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The best-kept secrets of Santorini

Cyclades ● Santorini ● 27 April 2018

Do you think that you know all the beauties of Santorini? Maybe, you don't. Santorini is not only the breathtaking whitewashed villages of Fira Santorini and Oia at the edge of the caldera. It is something more. And it is time to get familiar with its other, undiscovered side, which is full of hidden gems. Welcome to the off-the-beaten-path world of Santorini!

It is a landscape of steep cliffs and imposing rocks. Dry volcanic soil, ruined windmills, views of the deep blue Aegean Sea and the supernatural energy of this land, which is full of hidden miracles for all these travellers, who believe they have seen everything Santorini has to offer.

The beach of Vlychada, the island's most impressive beach, has lunar landscape, which was formed 3,600 years ago by the eruption of the volcano. Behind the beach, the Nomikos Tomato Industrial Museum creates a different scenery.


East of Vlychada, on the road to the most popular beach of Santorini, Perivolos Santorini, look for the ancient tombs carved out of the limestone rock of Exomytis. 

The oldest volcanic formations of the island, which date back to the 6th millennium B.C., are located in the south-western side of Santorini, near the lighthouse in Akrotiri Santorini. Most of the are is still as it was 3,600 years ago, when the prehistoric city of Akrotiri was destroyed by the eruption. A visit to the archaeological site is better to be done at lunchtime, when it is less crowded.

This cultural walk can be followed by a walk to the Red Beach, which took its name after its reddish volcanic rocks and pebbles.

Red Beach

Santorini has beautiful villages not only in the caldera but also on the other side. Emporeio has an amazing medieval castle, while Megalochori has kept its traditional character. There, you can admire a ruined windmill, and have magnificent view of Aspronisi, Therasia as well as Palia and Nea Kameni, the small untouched islands that before the eruption were part of the whole volcano.

The village of Pyrgos is the best preserved medieval village of the island, at the foot of Mt. Profitis Ilias. Give yourself some time to wander around its paved streets and drink coffee in one of the traditional cafés on the main square. From there, you can climb the hiking path to get to the Venetian Castle and enjoy the amazing view from the peak of the mountain. The path behind the Profitis Ilias monastery takes you to the splendid archaeological site of Ancient Thera, which is also a great spot to enjoy the sunset.