The village of Vothonas is located 6 km away from the town of Fira. It is among the most picturesque settlements of Santorini, offering a peaceful and beautiful setting for your holidays. Vothonas village is built on a picturesque ravine with traditional houses which are literally carved out of rocks.
A stroll around the paved streets leaves any visitor spellbound by the creativity of the craftsmen who knew how to protect their houses from violent storms. Vothonas is characterized by this unique layout and stylish details that match perfectly with the white domed churches and the traditional houses.
The trip to Vothonas village would be incomplete without visiting the magnificent church of Agia Anna,the oldest church of the village that dates back to 1827. The most beautiful part of the church is actually the carved wooden panel, which artistically portrays scenes from the Old Testament.
If you have enough energy left, you may as well visit the pretty chapel of Panagia Trypa located on the edge of the cliff. The walking trail is about 20 minutes.
Messaria is a small quaint village situated 4km southeast of Fira, around a vast area of vineyards at the centre of Santorini. Most of the inhabitants are occupied with wine making and there is a local winery to see and taste a wide range of wine flavors. A stroll around the village reveals magnificent neoclassical buildings and restored mansions. Between them are numerous taverns and nice accommodation.
The roads are very busy during the day as it is on the main thoroughfare for getting around much of the island. You can sit at the main square for a nice Greek coffee under the trees. In Messaria you can find a few yet beautiful churches with impressive bell towers that dominate the area. Visit Argyros mansion, one of the best examples of neoclassical architecture in Santorini built in 1888.
Pyrgos is situated 8 km southeast of Fira. The village is located on a fabulous spot on top of a hill and displays incredible panoramic views of the island. At the bottom are some nice taverns, a shop that stocks international press and the usual tourist shops.
Pyrgos used to be the capital of the island until the early 1800s. Today, the village of Santorini counts more than 500 inhabitants and it is well-known for its major tourist movement. The village consists of traditional houses built all around the Venetian castle, and the small streets that follow the natural flow of the surrounding landscape. The houses are the perfect example of Cycladic design and in superb condition.
The Venetian castle is one of the five on the island of Santorini and dates back to the 13th century. The fortfied settlement is amphitheatrically built on the hill and offers superb views of both sides of the island. The village has many churches: the church of Theotokaki with its beautiful frescoes and old icons, Agia Triada, the church of Agia Theodosia, the Archangel Michael and many others. The most famous church of Santorini is also found just 4 km from Pyrgos, the Monastery of Prophet Elias which is built at the highest spot of the homonymous mountain. It hosts a small collection of ethnographic material and old icons.
Emporio is the largest settlement of Santorini located 12 km from Fira on the foothills of Mount aProphet Elias. The village itself has a strong medieval character and most of the houses have been well-preserved. At the entrance of the village stand two lovely, blue domed Cycladic churches with impressive bell tower that dominate Emporio.
Half way up the village is a 15th century fortress which looks as though it will slide down the hill at any moment. To the east of the town you will see the market and some nice hotels leading down down to the well-known Perissa beach.
Akrotiri is located next to the famous Red Beach. It is ampitheatrically built at the southeastern side of the island. Akrotiri was originally a Minoan settlement and today is one of the major tourist attractions and the most important archeological site of Santorini.
The prehistoric town was destroyed due to a massive volcanic erruption around 1600 BC. Nowadays, the picturesque streets, the two-storey buildings, the lovely frescoes and plenty of tools witness the way of life in the prehistoric times.
Today, the beautiful frescoes of the ancient city of Akrotiri can only be seen in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Some splendid houses are dotted around the village as well as a traditional windmill. Many tour boats arrive in Akrotiri and tourists are scattered to the nearby beaches of the area. Another place of interest is the Venetian castle that dominates the settlement of Akrotiri.
The town has lovely hotels and also many local taverns with a splendid view to the sea. Akrotiri has plenty of churches to visit and one of the most beautiful is the church of Agios Nikolaos built right above the impressive redish rocks, on the way to the Red Beach.
Immerovigli is a picturesque village situated at the north of Santorini, only 2 km away from the capital of Fira. It is a continuation of Fira and one of the most beautiful balconies of the island. The name of Imerovigli comes from the word vigla which means view spot. The position of the village provides a clear view of the caldera, and during the old times it allowed villagers to see the pirate ships approaching. Today, Immerovigli is one of the recognized traditional settlements.
