Pyrgos, the most picturesque village of Santorini

Santorini is my favorite island. I have been there three times, but all of them over a decade ago. Last year I felt that I had missed the magic breeze and the landscape of the breathtaking caldera. A few days before I organised the trip, a friend told me about a village, called Pyrgos, a picturesque little paradise. I love the hamlets and the tranquility and so I decided during the first days of my trip that I would here. I was fortunate enough, to stay in a brand new cave house and that made my experience even more beautiful!

Pyrgos, with its Venetian architectural castle, Kastelli, dominates the hillside of Prophet Elias. It is the tallest village of Santorini, about ten kilometers southeast of Fira, and it was the capital of Santorini until 1800. The cars have access only until the main square (there you will find the famous restaurant Selini, one of the best restaurants in Greece and Europe that moved in 2010 from Fira to Pyrgos) and then the village spreads to the alleyways.

My walks through the village the first day made me feel a sense of peace and tranquility, strengthened by the pastel colors of the sunset and the sounds coming from the lounge music of the romantic restaurants and the church bells. We ate a meal on a beautiful terrace at a restaurant called Cava Alta, especially for the view and the special risotto I saw on their menu. A good decision, in terms of dishes and a very nice atmosphere.

After the meal, our footsteps led us to café-bar Franco’s, or maybe the classical melodies dragged us there. Here we were able to take in the unbelievable view, classical music, and the unique Santorinian wine vinsanto. This allowed me to unwind even more until it was time to return to the cave house’s hot Jacuzzi for the grand finale of the day.

If you are lost in the picturesque alleys of Pyrgos, visit the Santo Wines, Santorini’s Cooperative Winery, to taste the award-winning wines, overlooking the volcano. The tour at Santo Wines includes 7 different service packages from a simple tour of the winery building to seeing the winemaking stages and a trial of 3 wines at €15, plus a guided tour with a documentary on the island’s winemaking history and the unique characteristics of the volcanic Santorini vineyards. You can also taste 18 special wines accompanied by platters of traditional flavors with Greek cheese, olives, Santorinian tomato paste, Fava and rusks at 55€.

Pyrgos is pure magic! A walk through the streets during the sunset is just mindblowing and a feeling you want to experience again and again. That’s why I wish I could visit this place again during Easter, where a very impressive custom takes place. I found that out on Easter Friday, shortly before the epitaph comes out of the central church of the Inquisition of the Virgin Mary, the locals lit fireplaces in tunnel lamps all over the village… A magical scenery on a magic island.

*All images by Polina Paraskevopoulou (Copyright) 

Polina Paraskevopoulou


Polina Paraskevopoulou is a Greek journalist who shares her time between her two beloved cities of Paris and Athens. With a love of writing, blogging, fashion and travel, she has now joined the GCT team as one of our main European contributors.