museums santorini

10 Museums In Santorini Not To Miss (2023 Guide)

The island of Santorini is one of the best places to go to if you want to dive deeper into the history and archaeological finds of Greece and the island itself…
And the best way to look at historical pieces is to visit any of the many museums in Santorini. 

Considering the small size of the island, there are actually quite a lot of museums to explore. So to make things easy for you, in this article we have collected a list of the top 10 best options.
By best, we mean the ones that have the most to offer, are easy to access and are favorites of many. 

Visiting these locations on your own can be a great day out in of itself, but to really get the most out of your visit (and learn the most about each exhibit), I recommend taking a tour such as a  Santorini Archeology Half Day Tour with Akrotiri Ruins included.

1. The Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Address Thera 847 00, Greece
Norbert Nagel, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Prehistoric Thera is located in Fira, the capital of Santorini. The museum is divided into four sections.

The first one is dedicated to the history of Thera/Fira, the second to the geology of the island, the third to Cycladic and Neolithic eras, and lastly the fourth includes excavations from Akrotiri.

There are many artifacts from Thera and Akrotiri here which include small items like pottery vessels to larger items like frescoes and statues.

The remaining articles are kept chronologically according to the eras. 

2. Archaeological Museum of Thera

Address Erithrou Stavrou, Thira 847 00, Greece
Archaeological Museum fira
Zde, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Another museum located in Fira is the Archaeological Museum. It is smaller than the Museum of Prehistoric Thera but has its own historical significance. 

The main attractions are sculptures and inscriptions from various periods in history. There are also small clay or ceramic vases and figurines. 

Most artifacts come from excavations on Mount Vouno so this museum pairs well with the Archaeological Site of Ancient Thera. 

3. Lignos Folklore Museum

Address Kontochori, Κοντοχώρι-Φηρά, Fira 847 00, Greece

The Folklore Lignos Museum is located in Kontohori which is a suburb of Fira that can be found on the way to Oia. It was founded by Emmanuel A. Lignos.

This museum is built inside an old cave house that dates back to 1861. It survived the earthquake of 1956 and was renovated later to display its history. 

The museum presents a window into history by displaying the domestic life of the previous centuries. It includes furniture, utensils, and heirlooms. 

An extension was added to the museum later which includes chapels dedicated to Saints Constantine and Helen.

4. Naval Maritime Museum

Address 25ης Μαρτίου 405, Thira 847 00, Greece

The Naval Maritime Museum is a small gem located in the village of Oia. Being an island, the Greek navy was an important part of Santorini’s history. 

The museum actually used to be an old captain’s two-story house which was restored. The ground floor houses nautical equipment including tools like compasses, maps, and other historical technology. 

The first floor has bigger items like old ship models, uniforms, portraits, and photographs of prominent captains and other people on their ships. 

For €5 you can tour this museum for an interesting outlook on Santorini’s history. 

5. Folklore and Ecclesiastical Museum

Address Kontochori, Κοντοχώρι-Φηρά, Fira 847 00, Greece

There are two small museums in the village of Pyrgos on Santorini island. 

The first is the Folklore and Ecclesiastical Museum is located in the Monastery of the Prophet Ilias. The artifacts include hagiographies, religious manuscripts, ecclesiastical items, and folklore items. 

6. Museum of Icons and Ecclesiastical Relics

Address Epar.Od. Pirgou Kallistis – Profiti Ilia 2, Pirgos Kallistis 847 00, Greece

The second museum in Pyrgos is the Museum of Icons and Ecclesiastical Relics which is an old church of the Holy Trinity – a renovated chapel that was a Catholic convent. 

It includes items that were saved after the earthquake in 1956. The items are a diverse bunch including artworks, woodcuts, photographs, antique tools, and a pair of gold embroidered cuffs.

7. Wine Museum

Address Bothonas, Βόθωνας, Vothonas 847 00, Greece

The Koutsogiannopoulos Wine Museum can be found on the road to Kamari Beach in Vothonas. It was founded by the Koutsogiannopoulos family. The museum is in a cave that is 8 meters underground. 

As the name indicates, you will learn about the history of the process of wine-making in Santorini. You also get to taste wine in the designated tasting room. On Fridays, visitors are welcome to take part in the traditional celebrations with wine and dancing. 

You can take up an audio guide to enrich your experience further. Throughout the museum, you will find artifacts, wax models, machinery, and photographs that are all connected to wine-making. 

8. Lost Atlantis Experience

Address Megalochori 847 00, Greece

The last museum on this list is the Lost Atlantis Museum which is the most modern one located in Megalochori. 

It is a digital interactive tour in which you will learn about the myth of Atlantis mentioned in Plato’s works. It is a 9D experience that is open to everyone above the age of 6. 

The museum doesn’t have any physical artifacts but includes holograms and dioramas. You can also relive many of the island’s historical events. The experience is unique, educational, informative, and extremely fun! 

Bonus Mentions

There are two sites in Santorini which aren’t museums but one should visit them to take a look at the well-preserved excavations of these places. And a lot of the museums mentioned above will make more sense in conjunction with these sites. 

Archaeological Site of Akrotiri

The Archaeological Site of Akrotiri is possibly one of the best-preserved places in Greece. 

Located in Akrotiri, this site has extremely well-preserved excavations of the civilization that was buried under the ash of volcanic eruption. Excavations of this area mainly happened in the late 1900s with fairly modern equipment so they are still preserved well.  

You will find a few pottery items, the infamous frescoes, and some architecture that was ahead of its time. 

A guided tour is a good option to tour the place properly. You can also go for a self-guided audio tour through an app. 

Items from Akrotiri can also be found in the Museum of Prehistoric Thera which was mentioned above. 

We have a separate article on the Akrotiri Archaeological Site it if you want to learn more about it and how to get there. 

Archaeological Site of Thera

The Archaeological Site of Thera is located on the Mesa Vouno mountain overlooking the Aegean Sea. 

To get to this site, you have to hike from Kamari or Perissa and then go back because Ancient Thera is only a visiting place. You could also rent a private car to take you there. 

The interesting thing is that Santorini once used to be called Thera but now it’s just an archaeological site. 

An ancient theatre, small limestone houses, some streets, and a few pottery items can be found on this site. 

To learn more about the history of Thera and the present Ancient Thera, you can read our article.

This was all about the museums and sites in Santorini. If you want to know more about this island including its history, the best tourist spots, and lesser-known sites then visit our blog.