There are literally dozens of churches in Pyrgos of all shapes and sizes from small chapels to huges almost cathedral size affairs. I think our guidebooks put the number at 45 - you'd be hard pressed to find them all as some are almost invisble, blending into the surrounding houses and streets so that sometimes you just stumble upon one unexpectedly. 45 may seem like a lot of churches for such a small village, but then Santorini has I think about 365 altogether on what is really quite a small island.
Pyrgos lies in the middle of the island a few km south of Fira. It was roughly 30 minutes walk from our hotel to the village, which stands on the top of a hill and is visible from all around (see photo). This position also means that the views from the village are fantastic, taking in both coasts and the sprawl of sugar cubes that is Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli. It's an impressive sight, and possibly the best place to view the island from.
Pyrgos is a delightful village. It has it all church, castle ,views and a lovely selection of tavernas to eat in. We walked right up to the top of the village where we found a lovely little church and a cafeteria. The owner was buzzing around taking orders, and warning everyone that you can not use the toilet unless you are a customer. We ordered 2 coffees and sat down to enjoy the spectacular view. After coffee I went downstairs to pay, i paid owners wife and made my way to the toilet. WAIT ! was the shout, you mut be customer to use toilet ! After much protesting by myself and his wife I was finally allowed to go. see pics- I could not resist taking photo`s of toilet after all the carry on to get there.
Pyrgos itself belongs to the oldest settlements on the whole island. It's a jumble of old white houses and small alleys. It's very romantic place. Here you can find a place where you won't be disturbed and annoyed by anyone. I took pleasure in strolling through the alleys and having look at old white greek house yards. The labyrinth of alleys climbs to the a Venetian fortrees crowned by several churches. Clamber around the battlements and enjoy sweeping views over the entire island and gaze at the marvellous sunset.
MUST go to Pyrgos and explore the ruins and beautiful houses. I could have spent a couple of days here.
I felt as if I was on top of the world literally when we reached the ruin at the top. Such an amazing feeling!
I was also lucky enough to get the best shot with limited time (shown) of the 3-tiered bells and church from the back of the little niche gift shop. I now speak to the shop owners via email. They were lovely. (Not sure if they are still there though). they also took me underneath the shop to show me the ruin they had done up.....was great to be able to see inside one of these beautiful greek island houses.
You may even be lucky to see an old lady in mourning who stands about 3 foot! Be prepared to give her money to have a photo with her though!
I didn't manage to get to here for sunset....would have been nice - but many say Oia is the best in the world ... I can see why....
This church is at the very top of a steep hill in the village if Pyrgos, hike up past the locals selling strong homemade wine and see this whitewashed church........beautiful!
Then wander through the narrow cobbled streets and enjoy the atmosphere!
There are plenty of photographic opportunities here looking out across the Caldera and the blue domes scattered across the island, as you are so high up its an ideal opportunity!
The roads up here are very steep and very narrow so if like me you are afraid of heights prepare yourself for an erratic journey!!!
In any Greek restaurant, and any Greek travel book you will almost always find pictures of the whitewashed churches with blue domed roofs, it is quite likely that they are pictures from Santorini, they are everywhere and make spectacular pictures!
You will find them here clinging to the clifftops, or most spectacular of all in my opinion in the small village of Pyrgos high up in Santorinis mountains.
A visit to the village of Pyrgos is a must on any visit to Santorini.
It is located high up in the mountains and offers superb views across the island to the Caldera.
They claim to have 40 blue domed churches in Pyrgos alone, and there are hundreds of "blue domed" churches in view from here, You can buy local "firewater" wine on the steps on your way up to the monestary.
The Pyrgos settlement is made for locals, not for tourists, so it's a refreshing break from Fira and Oia to see people going about their daily business. Among things to check out from this high island vantage point is the main church at the top of the village. Nice view from there at sunset, and the church is nicely lit after dark.
Pyrgos village is located high on Santorini and commands a fine view of much of the island. From here you can walk to Profitias Ilias mountain (1 1/2 hrs according to the tourist info), or stroll around in the little settlement, which has mostly new houses. A fine church tops it all. A restaurant a bit below the village caters for larger groups and is apparently a favourite among - exactly - tour groups. I tried that one 3 years ago, and it was ok, but hurried. This time I tried one of the tavernas at the village centre, the roundabout plaza which is also where the Pyrgos bus stops (Pyrgos-Fira & Pyrgos-Akrotiri). The restaurant is called Kallisti, check it out on my restaurant tip page.
The view from the peak is amazing! Dont miss it! Even in winter- then tha clouds are in your feet! Don`t make pictures of millitary base on the top!
We went with the car until we saw a sign that said : to Profitis Ilias - it was a nice foot treck that brought us up almost to the top - it is not very easy but it is fun and has amazing views around