On the way from Megalochori Village to the beach of Perissa and Kamari, you will pass by the village of Emporeio, Santorini’s largest settlement and home of the best preserved medieval “Kasteli” or castle city of the island.
Emporeio was the commercial center of Santorini, and still holds a significant place with its many shops, cafés and traditional tavernas, making it a must-see stop in your travels around Santorini. The architecture of Emporeio is typical of the Venetian medieval castle cities, with the outer walls of the buildings forming a defensive fortification around the settlement.
Once you enter through “the Door”, as the gate of the Kasteli of Emporeio is known, you will enter a maze of narrow side streets that hardly fit one person at a time; steep steps that seem impossible to climb up and charming corners of minimalistic, Cycladic charm that very few places still keep unchanged.
The buildings are sculpted with volcanic clay creating sleek, smooth forms that seem fluid, united and strong under the scorching sun of the Mediterranean.
In the center of the Kasteli, the “Goulas” is the main tower, and it is the best preserved Goulas tower on the island. You will also get to admire quite a few charming churches and chapels with the most scenic one being the quaint 16th century Panagia Mesani – or Old Panagia- that embellishes the village with one of the most beautiful steeples of Santorini.
The windmills of Emporeio are almost as iconic as the Goulas and the Kasteli, and the views they offer to the beach of Perissa and the Aegean Sea reach as far as the eye can see.
So, whether on your way to Perissa beach or on a day of exploration around Megalochori, make sure to include a large chunk of time dedicated to walking around and admiring the beauty of Emporeio, a village that retains the true spirit of Santorini and travels you back in time, in eras long past but never forgotten.