Akrotiri Castle

Akrotiri Castle

On the Southern tip of Santorini lies a piece of majestic history – the Akrotiri Castle, which is now considered a part of the Akrotiri Village

This ancient building not only serves as a reminder of the past but also provides breathtaking views of the island today. 

This article will cover the castle’s history, how you can visit it today, and how to make the best of the trip. 

Akrotiri Castle History

The origins of the Venetian Castle of Akrotiri date back to the 13th century Bronze Age when Minoans occupied Santorini or at the time known as, Thera. 

Due to the strategic position of the castle and its strong fortification, it served as a great point of defense during that era. Its central tower – the Goulas was the main defense and around it, there were around 200 fortified houses. 

It was known as “Punta Castelli” or “La Ponta” meaning the peak in Italian. The castle was donated to the Gozzadini family by Nikolas Sanudos, the Duke of Naxos but over the centuries, the rulers changed hands. 

Up until the earthquake of 1956, the castle was actually well-preserved. Since 2012, efforts have been made to restore it but it mainly lies in ruins today.

What to do at the Akrotiri Castle 

There are five Venetian castles around Santorini but the Akrotiri Castle is the only one where you can roam freely inside the tower. So if you’re visiting, its worth knowing that this is an excellent thing to do in Akrotiri.

It’s genuinely a unique feeling of being able to step into the past while also getting to see how modernity has been incorporated into this place. 

Majestic Views 

The entry to Akrotiri Castle is free of cost and there are no tickets since there aren’t any official guided tours. You can just walk into the castle and get the exceptional opportunity to walk among ancient ruins. 

A few of the doors are locked so not everything is accessible but you can reach the top of the castle and experience the magnificent panoramic view overlooking the caldera. 

If you get a chance to visit at time of sunset then that adds to the beauty of the view. However, you should know that it might be more crowded at that time. 

Musical Venture

From 2012 to 2017, the tenants that took over Akrotiri Castle held concerts which gave a chance for a serene Greek musical experience.

However, since 2018, they have relocated to Megalochori and created the Symposium by La Ponta there. As they describe it, visitors are offered a total experience of the arts, from music to performances to interactive tours.

It is about 4km away from the Akrotiri Castle so it’s up to you if you want to cover it on the same day. However, you will have to make reservations if you want to take part in any of the workshops or tours and check in with their timings. 

Culinary Adventures

The Akrotiri Castle is somewhat inhabited today. And so, Nicoletta’s family has taken a part of the castle and converted it into a cafe-restaurant. 

You can look it up as “Punta Castelli Traditional Greek Kafeneion” to find the exact location. Countless reviews have mentioned this to be a highlight of their trip to the Akrotiri Castle as you will be welcomed with open arms and get to experience authentic Greek food and coffee. 

How to Get to the Venetian Castle of Akrotiri 

There are two main ways to get to the castle – taking a public bus or having your own transport: 

Public Transport

Every few hours, a bus leaves from Fira, the capital city of Santorini, to Akrotiri. From the bus stop at Akrotiri, the castle is only about 220m away. 

This distance will have to be covered by walking because there isn’t any other public transportation within Akrotiri. It’s a fairly short walk then you have to climb stairs to reach around the castle.

Private Transport 

If you hire your own car and driver, you can take it around wherever you want. The same goes for if you rent a car since you can drive it anywhere. 

We have a separate guide to renting cars on our blog which you can check out if you want to explore this option. 

Of course, this is also more expensive, compared to the public transport route. 


A bonus option to include is hiking around the island. Santorini is not very big so people opt to hike from one place to the other, quite often. 

This depends on where you are coming from in Akrotiri. A couple of popular hikes include Red Beach to Akrotiri village, Pyrgos Kallistis to Akrotiri, and more! 

If you are in doubt, you can always reach out to locals who will point you in the right direction. 

This concludes everything you need to know about the Akrotiri Castle. If you are still unsure about it, our recommendation would be to visit the castle if you are coming to the Akrotiri Village

Truthfully, it’s not completely worth it just to come here to visit the castle since it has lost a lot of its originality. But if you are already in the area then the views here shouldn’t be missed. 

We hope that whatever you decide, this guide helps you get there and explore the right things!