Emporio, Santorini – a photographer’s paradise

One of the hidden treasures of Santorini is the ‘kasteli’ (castle) of Emporio village! Emporio, although it is one of the greatest in population village of the island, it is not very often visited by tourists. However, I am sure it will fascinate you and you will find that it narrates its story only by pictures!

The castle of Emporio

Entering the castle of Emporio, one of the most well-preserved castles of Santorini, you will find yourself on a beautiful maze, composed of narrow streets, tunneled passages, domes, churches and bridged between each other houses united with smooth curves constructed many years ago with Santorinian soil which was used widely in construction by the locals. Nowadays the settlement has expanded out of the castle.

But what is the meaning of kasteli? Kasteli is a complex of houses built one next to the other on a perimeter layout built with the doors, windows, and facades facing the inner side of the settlement. The kasteli has an only entrance, called ‘porta’, meaning ‘the door’. The structure of the castle intended to protect its residents from hostile invasions, usually by pirates.

Hidden treasures in Emporio Village

Walking around the village you shall spot and capture with your camera the following;

  • A handful of architectural curves and lines of the local constructions and numerous sized doors and facades highlighting the unique aesthetic of the village.
  • Small courtyards with colorful pots and the bougainvillea plants dancing in the wind.
  • The chapel of Saint Nicolas the Marmaritis. Its name derived from the carved marble with which it is constructed. It originally was a burial monument of the 3rd century.
  • The square tower of Goulas dated to the 15th century. It was probably built by monks to protect the treasures of the monastery of Saint John.
  • The church of Palia Panagia or Panagia Mesani with its beautiful wood-carved temple dating to 1883. Its bell tower is considered one of the most beautiful on the island.
  • The pebbled floor of the courtyard of the church of “Metamorphoseos”
  • Stray cats walking around the narrow streets or most likely snoozing in the sun 😉
  • The ‘kafenio’, a traditional coffee shop, in the middle of the castle. This is an ideal spot to take a break and enjoy your refreshment or a quick bite.
  • On the nearby hill of Gavrilos you may also visit the ruins of the 8 traditional windmills of the 19th century. The area is ideal for panoramic photos of the village.

A photo-guide to Emporio

Emporio Village – Photos by White Pearl Villas©

Extra tips for your visit in Emporio

  • You may visit Emporio before or after visiting one of the southern beaches of the island. Vlychada, Perissa, or Perivolos are the most suitable. This way, you will combine your photo-shooting excursion with sunbathing and swimming!
  • If you are a hiking enthusiast you may also follow the path starting from Emporio to Pyrgos. It is about 2,5 km and it shall take up to 1 hour to reach Pyrgos including stops for photo-shooting.
  • Don’t forget to take a hat, sunscreen, water, your camera, and your photo-exploring mood!

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