Santorini is a feast for the senses that can be savored all through the year, just like the Four Seasons of Vivaldi. Continuing with some winter activities for you to enjoy, let’s see what the inland of this unique island has in store for you.
For many visitors, Santorini is just the Caldera. But for the heart of the real explorer, the island’s hinterland holds many exciting experiences! There are so many traditional settlements, imposing hills offering unbelievable vistas and landscapes with unfolding vineyards for you to discover!
Let’s start with the traditional settlement of Pyrgos, Santorini’s first capital, nestled on the mountainside. Visit its well preserved medieval castle, with the old churches and white-washed houses surrounding it. Lose yourself in the narrow streets and alleys with their special atmosphere. From here, you can also enjoy a beautiful sunset, looking from above how the sun sinks majestically into the Caldera.
Definitely walk or drive up to Prophetes Ilias monastery, just 3 kilometers away from Pyrgos; the view from up there is beyond words. Let your eyes travel and rest upon not only to the entire Santorini and the beautiful vastness of the Aegean Sea, but also to almost all the islands of the Cyclades. Even Crete, the cradle of the ancient Minoan civilization, is visible on a clear day.
Other traditional settlements are those of Vothonas and also Karterados, where you can see houses carved into the rock and picturesque old blue-domed churches. Definitely go to Emporio, distinguished for its vivid medieval color and the castle on the hilltop. Savor the vineyards and old windmills surrounding the village. Exo Gonia offers a wonderful vista to the Aegean Sea. Mesa Gonia is one of the most important wine production centers of Santorini, with one of the oldest churches of the island, Panagia Episkopi, built in 1100 AD. Old mansions and churches and a picturesque square await you at Megalohori.
Also, don’t forget to visit Messaria, another picturesque village surrounded by vineyards, to admire its beautiful mansions.
And then, of course, there is Finikia, the picturesque village near Oia, filled with old wineries called canaves. The walk in this traditional settlement is a rare experience: discover the alleys with the white-washed houses next to others, painted with vivid earthy or cooler colors: salmon, blue, red, all surrounded by black stone fences hiding unbelievable secret gardens and patios.
Ready to settle down for a delicious dinner and a glass of assyrtiko at the end of the day? Stay tuned to find out more about Santorini’s gastronomy and wine tasting!