For years, due to ongoing excavations, Akrotiri, the Aegean Sea's equivalent to Pompeii, was not open to tourists. But ever since it reopened in 2012, it is a must-see on anyone's Santorini itinerary. If you are interested in how a Greek town looked during the era of Socrates and Aristotle, you don't need to look any further than Akrotiri.
Another archaeological highlight is Ancient Thira, once a lookout for Egyptian and Roman colonisers, situated on Mesa Vuono. It may be a bit of a climb but you will find that the view is well worth the effort. While the preserved artefacts from Santorini's Egyptian and Roman rulers will give you an idea of how the island looked back then, the view will illustrate why it was such a popular target for ancient emperors.