The museums of Santorini give a complete view of the island's history and culture throughout the ages covering the archaeological aspect, the prehistoric Thera, the naval history and the wine production.
The one that comes first in the list of the local museums is the Archaeological Museum in Fira. The museum provides a great collection of findings that offer a throwback to the flourishing periods of Santorini. The main exhibits are sculptures, statues, and inscriptions from the Archaic to Roman times and pottery from the Geometric era. The second most important place to visit in Santorini is the Prehistoric Thera Museum which is home to masterpieces of art from the prehistoric period. In Fira, there is also a private Folklore Museum with interesting traditional wedding.
Outside the village in Oia is the Naval Museum which displays a nice collection of maritime items and rare documents. The beautiful Megaron Gyzi lies in the Catholic neighborhood in Fira and showcases some fascinating engraving from 16th to the 19th century. In Messaria there is a nice wine museum providing an insight into the wine traditions of Santorini. If you are interested in the musical tradition in the ancient years you shall visit the Museum of Musical Instruments in Oia.
The Archaeological Museum of Santorini is located on Fira, the capital village of the island. It hosts sculptures, ceramics, statues, small vases and findings from the ancient cemetery of Thera. The exhibits may not be as impressive as the exhibits of the Prehistoric Museum but it is still worth a visit.
The Museum of Prehistoric Thera is located in Fira and exhibits findings from the prehistoric times that have been excavated from Akrotiri, the Ancient Thera and other areas on Santorini. Exhibits include ceramics, marble statues, Minoan frescoes from Akrotiri, tools, and weaponry.
Megaron Gyzi is where the Cultural Centre of Thira is housed. The exhibits include old maps, engravings, old photos of Santorini and a library with rare editions. In summer, many cultural events are housed there.
The Nautical Museum of Santorini is located in Oia, the most picturesque village on the north of the island. It is located in an elegant mansion and houses nautical instruments, shipping documents, aquarelles, parts of ships and a small library.
Argyros Mansion is an elegant Neoclassical house, located in Messaria, a village famous for its architecture. This mansion was constructed in 1888 by Georgios Argyros, a landowner, and wine merchant. Today, it has been renovated and works as a museum. It hosts wall paintings, traditional furniture, and other artistic objects.
The Museum of Ancient, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Musical Instruments was inaugurated in October 2010 and it is housed in the old Community Building of Oia. It houses the personal collection of Mr. Christodoulos Halaris, a prominent musician.
The Folklore Museum of Santorini is located in Kontohori, a suburb of Fira on the way to Oia. This museum is a private initiative of Mr. Emanouel Lignos and it is housed in a typical cave house of 1861. The museum includes an underground winery with a wine press, workshops of traditional jobs, a gallery and a small chapel dedicated to Agios Konstantinos.