Santorini’s hinterland is the land of hidden treasures and unexpected surprises in every corner. From picture-perfect chapels crouched in crannies behind rocks to the plethora of panoramic views to the caldera and the Aegean, or from medieval fortresses that seem untouched by time to the marvel that is the Santorini’s vineyard, every turn you take leads to a new experience.
Hiking in the nature is the best way to truly feel the soul of this place, and to first hand admire its natural beauty. Some of the most interesting hiking routes in Santorini are:
From Pyrgos to Ancient Thira: Starting from the medieval village of Pyrgos, a stone paved path passes through the serene wilderness of Mesa Vouno and leads up to the monastery of Profitis Ilias, the highest peak of the island with awe-inspiring routes throughout its course and a truly rewarding, panoramic view of the entire island from the top, a view that reaches for miles towards the horizon. As the path continues downwards, you pass by the beach of Kamari and reach the Ancient city of Thira, an archaeological site of great significance and amazing views.
From Pyrgos to Emporeio: On the same path that starts from Pyrgos, just before you reach the Profitis Ilias monastery, there is a right turn that will take you towards the village of Emporeio instead. You will first pass from Old Emporio, an abandoned Venetian era settlement that will transport you back in time with its olden homes and the scenic churches. Continue your trek to the picturesque Kasteli of Emporeio; the route goes as far as the neighbouring Perissa beach.
From Megalochori to Plakas Loutra: Starting from the serene village of Megalochori, a small route of naturalistic beauty and amazing caldera views leads you down to the beach of Plaka, where a thermal water spring was the base for the Loutra baths. The baths are not in use anymore, but the ambiance of the locale is tranquil and rewarding..
In Santorini’s hinterland you will witness a different Santorini that lacks nothing in splendor and magnificence compared to the cosmopolitan caldera. These two sides of Santorini combine in harmony to create the wonder that is Santorini, and the path that leads to its heart and soul is hidden in the trails of the hinterland; all you have to do is follow them.