Check out our quick guide on the most beautiful villages of Santorini. They are all beautiful!
Fira is the modern capital of Santorini, a traditional settlement, which name derives from an alternative pronunciation of ‘Thira’ the ancient name of the island itself. Fira is a city of white-washed houses built on the edge of the 400 m high caldera on the western edge of the semi-circular island. It offers a variety of shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs for every taste.
Oia is one of the most important settlements in Santorini. It is located on the north side of the island just 11 Km away from Fira. Its special characteristic is the architecture of the area since most houses are built in caves between the rocks, just above the sea. In addition, Oia is known for the majestic view of the sunset. A wide market spreads on the main pathway along with beautiful cafes and restaurants.
Finikia is one of the most authentic and unspoiled traditional villages of Santorini and such as it can only be walked on foot. The visitor has the chance to explore the ‘kalderimia’ (stone-cobbled narrow pathways) and see the traditional cave houses and churches built amphitheatrically on the slope. Don’t miss one of the most famous feasts of Santorini, the feast of Panagia Matrona church on October 20th.
Imerovigli is a picturesque village situated at the north of Santorini, only 2 km away from Fira. 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.
Although Firostefani village is considered a separate settlement, it is actually an extension of Fira. The name ‘Firostefani’ -Fira and Stefani, meaning crown in Greek- derives from its position on the highest part of Fira. Its gifted location on the caldera, on the north part of the island, makes it a remarkable sight.
Emporio is the biggest village in Santorini located on the south side of the island, 12 Km away from Fira. The village is built the typical way the ‘Kastelia’ were built, with the houses attached to each other forming a circular shape. There was only one entrance to the village called ‘porta’, which exists until today.
Pyrgos is a middle-aged gem that stands proudly on a hill, 7 Km away, overlooking the whole island from one end to the other. Three large blue domes decorate the village. On top of this hill remain the ruins of a Venetian castle -‘Kasteli’- that was once the island’s administrative center.
Megalochori, meaning big village in Greek, is made of hundreds of small, white-painted houses built on each other and it is characterized by its beautiful churches. It combines traditional architecture with vaulted houses and ‘Kalderimia’. Megalochori is the center of the wine industry of Santorini and it is surrounded by vineyards.
Akrotiri is the southeast village of the island, 15 km away from Fira. It is well known for the prehistoric settlement which was discovered during the excavations of 1967 and. Akrotiri was one of the ‘Kastelia’ – fortresses of the island where the houses were built for protection from pirate raids. In the most southern edge of the village, the lighthouse distinguishes.
Kamari, located on the southeast of Santorini, has a long stretch of beach that lies under the impressive mountain of Mesa Vouno. A stone-paved promenade for strolling that runs parallel to the beach stretches offers a variety of cafes, bars, restaurants, shops, and supermarkets, as well as a lively nightlife.