite Oia. About one hour distant from Santorini. One can visit this small and barren island, with the few inhabitants, with an excursion boat. Its only sight is the wood-carved temple screen in the monastery Koimisis tis Theotokou. The screen was made in Russia and placed in the church on 1872. The coasts of the island are out of the way and the beaches very few. A road with 150 steps leads from the harbour to the village Manola, the largest settlement on the island. Other villages on the island are Pota-mos and Agrilia. On the south end of the island there is a submarine cave, called Trypiti, that has two entrances. On the north side of the island is the church of Aghia Irini, which lays claim to the honor of having changed Thera’s name to Santorini together with Aghia Irini of Perissa.


The two volcanic islands, where the crater of the volcano is. The visit to the volcano is made by boat. The whole area smells heavily of sulphur, while on many points the stones and earth are hot. The trip and the climb to the crater take about 1 1/2 hours.