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Pyrgos: the other face of Santorini

The unique sunset of Caldera and a walk around beautiful Fira and Oia may be the signature experiences of Santorini, but a visit to the village of Pyrgos will reveal another – equally charming – side of the cosmopolitan island of the Cyclades. Located at 7.5 km. from Fira, amphitheatrically built on the slopes of Profitis Ilias, Pyrgos is rightly considered the medieval jewel of Santorini, having been designated a listed settlement in 1995. The typical town planning of the Venetian era creates an atmosphere of times gone by, especially if you go up to the medieval castle of Kasteli with the maze-like alleys, arches, neoclassical mansions and old churches, such as the 10th-century “Theotokaki”. Far more than just beautiful, Pyrgos is a lively village with a particular profile, which embraces both art (here you’ll find art shops and the “Estia Pyrgou Kallistis” Cultural Centre that organizes the 2nd Biennale of Santorini this year) and gastronomy. Besides, the village is home to “Selene”, the iconic restaurant of Yiorgos Chatziyannakis, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on the island and has repeatedly won the “Toque d’Or” award. In fact, in cooperation with the Folk Art Museum, the restaurant proposes a comprehensive gastronomic and cultural tour of the “Cultural Village”. Those of you who wish to be taught the secrets of the famous wines of Santorini, you’ll find excellent wineries that are open to visitors a short distance from Pyrgos, such as Santo Wines, Chatzidakis Winery and Venetsanos Winery that reopened this year. Pyrgos also features some very remarkable hotels, such as “Voreina Gallery Suites”, “Zannos Melathron” and the brand new “Sky Falls”.