Santorini’s 15 most beautiful villages

Santorin

Planning a visit to the pearl of the Cyclades? We have selected for you the most beautiful towns and villages to see in Santorini.

Santorini is without doubt the most spectacular of the Greek islands. The island’s shape is the result of a violent volcanic eruption. Legend has it that it is the expression of the anger of the gods…

Whatever the case, Santorini today encircles one of the world’s most impressive volcanic calderas. This crescent-moon-shaped land abounds in charming villages.

Everyone has in mind the famous whitewashed walls, enhanced by touches of blue. But Santorini’s villages are as superb as they are diverse. From must-sees to hidden treasures, discover our favorites.

1. Oia

Oia villages de Santorin Grèce

Oia Santorini Greece

By all accounts, Oia is one of the most beautiful villages on Santorini. Nestling on the northern tip of the island, it offers superb views of the caldera. Its narrow streets are lined with picturesque traditional houses.

Bell towers, domes and windmills dot the landscape. At sunset, Oia takes on a magical hue…

We can’t recommend enough the hike along the caldera between Oia and Fira. It passes through a number of lesser-known but equally charming villages, which are presented in this article.

2. Fira

Fira

Photo credit: Shutterstock – volkova natalia

The epicenter of the island, Fira is also one of the most beautiful villages on Santorini. Its white and colorful houses cling to the cliffs and its many churches are well worth a visit.

Above all, Fira offers superb views of the caldera and, in particular, the volcano. The town also boasts an interesting archaeology museum, beautiful monasteries and a host of stores, bars and restaurants.

You’ll particularly appreciate its charms out of season, as it’s usually crowded in summer.

3. Finikia

Finikia villages de Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – kavalenkava

Near Oia, don’t miss Finikia, one of Santorini’s most unspoilt villages. Surrounded by vineyards and cultivated terraces that bear witness to its agricultural past.

Finikia is also home to a number of troglodyte houses uncovered by archaeological research.

Finally, the small chapels surrounding the village are also worth a visit.

4. Ammoudi

Ammoudi

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Aerial-motion

Located at the foot of Oia, Ammoudi is a small fishing port nestled in a pretty bay. It is reached by a long staircase from Oia.

Its fishing boats and rocky walls create a charming picture.

Enjoy it over lunch on the terrace in one of the port’s traditional taverns.

5. Imerovigli

Imerovigli villages de Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Les Golding

Imerovigli is reputed to offer the best view of the caldera. Indeed, the village was traditionally the vantage point from which locals watched for the arrival of boats.

Imerovigli is both peaceful and lively, and captures the essence of Santorini’s charms. It’s an ideal vantage point for enjoying the Santorini sunsets.

You can also discover the ruins of a medieval castle on the impressive rock of Skaros.

6. Firostefani

Firostefani villages de Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – cge2010

Firostefani is one of Santorini’s most beautiful villages. Accessible on foot from Fira, it’s in a way its little brother.

You can enjoy the same view of the volcano, plus a beautiful panorama over the rooftops of Fira. But the atmosphere is quite different from that in the capital.

Indeed, Firostefani is a quiet village, away from the tourist crowds.

7. Emporio

Emporio

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Tomasz Wozniak

Head inland for a very different experience! Emporio is a medieval town nestled in a hilly landscape. Off the beaten tourist track, it’s one of the island’s oldest villages.

It is also currently the largest village on Santorini. Its winding streets and pretty mills have been lovingly restored.

8. Pyrgos

Pyrgos

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Nicola Pulham

If only for the view, Pyrgos has its place on the list of Santorini’s most beautiful villages. Situated high up, it offers a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding area, between sea, plain and hills.

Pyrgos also boasts a rich heritage, with no fewer than forty churches. The oldest of these dates back to the 11th century.

Neoclassical houses, the Venetian Kasteli and the Monastery of the Prophet Elias are sure to win you over.

9. Megalochori

Megalochori villages de Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Photographer253

Megalochori is a veritable nugget, miraculously untouched by tourism. Perched on a hill, it offers a charming maze of steep streets.

The village is also a must for wine lovers. Surrounded by vineyards, it is home to several wineries.

In Megalochori, time passes slowly, and it’s this special atmosphere that makes it one of the most beautiful villages to visit on Santorini.

10. Akrotiri

Akrotiri villages de Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Mariia Boiko

Akrotiri is a village in the south of the island with many attractions. First and foremost, it is home to an internationally renowned archaeological excavation site.

It is topped by a medieval fortress. It’s surrounded by peaceful, winding lanes that are a delight to stroll through.

Finally, Akrotiri is close to Santorini’s breathtaking red beach.

11. Vothonas

Vothonas villages de Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Rolf E. Staerk

Vothonas is characterized above all by its incredible troglodyte houses carved out of the rock. They blend perfectly with the traditional dwellings and surrounding greenery to create a stunning landscape.

Several churches are well worth a visit: Agia Anna, Agios Roussos and Panagia Sergena. A short stroll will also take you to the pretty cliffside chapel of Panagia Trypa.

12. Manolas

Manolas

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Camille V

Although not actually located on the island, Manolas deserves a place in this selection of Santorini’s most beautiful villages.

This is the main hamlet on Thirassia, the small, sparsely populated island opposite Santorini. It can be reached on foot or by donkey via a long staircase. Located high up, it offers a breathtaking view of the caldera.

And away from the tourist crowds of Santorini. In Manolas, you can step back into the archipelago’s past, before Santorini became a major tourist destination. Indeed, its traditional alleys, shaded by bougainvillea, are rarely visited by holidaymakers.

13. Perissa

Perissa villages de Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Aerial-motion

Perissa is a pleasant little seaside resort on the east coast of Santorini. Its charm lies above all in the superb natural landscape that surrounds it.

First and foremost, the town opens onto a black sand beach bordered by the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea. What’s more, it lies at the foot of the Mesa Vouno mountain, whose rounded reflections watch over the houses.

14. Karterados

Kartaderos

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Just two kilometers from Fira, Karterados is a central point for visiting the island. It’s a peaceful, relaxing village.

Set back from the coast, it is surrounded by a verdant landscape that contrasts with the aridity of the volcanic cliffs.

Among the traditional pastel-colored houses are a number of elegant 19th-century mansions. Karterados also boasts a number of pleasant cafés and restaurants.

15. Mesa Gonia

Mesa Gonia

Crédit photo : Shutterstock – Rolf E. Staerk

Mesa Gonia est un village rural au centre de l’île, connu pour ses vignobles. Si vous rêvez de passer du temps à la campagne et de découvrir les vins locaux, un détour par Mesa Gonia s’impose ! Le village s’étale entre mer et montagnes et la verdure entoure chaque maison.

Avec ses murets de pierre, ses constructions en terrasses et sa végétation, il offre un paysage que vous ne verrez nulle part ailleurs sur l’île.

En conclusion, à Santorin, sortir des sentiers battus vaut vraiment le coup. Bien entendu, il serait dommage de se passer d’une visite des villages les plus célèbres, Oia en tête.

Mais en partant à l’aventure sur les petites routes de l’île, vous découvrirez de nombreuses perles. En effet, les plus beaux villages à voir à Santorin se trouvent aussi bien le long de la caldera qu’à l’intérieur des terres.

Carte des hôtels et logements – Santorin, Grèce