Although many people know Santorini for its volcanic landscape, its white houses, the fascinating sunset of Oia and the famous Caldera, the beauties of the island do not end there. You can enjoy the beauties of Santorini with a Santorini Private Tour.
In 1976 the settlement of Oia was declared protected and was the first in Greece to be included by EOT in the program of development and utilization of traditional settlements. The village is world famous for its unique sunset. Oia is divided into two neighborhoods. One “looks” at the caldera with the restored caves that are hidden in the volcanic land and is the area where mainly the farmers and sailors of the island lived.
The other is the neighborhood where most of the neoclassical shipowners ‘houses and captains’ houses are located. Even today, Oia, despite its tourist development, maintains a nostalgic atmosphere. It is worth visiting the Maritime Museum where objects from the maritime history of the island are exhibited, as well as an important collection of books. Remarkable are the nearby traditional villages Tholos and Finikia. From Oia, descending the 214 steps, you will find the coves Ammoudi and Armeni.
It is a fact that the volcanic soil and the special microclimate of the island favored the production of wines, unique for their taste throughout the Mediterranean! The Thera vineyard, which is considered the oldest on the planet, extends, even today when the island has been fully exploited for tourism, in an area of 15,000 acres. In fact, some of its vines are 100 and 150 years old.
It is worth visiting private wineries, most of which have remarkable, exhibition spaces where you can taste the special Thera wine. You should definitely see the facilities of the Union of Cooperatives Winery that extend to a newly built building at the edge of the caldera.
In the place Skaros, in one of the most steep and impressive points that dive sharply in the caldera between Firostefani and Imerovigli was the medieval castle of Santorini. A little lower, literally perched on the volcanic rock, you will find the nunnery of Agios Nikolaos founded in 1651 by the Gyzi family who ruled the island. The monastery was moved to the place we see today in 1815, with the permission of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
The important village of Emporio is located in the southern part of Santorini and used to be – until the beginning of the 20th century – the commercial center of the island. Impressive and in good condition is its medieval castle (Goulas). After touring the medieval alleys, you will ascend to the castle to see the wide view to the interior of the island. Another well-known medieval village is Pyrgos, which until the 19th century was the capital of Santorini.
The island has many settlements and villages one better than the other. One of these villages, Pyrgos, located at a distance of about 10 km from Fira, is probably the most beautiful village on the island. Pyrgos, the old -until 1800- capital of the island is located inland, at the highest point of Santorini, in Profitis Ilias.
In the center of Pyrgos is the medieval castle with houses amphitheatrically built around it. It combines the characteristics of the era of Venetian rule, with scattered churches, mansions and village houses and has been designated a protected monument. The monastery of Profitis Ilias is one of the oldest churches in Santorini and its reconstruction is placed in the 10th century.
The whole village is a challenge for the visitor, who has the opportunity to go up to the castle, to wander the alleys with the special “color” and to enjoy the famous Santorini sunset, even if it is not in Oia. It is certain that if you visit Santorini among the many things to see and do do not neglect to plan a visit to Pyrgos, because the village will enchant you with its beauty.
Under the hot Aegean sun and on the bare volcanic soil of the island, an ascent to the top of Mesa Vouno where parts of ancient Thera are preserved, is not the easiest case in summer.
But it will be a real pity to visit Santorini and not see this great archeological site, but also not to enjoy its incredible view. The city was built in the 8th century BC. from the Dorians, but flourished especially in the Hellenistic and Roman years.