6 must-see museums of Santorini

If you are visiting Santorini you should not miss visiting some of its unique museums! Geological past, ancient Greek history, traditions of the past decades, local’s lifestyle and cultural heritage mingle together enlightening some very interesting aspects to the way of living of the islanders thought the ages. Here are some of our favorite museums;

Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Α precise definition of the Museum of Prehistoric Thera could be “a house where the historical imprint, the varying culture, and art are presented thoroughly with high respect to the greatness of Greek tradition and history”.  The Museum of Prehistoric Thera has numerous ancient artifacts from several excavations as well as objects discovered fortuitously or handed over. Most of the findings come from the excavation at Akrotiri, which was administered under the auspices of the Archaeological Society at Athens, the excavations at Potamos, which were organized by the German Archaeological Institute at Athens as well as excavations at plenty additional positions of Santorini, carried out by the 21st Ephorate of Antiquities for the Cyclades and Samos.

The exhibition is structured in four separate units. The first unit refers to the history of research at Thera, the second presents the geology of Thera, the third examines the island’s history from the Late Neolithic to the Late Cycladic I period (early 17th century B.C.), and the last one explains in-depth the heyday of the city at Akrotiri (unique pottery, architecture, rising bureaucratic system, luxurious jewelry, etc.). The exhibition aims to explicate why Akrotiri was considered one of the most prestigious Aegean centers during the 18th and 17th centuries B.C.

  • Location: Fira Santorini 847 00 Greece
  • Opening Hours: 8.30 – 15.30 (Tuesday closed)
  • Tel : +30 22860 23217
  • Ticket: 6€/person
  • Approximately duration: 30 minutes  

Tomato Industrial Museum

All started back in 1915, when Mr. Dimitrios Nomikos began producing tomato paste in the village of Messaria at Santorini using more traditional tools. He has already understood the uniqueness and importance of tomato cultivation on the island and he extends his passion and creations by developing, a few years later, in 1922 a more technologically precocious tomato processing factory in the Balkans. Thereinafter his devotion followed by his son, Mr. George Nomikos, who created the current Tomato Industrial Museum when he set up a tomato processing firm in Vlychada in 1945. Before the earthquake of 1952, tomato processing was one of the most principal contributions in the industry of Santorini. 

Today, the Santorinian tomatoes are one of the most popular and traditional local products of the island with a peculiar flavor, small size, high sugars, hard peel, and exquisite quality which create a unique tomato paste (perfectly accompanied with bread as an appetizer). The Tomato Industrial Museum allows the visitor to learn about all the traditional methods developed by the tomato producers of Santorini and presents interesting exhibits dating back to 1980, such as a comprehensive range of the processing engine, hand-written account books of the factory, a variety of hand-written records for multiple aspects of the factory, older tools, the first labels applied, as well as audiovisual material with stories of people who worked in the plant, etc. An alternative museum which worth visiting!  To read more about the Tomato Museum click here.

  • Location: Vlychada Beach, Santorini
  • Opening hours: 10.00-18.00 (Mondays closed)
  • Tel: +30 22860 85141
  • Tickets: 10€/person (Children: free up to 12 years/ children over 12 years 6€)
  • Approximate duration: 1 hour

Folkore Museum

They say that if you wish to deeply understand the local culture of an area, you have to examine the everyday life of the locals! Well, a way to do so at Santorini is to visit the Folklore Museum which is housed in a traditional cave, built at 1861 in Fira, the capital city of Santorini, and gives the visitors a clear idea of the past lifestyle of the island! The Folklore Museum was established by an inventive lawyer, journalist, and director of the local newspaper “Theiraic News” , Mr. Emmanuel A. Lignos.

While you are gallivanting around the museum, you will learn about the local customs and professions, you will explore a traditional winery along with various antique tools as well as you will discover a cave showing evidence of the volcanic eruption from the excavation of the layers of soil. An art gallery with works by famous artists inspired by Santorini and a library with lithographs, manuscripts, books from Santorini, and pictures of life on the island in past years will undoubtedly impressed you. Lastly, at the museum, you will also find a garden and courtyard that offers seating areas amongst trees and flowers. Make sure to join a tour and not just wonder around the exhibits! It will be so much more intriguing!

