|Santorini Points of Interest|
Enlighten yourself on the Thira, the archaeological sites, the Wineries, the churches and the Food & Wine of Santorini
Thira: Ride a donkey up the switchbacked trail to Thira, a gleaming white village on the cliff tops, or wander the splendid beaches of white sand and black pumice.
The Archaeological Sites: Two great civilisations have left their mark on Santorini. The one belongs to prehistoric times and is that which is coming to light in the excavations at Akrotiri. The other is the Greek civilisation and is represented by the ancient city located on Mesa Vouno.
Prehistoric Thera: Akrotiri The ancient city at Akrotiri is not merely the most important archaeological site on the island; it is also, thanks to its excellent state of preservation and the wealth of finds it has yielded, the most important prehistoric settlement found anywhere in the Eastern Mediterranean. Akrotiri could be called the prehistoric Pompeii of the Aegean.
Ancient Thera: Mesa Vouno The strategic qualifications of the site attracted the attention of the Lacedaemonian colonisers of the island who founded their city upon the limestone rock of Mesa Vouno. From the 9th century B.C. until the spread of Christianity, the city of Mesa Vouno was the only urban center of the island.
The Wineries: The wineries of Santorini produce exceptional wines from the island’s famed vineyards. Wine tasting is available in six different wineries: Antoniou (Megalochori) Boutari (Megalochori) Canava Roussos (Mesa Gonia) Koutsoyannopoulos (Messaria) Santo Wines (Pyrgos) Sigalas (Ia)
The Churches: As is the case throughout the Cyclades, Santorini is abundant with more than 250 churches of all shapes and sizes. The ecclesiastical architecture of Santorini is notable for its delicasy and plasticity. Both features stem from the free creative imagination of the local folk craftsmen. Near Mesa Gonia is the church of Panagia Episkopi, founded by the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. The marble templon of the church is a rare example of marble-carving combined with wax decoration. The wall paintings of the church date from around 1100. Above Pyrgos village, on the homonymous mountain stands the Monastery of Prophitis Elias which was founded at the beginning of the 18th century. Apart from the carved wooden templon, the monastery houses important old books, manuscripts and a collection of ethnographic material.
Food & Wine: Whoever concerns themselves with taste and cuisine has noticed the great deal of media attention newspapers and magazines have given to the gastronomy of Santorini the last few years. The island’s cuisine, dependent on locally grown produce, fish and seafood from the Aegean Sea, has become timely again today by proving once more how delicious and healthy this cuisine truly is. The tomato croquettes made from tiny, delicious tomatoes, the split pea puree known as ‘fava’ with all its different versions, the white aubergine with its firm body, the wild rabbit, the fish with capers, the salads with caper leaves, the fresh goat cheese, the pork sausages and "apohti", the sweet ‘melitinia’, plus the "sfougata" and "ziladies" have found their place once again on the restaurant menus. Together with the drink "tsikoudia", the wonderful white wines, and the sweet dessert wine "visanto", the Santorini cuisine satisfies even the most demanding plates. Santorini provides more than three hundred restaurant options ranging from simple to sophisticated, and a number of them enjoy the reputation of being amongst the best and most innovative in the country. The island produces especially excellent dry white wines (a wide choice of over sixty local brands) and sweet dessert wines. Do not neglect to try them at the restaurants, the local wineries, the coffee shops and the bars of the island.