The former capital of Santorini and the best-preserved medieval settlement on the island, the village of Pyrgos retains an unruffled air of easy grace.
Subscribe: bit.ly/2tqakdd Just seven and half kilometers south of Fira, a different side of Santorini emerges, an aspect that harkens back to the picturesque Greek villages of yesteryear.
Here, the pace of life is more relaxed; cats stroll in the alleys, families dress up in their Sunday best to go to church, and piano lessons can be heard through the open windows of the cultural society. The main square, with its tall pine trees and quaint little coffee shops, is the focal point for socializing and entertainment. Regardless of the season, its busiest time is noon, when people gather for ouzo or Santorinian beer accompanied by excellent local meze.
This is Pyrgos, the largest preserved village on Santorini and the island’s former capital. Strategically built in the heart of the pre-volcanic hinterland and at the foot of Mt Profitis Ilias, Pyrgos affords panoramic views. Yet, located that bit further from the famous caldera, it has been spared the terraces, balconies, infinity pools and master suites that adorn the glossy covers of tourist magazines the world over. Pyrgos is not swamped by sunset spotters, nor is it the first choice among the hordes of cruise-ship passengers. Its charm is different: more subdued, less picture-perfect, little advertised.
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