Apart from the majestic caldera, with the magnificent views and the idyllic ambiance of the stone paved alleys, the iconic whitewashed houses hanging on the cliff and the vibrant rhythm of life, there are some worthwhile places to visit in the hinterland that represent a different, more traditional image of Santorini.
These villages may not be as cosmopolitan and as touristic as Fira and the rest of the caldera sites, but they maintain their unique and authentic character, proudly showing the true Santorini life, as it has remained unspoiled throughout the centuries.
To begin with, the medieval Kastelia – or castle cities of Santorini are a destination you should definitely include in your off-caldera explorations. The best preserved ones are the Kastelia of Pyrgos and Emporeio, with their imposing fortress like architecture that travels you back in a different, distant era.
The tranquil village of Megalochori is also an interesting stop. Its genuine character and the picturesque scenery makes for a visit you will surely not regret.
The village’s picturesque corners and unusual steeples in the central square are some of the most photographed spots, and you can indulge in some traditional, homemade delicacies in the village’s quaint tavernas, in the cool shadows under the trees of the main square.
The south and the south east of the island are what is known as the Santorini’s vineyard. Most of the island’s wineries are located around the village of Megalochori, and most of them are open to the public, offering guided tours of their grounds and wine tastings of their unique, delicious products.
The Santorinian wines are famous worldwide for their outstanding quality and unmatched tastes, and it would be a true pity not to sample as many as you can, right at the spot where they are made!
When venturing in the off-caldera sites of Santorini, you should be prepared for impressive surprises. Every corner hides a new spectacle, a different view of the island, a perfect opportunity for another photograph.
Exploring the hidden villages of Santorini is an unforgettable adventure, a quest that will make you love this blessed island even more. So hop on and follow the road, it will take you to places you can’t even imagine.