Of all the villages of Santorini, Pyrgos is without a doubt the most impressive. An alluring blend of medieval architecture with the unique character of the Cycladic isles resulted in the first capital of Santorini, the imposing Pyrgos, a place that travels you back to distant centuries with its old-fashioned appeal. Perched on the highest peak of Santorini overlooking the entire island, Pyrgos stands to this day proud and seemingly unaffected by the passage of time.
As you approach the village of Pyrgos, you can immediately understand why it was the island’s capital. Its location on top of the hill is a vantage point, with clear and far views to the sea; its habitants would have adequate warning in case of a pirate attack. From a closer look, you get more detail on the fortification of the settlement. The houses were built side by side, their outer walls serving as the impenetrable barrier that kept invaders away. The alleys are narrow, adding to the mystifying allure of the village, and a stroll in Pyrgos is an intriguing experience to say the least.
Pyrgos has many surprises hidden within its thick and sturdy walls. Delightful little restaurants that praise the unique produce of the volcanic land of Santorini; charming mansions inviting you to spend relaxing moments; quaint medieval chapels and buildings, each with a story of its own. The churches of Theotokaki, Agia Theodosia and Agia Triada are the most important ones, hosting beautiful frescoes and icons, whereas the neighbouring Monastery of Profitis Ilias offers breath-taking panoramic views to the entire island.
Follow the path that takes up to the highest peak of Santorini and feel the centuries flow backwards, to a nostalgic, romantic time of pirates and aristocrats; although many things have changed on this magnificent island, the sensation of medieval glory and grandeur are still the same, and you will feel them as soon as you set your gaze to the unique village of Pyrgos.