Previously, we’ve discussed three of the most popular villages of Santorini, Greece: Oia, Fira, and Firostefani. These are the villages where tourists are most likely to stay, particularly Oia, but these are not the only vibrant villages that Santorini Island has to offer.
There is a number of beautiful beach villages as well, rugged hiking trails, and delightful restaurants and bars still outside of Oia, Fira, and Firostefani. Here are a few more villages of Santorini that have plenty of attractions to visitors.
Imerovigli is an easy walking distance from Fira, the capital of Santorini Island. The name of the village comes from the word vigla, or “guard watch.” Perched over the highest position of the caldera, Imerovigli was once perfectly placed to see pirate ships coming into the shore so that the people could be prepared to defend themselves.
Today, there’s no further fear of pirates invading Santorini Island, but there are still clear caldera views and a number of cafes and bars that position themselves to take advantage of those views. You can also hike the imposing Skaros rock and watch the sunset from its perch. Imerovigli is no slouch when it comes to architecture, either, with classic Cycladic churches and chapels. The most famous is the Monastery of Saint Nikolaos located in the center of town. Imerovigli is a honeymooner’s dream, considered one of the most romantic villages of Santorini, Greece. There are walking trails from Imerovigli both to Fira and Oia.
The name of Karterados also harkens back to the age of pirates, but in a different way. It comes from the word karteri, which means “ambush point.” Located beside a ravine, with rock structures throughout the island, it was easy to set ambushes for pirates and other intruders. In Karterados, you can still find cave houses originally constructed in the 17th century as well as Captains’ houses, since Karterados was a common dwelling place for sea captains. The shops are open all year for the enjoyment of visitors and residents alike. A windmill positioned in the village square serves as a memorial for soldiers from Santorini, Greece who died in World War II.
If you’re a wine lover, you have to visit Messaria during your Santorini Island vacation. This is a village known for local winemakers, vineyards, and wineries. Here, you can sample a variety of some of the best wines that Santorini, Greece has to offer. Wine may be the main industry in Messaria now, but there are still relics of past industries, like the Markezini’s knitting factory. The knitting factory was opened by Antonios Markezini in the 19th century and became a major supplier for the Greek army during the first World War. It closed after that, but the old factory still stands and can be viewed by tourists. The neoclassical architecture of Messaria sets it apart, and there are a few stately mansions to be found here, like the Argyros Mansion and the Saliveros Mansion.
This is a bustling village with a large population. Enjoy shopping from street vendors at the crossroad or stop in a charming cafe for a cup of coffee before touring the winery.
Monolithos is known for its famous beach of the same name. The black sand beach is full of interesting rock structures, clear and calm water, and shallow swimming that makes it perfect for the whole family. If you’re dreaming of a beach wedding, Monolithos is a wonderful place to host it. But the village gains its name not from the beach but from the large rock, Monolitho, that stands over the beach. At the top of this rock is the church of Agios Ioannis, though the church is considered to be in Fira. When you take a day to visit Monolithos beach, you can refresh yourself at one of the nearby fish taverns or other restaurants. Monolithos is also home to the only remaining operational Tomato Canning Factory on Santorini Island. Monolithos can be reached from Fira by bus.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly beach village with a lively nightlife in Santorini, Greece, Kamari beach is the place for you. Resting under the massive Mesa Vouno, the beach that defines Kamari has been awarded the Blue Flag by the Foundation for Environmental Education. The beach is very organized and safe. The waters are sapphire blue against the black sand of the beach. There’s always a lifeguard on duty and plenty of sunbeds with umbrellas. There’s also a lovely, romantic stone-paved promenade that runs along the path of the direction of the beach. Kamari has many bars and clubs where tourists looking for a great nightlife scene can party until dawn, as well as restaurants and cafes open throughout the day.
One perk of booking with one of the Oia Santorini hotels like Strogili Traditional Houses is that it will put you within bus or even walking distance to most of these villages. When you’ve enjoyed everything that Oia Santorini has to offer, you can enjoy the caldera views of Imerovigli or the beautiful Monolithos beach. And these are just a few of the villages that Santorini, Greece has in store for you. Book your Santorini apartments at Strogili Traditional Houses today to see them for yourself, and maybe find some surprises from the other villages along the way.