Hotels and traditional houses are plentiful in Imerovigli. There are also many taverns and cafes with stunning views to the caldera. In front of Immerovigli lies an enormous rock called Scaros.On top of it is a castle that was built during the 13th century but it was abandoned in the early 1800s. The castle housed all the administrative offices of the island. This part of the island collapsed after an earthquake, and only the huge hill of Scaros is left today. Immerovigli has numerous chapels and churches built on the rocks overlooking the blue sea. The village is known as the ultimate romantic destination.
Fira is the capital of Santorini, Greece, and the most important of all villages. It is located at the west side of the island and 10 km away from the main port, Athinios. Fira has 1,600 permanent inhabitants. It is perched on the edge of an impressive cliff, at a height of 260 meters offering a great panoramic view over the submerged volcano.
In 1956, the island of Santorini was hit by an earthquake that destroyed a large part of the island but luckily, some of the 18th century buildings were saved. The town of Fira is a typical Cycladic village made of charming white houses with blue windows and doors, separated from each other by small paved streets.
Many of its beautiful buildings were constructed back in the times of the Venetian invasion, including some blue domed churches and sun-bathed verandas that offer an incredible view of the volcano and the sunset. In our days, Fira is a busy town.
During summer and in its high season, the central streets are overcrowded with tourists and filled with all kind of shops, jewelleries, restaurants, cafes, bars and night clubs. The town has a large number of hotels and from a high position you can notice that most have swimming pools and verandas offering their customers a superb view. The caldera is considered the highlight of Santorini but there are some interesting churches that attract attention as well as the sheer beauty of the town's architecture. Despite all the tourist traffic concentrated in town, there are some areas that remain quiet.
Thus one will definitely find places to relax and enjoy a great view of the island and the surrounding area. For those in search of a knowing better the culture of the island, an Archaeological Museum hosting many items from several excavations conducted in the ancient Minoan settlement of Akrotiri can be visited in the town of Fira. The town displays also numerous churches and monasteries such as Agios Minas, the cathedral of Ipapanti, the cathedral of Christ, the monastery of Panagia ton Dominikanidon, Panagia tou Rodariou and the Catholic Cathedral.
A nice proposal is also the Megaron Gyzi Museum with its fascinating collection of photos of Fira before and after the earthquake of 1956. Fira also has a port that was, for many years, the main port of Santorini. Today, this port is only used for cruise boats. From there, boats can take visitors for a tour to the volcano of Nea and Palia Kameni.
Firostefani lies to the north of Fira and there is little difference that separates it from its considerable larger neighbour. Without a doubt, the views from this part of Santorini are spectacular, offering another perspective of Santorini volcano. One can enjoy the magnificent sight of Fira itself and the breathtaking sunset in the evening.
The village has plenty of restaurants and cafes located on the most fabulous locations. Between the village of Firostefani and Imerovigli lies the Agios Nikolas Monastery. Hotels are plenty in Firostefania. They are quite picturesque with vividly colored houses. There are also few shops, most of them are concentrated at the main shopping street, at the centre of Firostefani.
Oia, pronounced Ia, is the most famous of all villages of Santorini. It is known throughout the world for its quiet life and fantastic sunset, and is certainly the most beautiful and picturesque village of Santorini. The village is also situated on top of an impressive cliff and offers a spectacular view over the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni and the island of Thirassia. Oia is situated on the north of the island, 11 km away from Fira.
It is a traditional village with charming houses in narrow streets, blue domed churches, and sun-bathed verandas. Its streets have plenty of tourist shops, taverns, cafes, and other shops. Oia is much more quiet that Fira and the busiest area is the main pedestrian that runs along its length. At the entrance of the village is a car park where visitors can leave their vehicle and enjoy long walks in the picturesque paths. The volcano from here is much less imposing but you can still get some gorgeous views.
Oia has several cultural attractions like the Maritime Museum which houses a small library, items from the maritime life of the area, and the vestiges of a Venetian fortress. Many artists fell in love with the area and settled there. For that reason, the village of Oia has many art galleries.
Oia also has a small port, Ammoudi, which can be reached by a set of 300 steps leading down. There, small boats can take you opposite, to the island of Thirassia. The beach of Armenis is also located there. Taverns in Oia offer visitors tasty meals of fresh fish.
One of the most traditional Villages of Santorini, Megalohori lies on a hill creating a labyrinth of steep alleys and streets. The uncountable vineyards which extend beyond the countryside offer a magnificent setting and the top quality wine in Santorini. Megalochori is definitely a place to experience the rich wine tradition. The famous Boutari winery is found on the village's outskirts.
Megalochori offers a nice mix of white Cycladic houses, several churches and narrow alleys witnessing the strong Aegean tradition. Follow the road to the main square that hosts a couple of nice taverns serving delicious food.