Known as the "Pompeii of the Aegean", the archaeological site at Akrotiri on the island of Santorini was buried beneath layers of volcanic ash during an eruption 3,700 years ago.
"One of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece and the world opened its gates again," Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Petros Alivizatos told Reuters
. "Akrotiri, which is now fully safe, will attract visitors and boost Greek tourism."
The eruption was one of the most violent in recorded history, and has been linked to the downfall of the Minoan civilisation, as well as the myth of Atlantis. Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson told USA Today
the total volume of material ejected equalled a mile-square pile of dirt stacked nine miles high, making the blast about 120 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
reports the rock and ash that engulfed the city preserved the town, with all its architecture, sculpture, pottery and frescoes, for millennia. Many of the frescoes have retained their colours.
The site was closed in 2005 after a canopy, erected to protect it from sun damage, collapsed and killed a tourist from Wales. The canopy has been replaced by a more secure structure of wood and steel, and many objects that were moved to museum across Greece are expected to return.