Pyrgos (Pyrgos Kallistis) has just 700 inhabitants, and its panoramic location and preserved historic architecture make it one of the most beautiful villages on the island, though it sees far fewer tourists than other island hot spots. Take a private driving tour or shore excursion to visit this and other charming inland hamlets like Exo Gonia and Magelochori at your own pace, stopping to snap photos and explore the frescoed churches and ancient ruins of Kasteli Castle. Pyrgos and the surrounding area is known for their excellent local cuisine, so be sure to dine at the traditional tavernas and restaurants.
Things to know before you go
- Pyrgos is a photographer’s paradise, both for the beauty of the village itself and its views over the surrounding countryside, so don’t forget your camera.
- Those looking to experience the more authentic side of Santorini far from the cruise ship crowds will appreciate the sleepy, time-capsule atmosphere of Pyrgos.
- Navigating the rural island roads to Santorini’s inland villages can be a hassle, so consider booking a private driving tour to avoid getting lost.
- The steep roads, cobblestone lanes, and flights of steps may be hard to navigate with a wheelchair or stroller.
How to get there
Pyrgos is located in the mountains just south of Fira, and is difficult to reach with public transportation. Drive or book a private tour or shore excursion with a driver to enjoy exploring this quiet corner of Santorini without the stress of coordinating local bus routes.
When to get there
Santorini gets very crowded in the summer months, when temperatures reach their peak, as well. Escape to Pyrgos when the throngs and heat become overwhelming, as the village is set high in the mountains and far enough from the tourist track to stay relatively cool and quiet even during the high season.
Santorini’s Wine Country
The countryside surrounding Pyrgos is known for its vineyards, and one of the most famous wineries is the Hatzidakis kanava (or winery). With a cellar built directly into the volcanic rock, this is Santorini's only organic, award-winning winery. The main varieties grown here are Assyrtiko and Aidani, and the winery also produces two dessert wines, Vinsanto and voudomato.
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