Akrotiri village is located at the southern part of Santorini. It was one of the five fortified settlements on the island in the medieval times. Today the village is one of the more quiet villages on the island. There are not so many attractions in the center except the ruins of the old castle. In the area nearby you find Akrotiri excavations, Red beach and Light house.
Emborio village has a traditional settlement and was one of the five fortified castles in Santorini in medieval times. Today it is the largest village of the island. It is located between Fira and Perissa. You need to park the car and explore the narrow streets of the village by foot. The village has a strong charachter and the architecture of the houses is admirable. Remember to pass by the old castle and the church with a beautiful bell tower in the middle of the village.
Fira is the capital of Santorini and has the city-life feeling on the island. There are plenty of shops with jewellery, shoes, clothes and souvenirs. Cafeterias and restaurants you find everywhere, with or without view. There is a footpath that connects the village and port and since 1979 the cable car has been running up and down with tourists as a more relaxing alternative. Many cruise ships are travelling in the Mediterranen Sea and stops in Santorini. During their visit on the island the cruise ships are waiting just outside Fira in the Caldera. The local bus station in the middle of Fira has a good connection with the rest of the island which make it easy for day trips.
Firostefani is the village north of Fira and the name Firostefani means "Crown of Fira". There is a small footpath connecting the villages along the Caldera. Firostefani has many hotels and restaurants. The view from this village is amazing. The view of the vulcano, the sight of Fira and the magical sunset. You find several beautiful churches in Firostefani as well.
Imerovigli is the village with the highest location on the Caldera site and therefore is the village also known as "the balcony of Santorini". Because of the location the village provides a clear view of the Caldera. Imerovigli is full of higher standard hotels providing amazing view of the Caldera. There is a footpath from Imerovigli to Skaros rock. You can also find a footpath going south to Firostefani and Fira. If you walk north of Imerovigli you can continue at the footpath and hike in the unspoiled nature to Oia with breathtaking views.
Kamari has developed a lot during the last 50 years. The village was built by residents of the nearby village, Mesa Gonia, which was hit by a big earthquake in 1956. Today it is the most popular beach hotel area on the island. The beach is full of sunbeds and umbrellas. The promenade of the village streches along the black beach and is ideal for summer walks. There are plenty of restaurants and shops. It is always possible to make a hike on Mesa Vuono mountain next to Kamari. The village also has a beautiful open air cinema.
Between grape fields at the south western part of Santorini you find Megalochori. It is one of the more traditional villages on the island located on a small hill with steep alleys and streets. The village offers a great mix of architechture with the white Cycladic houses and churches. Park the car outside the village and follow the narrow streets around the village. At one point you will reach the main square which is the center of the village and also a meeting point for many of the locals. Here you find a couple of tavernas and a mini market. Close to the main square you also find the local winery, Gavalas.
Walk down the marble streets of Oia and you will understand the beauty of the village and why it is the most photographed village on the island (maybe even in all Greece). The village is full of cave houses with very beautiful architecture. Shops are open all around Oia and most of them sell jewellery and different art. In Oia you find some of the most traditional white churches with blue domes. Make your own postcard pictures and enjoy the magical sunset from the ruins of the old castle or further down from the windmills. Most of the people leaves the village immidiately after sunset. If you stay a bit longer and make a walk around the village you can enjoy the lights of Oia more peacefully.
Perissa / Perivolos
Perissa and Perivolos are the two beach hotel areas next to each other on the south east side of Santorini. The villages are mostly concentrated along the sea side with many hotels, restaurants, shops and other facilities. At the black beach there are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas. It is always possible to make a hike on Mesa Vuono mountain next to Perissa.
This is the old capital of the island with a good central location of the island. The village is well known for the small narrow streets creating a labyrinth around the village that makes it hard to enter the castle at the top of the village. This was of course used as protection for any unfriendly visitors in older times. In each corner you will find small buildings in traditional greek style. Walk all the way to the top of the village and find the old castle. Remember to look around and enjoy the island view on the way to the top.
Vourvoulos is a small, quiet village located on the north east part of Santorini, about 4 kilometers from the capital Fira. It is amphitheatrically built on a slope that overlooks the east region of the island with the broad plains. The panorama from Vourvoulos is awe-inspiring as its position offers magnificent views to vast vineyards, meadows and shores.
This small village is located at the center of the island, almost 5 kilometers southeast of the capital Fira, very close to Messaria village. Vothonas is built in a steep gorge and it catches the eye for its unique, special architecture. The majority of the dwellings are cave houses the villagers built by carving the volcanic rocks. Along with the natural beauty, they form a picturesque settlement you can enjoy by wandering through the charming, narrow alleys. A sense of serenity and privacy pervades the whole village and you can become a part of it by staying in one of the welcoming hotels and guest houses,
‘Nested’ on the foot of the mountain, Mesa Gonia is also named Episkopi Gonia after the Church of Panagia Episkopi that is located in the village. Upon the big earthquake, the inhabitants of the village moved to Kamari. Today you can visit the winery ‘Kanava Rousos’ and Art Space, a winery hosting interesting art collections created by Greek and foreign artists.