Greek islands are famous all over the world for their beautiful waters, beaches, road trips and villages. Almost every island has a centre village, which is usually the largest settlement and gathers both the tourist services like Santorini car rental and the interest of visitors.
In all the Greek islands, however, there are other villages, “hidden diamonds” that may have the “second roles“, but they steal the show. The most typical such example is Oia, in Santorini. The capital of the island is Fira, in the middle of the caldera, but Oia, at its northern end, wins the admiration of visitors.
Her houses seem to be perched on the caldera, as if they were adorning her, while all those who were lucky enough to enjoy the sunset from her castle and the rooftops of her houses have to say that it was the best of their lives.
Let’s see below such small villages in Santorini that are, if not more, then just as beautiful as the rest. Rent a Santorini car and take a road trip to all of them.
Which village in Santorini steals the spotlight?
Pyrgos is the most picturesque village of Santorini
Santorini is my favourite island. I had been to it three times, but all before… ten years ago, I realized one afternoon I was counting summers. Since last year, I felt it was time to relive her magical aura, to see again with my own eyes this breathtaking landscape in the caldera.
A few days before I organized a road trip with a rented car, a friend of mine spoke to me about the village of Pyrgos, a picturesque little paradise. It was the first time I heard it but I love the villages and their tranquillity. So, I decided the first days of my stay in Santorini to find me in this village. There I had the good fortune to stay in a brand new cave house and my experience became even more beautiful!
I rented a car at the airport right away since I landed. Actually, I had booked a Santorini rental car and it was waiting for me when I arrived at the airport. It was great! I did not have to wait for public transportation and my road trip started right away.
What I admired when I reached Pyrgos with my rental car
Pyrgos, with its Venetian architectural castle, Kastelli, dominates the slope of Profitis Ilias and is the highest village in Santorini, about ten kilometres south-east of Fira and was the capital of Santorini until 1800.
I reach with my Santorini rental car only at the beginning of it and then the village spreads upwards with alleys where only humans and animals walk. There you will also find the famous restaurant Selini, one of the best restaurants in Greece and Europe that moved in 2010 from Fira to Pyrgos and I hope to be able to visit next time.
My walk in the village on the first day made me feel a sweet calm, a serenity enhanced by the pastel colours of the sunset and the sounds of this village that were limited to lounge music from romantic restaurants and church bells.
We sat down to eat on a beautiful terrace that we discovered on our walk, in a restaurant called Cava Alta, mainly for the view and the risotto I saw on their menu. A decision that I did not regret, both for the flavours that arrived at our table, and for the very nice atmosphere.
What I loved most in Santorini?
I still see the video-story I shot that night and I remember the unique feeling that I have all the time in the world to sit quietly and enjoy my delicious food, the view and the magic of the village, away from the stress and the riot of other big cities, like Athens.
After the meal, our footsteps always led us to Franco’s, or perhaps the classic melodies led us to our hearing and our minds. Enjoying the amazing views, the classical music and my unique, favourite vinsanto, I relaxed even more, until my eyelids gave the signal that it was time to return to the warm jacuzzi of our cave house for the Grande finale of the night.
We drove back in our rented car and the road was so quiet. We really appreciated the decision to rent a car in Santorini island and have a road trip around whenever we wanted.
Take a road trip with your rental car to Santo Wines in Santorini
If you get lost in the picturesque alleys of the Tower, leave and make a stop at Santo Wines, the Winery of the Union of Santorini Cooperatives, to try the award-winning wines that reach as far as Canada, overlooking the volcano.
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You can take a road trip to Santo Wines!
There you will have the opportunity to decide the following:
- visit the winery building
- watch the stages of winemaking
- taste 3 Santo wines at €15
- watch a documentary on the island’s winemaking history and unique features of the volcanic Santorini vineyard, which make it special all over the world
- taste 18 different wines along with a plate of traditional flavours with Greek cheese, olives, tomato paste from Santorini, Fava Santorini and barley nuts, at €55.
Pyrgos is pure magic! A walk in its streets or a road trip around the other villages when the sun sets is enough to feel it and be flooded with peace. A feeling that you want to live again and again.
That is why I hope to be able to visit Pyrgos and the other villages of Santorini again, except for summer and Easter, since I learned that on Good Friday the most impressive Easter custom takes place in Santorini. The locals light fires in Canadian lamps throughout the village… A wonderful spectacle that I hope to live up soon!
Of course, the next time I visit Santorini I will definitely book a Santorini car rental like I did before. There is nothing better than deciding what time to go wherever you want. It is a magnificent feeling to be free to decide on your holidays and experience a road trip in Santorini.