Named after the Spartan commander Theras, the ancient city of Thera was inhabited from the 9th century BC until 726 AD. At its height, Thera boasted sanctuaries, temples, and an impressive theater hewn into rock. Take a guided tour to learn about the city’s history, or opt for a tour of Santorini’s gorgeous southeastern coast that stops at Thera along with other sights, such as Kamari Beach and the Byzantine Church of Panagia Episkopi.
Things To Know Before You Go
You must pay a small fee to enter Thera.
If you plan to hike to the site from nearby settlements, wear light and layered clothes, a hat, and sunscreen, but avoid wide hats; the area can get windy.
The ruins are not wheelchair accessible; the ground is covered with uneven paths and rocks, and exploring requires using stairs.
Bring snacks and bottled water.
How To Get There
Ancient Thera is located on Mesa Vouno hill on Santorini, above Kamari and Perissa. The best way to get here is to take the bus from Kamari, which leaves every hour. You can also drive or hike to the ruins from Perissa; the hike—up a rocky path— takes about 45 minutes. On-site parking is available.
When To Get There
Opening days and times at Thera vary according to the season: From November through March, the site is open Tuesday–Sunday from morning until afternoon, and from mid-April through October, the site is open Wednesday–Monday with slightly later opening and closing hours. While Santorini is beautiful at any time of the year, the weather is ideal from late April to early November.
Located on the southwestern part of Santorini, about 3 miles (4.5 kilometers) from Red Beach, Akrotiri was a prehistoric town that was covered in volcanic ash. This “Greek Pompeii” is an important archaeological site, and excavations have unearthed well-preserved buildings and artifacts. Visit to walk through the site and see the ruins of the ancient town, including detailed wall paintings and an ancient drainage system.