The Island

Santorini

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Santorini, Thera or ‘Strogili’ (older name of the island) is renowned for its volcano and sunset. Santorini consists of thirteen communities and Therasia, if you have sufficient time during your stay, we would recommend that you visit all the towns of the island.

 

Fira…

 

…is the capital of Santorini and it was almost two centuries ago that this town was formed. It is located at the edge of the Caldera on an altitude of 250 metres. Take the Karavolades stairs (588 steps) and enjoy walks in the Old Port. Return with the cable car and absorb the magnificent views of the island. You can also visit the Archaeological museum, The Museum of Prehistoric Thira, the Megaro Gyzi Museum, and the Santozeum.

Imerovigli

 

…is the town with the largest façade on the caldera, and its name comes from the words “imera (day)” and “vigla” (from the Latin verb ‘vigilare’, meaning ‘being vigilant’). It was used as a look-out point to prevent pirate attacks. On the side of Exo Gialos, the castle of Skarou or Roka was the first capital of the island and is ideal for short strolls. The church of St. George and its courtyard is a perfect spot to view the sunset.

 

Messaria

 

…this name was given to this town due its central location on the island. In this town you will see preserved old mansions, one of which is Argiro’s, which currently is used as a museum on the first floor and a guest house on the ground floor.

Village

Vourvoulos

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Vourvoulos is yet another amphitheatrically build town, with few inhabitants and with beautiful restaurants along the beach. There used to be a volcano in this area and up until today there are lava residues.

Kamari…

…is a town near the sea which attracts many tourists and is strategically located below Ancient city of Thera. The old town of ‘Episkopi Gonias’ or ‘Mesa Gonia’ was almost completely destroyed by the 1956 earthquake. The new town extends to the beach, the beach prolongs to ‘Monolitho’ where you can enjoy a swim. In this specific area there are several ‘kanaves’, such as the Roussos ‘kanava’ where you can taste all the wines of Santorini, and see a fully equipped ‘kanava’ like it used be when the grapemust used to be sent to France.

Emporio…

…is the largest town in the province of Thera with one of the 5 castles on the island. On the left side of the entrance of the village, you can see the Tower of Goulas, which was built during the domination of the Venetian Empire (around the 15th Century). On the other side, at the top of the hill of Gavrilos, there are eight windmills built in a row. The beaches of Emporio are Perissa, Perivolos, Agios Ioannis, Agios Georgios and Vlychada. There is a remarkable church of Agia Irini which dates back to the 4th and 5th Century. Jump on a boat from Perissa and visit the cave of the ‘Fokias’ (seals) and the ‘Agrioperistera’ (wild pigeons).

Pyrgos Kallisti…

…in this town is the ‘Pera’ school which was built within three years during 1803-1806. It was the first school on the island that operated until 1845 and the locals from the town are proud to have been the pioneers of the era. Visiting the village’s castle and strolling in the alleys whilst admiring the architecture of the buildings is a must. The 1st Century Theotoki temples, the 16th Century Virgin Mary, 16th Century Saint Nicholas and the monastery of the Elijah the Prophet make up the complete image of the island.

Megalochori…

…encompasses the largest vineyard of the island. Megalochori’s beaches are Thrybobis, Ksetripitis, Chana and Viglon and this is where you will come across the so-called lunar setting. You can join the festival of Saint Anargyri on the 1st of July. The bell of Zoodochou Pigis is a remarkable artefact. Visitors can savour the local delicacies in the square of the town whilst gazing at the Virgin ‘Isodion’ and the unique scenery which encompasses all the Saints of the Orthodoxy.

Oia…

…a coastal town 10 kilometres away from Fira. It is the most popular destination to watch the sunset and it also stands out for its cave settlement. The Naval Museum, the churches of St. Spyridon, the church of the Virgin Platsani, Kera Panagia, Saint Ekaterini and Goulas are strongly recommended places to visit in Oia. It is also worth mentioning the black and white mountains that have been formed by the volcanic lava and the island of Peramataris which is located outskirts of the town. Visitors can go swimming at the following beaches, Baxedes, Katharos, Ammoudi, Armeni, Kouloubos and Paradisos.

Vothonas…

…is a traditional settlement where the majority of the dwellings are cave houses. One of the most interesting places in Vothonas is the Church of ‘Sergena’ or otherwise known as ‘Trypa’ which is carved in a big volcanic rock. According to the older generation, there were myths that the icon would wander at night at the church’s location. During the Ottoman domination, the locals would use the church as a shelter and the ladder that would allow them to climb up to the crypt still exists. The closest beach is Agia Paraskevi, which is located near the airport.

Akrotiri…

…a small cape southeast of Santorini. Akrotiri has become world widely renowned for excavations and the discovery of the pre-historic settlement, whilst some are in search of ‘Atlantis’. The excavations have been carried out systematically by Spyros Marinatos since 1967, whose findings are located in the museum. Visitors can enjoy a swim and food at the red and white beach near the excavations.

Ekso Gonia…

…‘Apano Gonia’ is another name of the area according to older maps. It is a small town with 330 inhabitants, built amphitheatrically on a mountain slope. The main production of this town is beans, nuts and wine. Like every region of Santorini, Exo Gonia has several remarkable churches, one of which is Saint Charalambos, which is believed to have been built in 1705.

Karterados…

 

 

…is a cave settlement made up of four sections: ‘vounitso’ (mountain), ‘Finikia’ (palm tree), the town and the new settlement. The name comes from the word ‘karteri’ which means waiting. As this was the point where locals would look-out for pirates. There are several churches and chapels, the one that stands out is the ‘Panagia I Kokkini’ (The red Virgin) as it was built with red wine instead of water.

Santorini Villas

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