  • Location: Fira – Kontochori Santorini 847 00 Greece
  • Opening Hours: 10.00 -14.00
  • Tel : +30 22860 22792
  • Ticket: 2€/person
  • Approximate duration: 30 minutes 

Lost Atlantis Experience

The mystery of lost Atlantis undoubtedly remains an interesting, controversial story through the centuries with significant influence in arts and literature. Lost Atlantis is being considered the most famous mythological island and Santorini seems to be the most well-known proposed location for the lost city which is said to have once flourished somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Lost Atlantis experience is a private initiative, that presents, in a very interesting and modern way the importance of Greek heritage, culture, and mythology. The Museum is located in the village of Megalochori and is being extended in a 700 sqm building that offers an alternative digital journey to the past through a mixture of historical and geological digital installations about the island of Atlantis. The 9D film of the destruction of Thera and the volcanic eruption gets very immersive and informative! Various digital exhibitions like Diorama, Plato’s Atlantis, a 3D Santorini Hologram, and more as will unquestionably make you spend some really fun and educational hours during your stay at Santorini.

  • Location: Megalohori, Santorini
  • Opening Hours: 10.00 -21:00
  • Telephone: +30 22860 85076
  • Ticket: 12€/ person (6€ children 7-12 years old)
  • Approximate duration: 1 hour

Wine Museum Koutsogiannopoulos 

The Wine Museum is a traditional winery with transcendent history and is located in a natural undercover cave eight meters below ground, 300 meters long with a labyrinth-like unique shape. It was founded by the Koutsogiannopoulos family four generations ago and it took approximately 21 years to be built as it looks like nowadays. The Wine Museum presents the history of wine by viewing semi-mobile and still-life figurines as well as the life of vine-growers in Santorini from 1660 until today. The description of the exhibition is heled by automatic audio which is available in 14 languages and a guidebook which has been translated into 22 languages.

The visitors can examine all stages of the winemaking process in chronological order, the grades of pruning and plowing of the vineyards, harvesting, stomping, and weighing of the grapes and they can also observe a variety of the winemaking machinery and tools. A uniquely designed wine-tasting room allows visitors to taste four high-quality wines that the winery produces today (a red wine, a white wine, a dessert wine, and a rose wine) while the original office of the founder of the winery, Mr. Grigorios Koutsoyannopoulos, where all his personal items are being presented, convince visitors that the past is still alive! The Museum is an interesting attraction not only for “wine lovers” but also for travelers who wish to learn why Santorini is remarkable for the quality of the wine.

  • Location: Fira – Kontochori Santorini 847 00 Greece
  • Opening Hours: 09:00-19:00 (Monday- Saturday) & Sunday 10:00 – 19:00
  • Tel : + 30 2286031322
  • Ticket: 14€/person
  • Approximately duration: 1 hour

Naval Maritime Museum   

The Naval Maritime Museum is located in the charming village of Oia, which is famous for the beautiful captain houses and applauds the Santorinian and Hellenic naval history and culture. The museum was first founded in 1956 by a captain of commercial Navy named Antonis Dakoronias and in 1990 is relocated in a picturesque two-story captain house, a generous donation made by Dina Manolessou-Birbili.

On the ground floor of the museum regional nautical artifacts (maps, sextants, portholes, hanging hurricane lamps, log meters, propellers, anchors, etc.) are being presented along with a short description of its use, while on the first floor visitors can admire old and new Theran ships as well as personal items of local captains such as uniforms, portraits, family photographs, photographs of old crew and vessels, impressive ship replicas, etc. The Museum contains also an imposing library with books from the naval schools of Santorini and Samos, which were found in 1882.

The Museum’s treasures undoubtedly represent the great importance of the Hellenic Navy to the locals which based on the fact that for decades the economic prosperity of Santorini enhanced significantly from its merchant fleet.

  • Location: Oia Santorini 847 02 Greece
  • Opening Hours: 10.00 – 14.00 & 17.00 – 20.00 (Tuesday closed)
  • Tel : +30 22860 71156
  • Ticket: 3€/person
  • Approximately duration: 45 minutes

If you wish to elongate your field of knowledge through an interesting historical journey of Santorini you now have a place to start. Enjoy!

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