The Museum of Minerals and Fossils was founded by the Cultural Society of Thera in 2006. It lies in the coastal village of Perissa, near the church of Holy Cross. It is an impressive museum that has intrigued visitors since its foundation and exhibits minerals and fossils not only from Thera, but also the rest of Greece and other countries all over the world.
This museum appeals to everybody, both adults and children, and not only to people who are interested in geology and paleontology, as it displays an amazing collection of rare geologic rocks and fossils that predate the eruption of Thera and some of them even human history. The oldest exhibit of the museum dates back to 1.5 billion years ago and the most recent one to 50,000 years ago.
Fossils constitute a significant source of information on the evolution of life in the entire planet. Such exhibits, which cover all groups of organisms, can be admired at the Museum of Minerals and Fossils, including some important plant fossils of olive, mastic and palm trees from the caldera of Santorini which date back to 50,000–60,000 years from today. It is a very rare and old kind of flora, unique in the Mediterranean, which certifies the plant evolution in the past, not only in the Aegean but also in Europe. Among the exhibits, there is a noteworthy olive tree branch two meters long.
The museum is open to the public daily from 10:00 to 14:00 during summer and only on Sunday mornings in winter. Everybody will adore a visit here where they have the chance to admire colorful minerals and impressive fossils up close and witness the history of evolution unfolding before their eyes. A stop at the Minerals and Fossils Museum will make visitors appreciate and gain a better understanding on the unique elements of Santorini that have given it its identity and become acquainted with the locals’ dedicated efforts to celebrate and disperse these elements, which form an integral part of the island, to the world.