Imerovigli Santorini: The Ultimate Guide
Santorini captivates with many things; its amazing Cycladic architecture featuring whitewashed, sugar-cube-like houses, and blue-domed chapels overlooking the magnificence of the Mediterranean Sea being one of them. In all this profound natural beauty and traditional Greek island style, the picturesque Imerovigli village (meaning “watchtower” in Greek) holds the reins.
Occupying a prestigious location at the highest point of the volcano (aka the Caldera), Imerovigli, Santorini, offers sweeping vistas of the archipelago, the most ravishing sunsets, charming cobbled alleys lined with milky-white, bougainvillaea-filled residences, shops, cafes, and bars, interesting cave houses, and all the heart-stopping appeal one would rightfully expect from this stunning island.
Sitting on the western coast of the Cyclades Queen, Imerovigli, Santorini is just a tad (around 3km) north of the vibrant capital (Fira or Thira or Thera), making it the perfect option for those seeking a place with an irresistible serene vibe and an extra secluded feeling. At the same time, you are close enough to all the lively action of Fira, as well as other popular attractions, such as Oia – another superb sunset-watching spot on the northwest of the island exuding unbeatable romance.
The Balcony to the Aegean
This is precisely how you’d feel when visiting Imerovigli, Santorini – as if you have been generously offered a seat at the most prime and top-tier venue providing exceptional views of the Aegean Sea, the volcanic coastline, and the imposing caldera. Indeed, this scenic village has, admittedly, the best sea panoramas. Plus, everybody has surely seen Imerovigli sunset photo-shots with the scenic blue-dome churches in the background complementing the chalky architecture, as the azure of the Mediterranean sky and the cobalt of the ocean blend in a way that they become inseparable, on Instagram and other popular social media platforms!
The Fira-Oia Hiking Trail – A Challenge Worth Taking Up!
Situated some 300 metres above sea level, Imerovigli village is probably best experienced and seen through the Fira-Oia walk – a popular hike that connects the two iconic locations. It will take you around 3 hours to walk the 10.5km trail from beginning to end. However, you may choose to exit the hike at any given time, depending on the type of adventure you desire. The hiking trail is quite challenging at some points. Nevertheless, if you decide to go for it, expect to be graciously rewarded with fantastic seascapes and magnetic views of the Cyclades island.
The beautiful village has lots of shops, restaurants, tavernas, and bars to keep you busy. Of course, if you fancy an experience that’s somewhat more animated, then Fira and its buzzing night scene are only a couple of minutes away.
As expected (due to its location), the dining and entertainment venues at Imerovigli, Santorini come with great caldera views (as the village sits on the side of the volcano). As for the accommodation options, although the resorts and 5-star hotels offering caldera vistas are usually tied to a higher price tag, Imerovigli remains the most cost-effective, especially compared to Oia and Fira.
In general, the idyllic small town is highly recommended for visitors wanting a more relaxing and quieter vacation (than the endeavours one will get in the capital), but still need to be pampered with panoramas that will make them fall endlessly in love with the delightful Cyclades princess with the unique landscapes and volcanic scenery.
For adventures more into the night, you will also find several champagne and cocktail bars to spoil you with great ambiance, lounge music, and palate-pleasing beverages and drinks (nothing too wild, though – for that type of entertainment, Mykonos is your best shot, which is a short boat ride away!).
Skaros Rock – A Dive Into a Glorious Past
Skaros Rock was actually a mighty 13th-century castle that was built to protect the islanders from pirate invasion, at a time when pirate raids were far too common. Tucked on the edge of the village, it is now a rocky headland that stands there to remind of the island’s history. Irrespective of its unfortunate fortune, though, it is an unmissable sight that locks your attention the moment you arrive in Imerovigli, Santorini.
Constructed by the Venetians who used to rule the island back in the day, the impressive fortress suffered numerous earthquakes and the wrath of God Poseidon (ancient Greek god of the sea and earthquakes), who, according to Greek mythology, decided to leave nothing but rubble on this particular site for some reason. Despite its misfortunes, though, Skaros exudes grandeur and most of its old-world charm to date.
Besides an excellent sunset-watching spot, this is also a perfect place for a hike, with plenty of routes to see not only the caldera, but also the picturesque village from a different (even more breathtaking) perspective, if you decide to hike up some 300 stairs!
For most experienced hikers, getting to the top of the rock and back will take them around 60 minutes. However, less fit or less advanced climbers may need a couple of hours to complete the venture. The most demanding part of this entire venture is the last 3-4 metres to the top (the rock face is quite steep – almost vertical). Nevertheless, you will find lots of holds (both foot and hand) to brace yourself (do consider wearing closed shoes or sneakers, especially if you wish to go all the way up to the rock). Overall, though, the hike is quite easy (with the only exception of those few last metres). Do remember to bring in some water, as there won’t be any shops or canteens nearby to grab a few bottles.
The moment you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, for any reason, though, it’s best to stop and not go any further. Simply take your time to enjoy the panoramas spreading below your feet and soaking up the incredible appeal instilled in this adrenaline-skyrocketing activity!
The Cycladic Churches & Chapels
You can’t come to the island and not admire the whitewashed churches that stand out with their beautiful architecture. The locals refresh their distinctive white colour before Easter time (most of the time), so they reflect the hot sun rays and offer a shady and cool interior for those wishing to visit them (the chapels and churches). The same principle applies to the houses, which are also painted with the characteristic milky-white shade for that reason. As for the peculiar shape of the constructions here, it has to do with practicality – the cubic shape provides protection from the northern winds that blow on the island, called Meltemi winds.
That being said, the tiny chapels of Agios Ioannis and Theoskepasti (on the way to and atop the Skaros rock, respectively), as well as the Anasteseos Church in the very heart of the village (probably the most photographed blue-domed church featured in almost all Santorini postcards and photos), and Agios Georgios Chapel above the caldera will make your days even more pleasurable with the tranquillity and the awe inspired from the second you lay eyes on them – not to mention the spellbinding, almost hypnotic island vistas and coastal views.
Tours and Excursions
Due to its location (on the caldera rim), there is no such thing as an Imerovigli beach to visit. The nearest shores are those of Baxedes and Monolithos, both offering a chill atmosphere, a beautiful natural landscape, volcanic sand, and peacefulness. Other popular beaches, such as Perissa, Perivolos, Kamari, and Vlychada (all definitely worth visiting for their volcanic morphology, unbelievable background, stunning seascapes, and tourist facilities) are between 12km and 16 km.
But, you can easily and effortlessly dip your toes in their crystalline waters via a boat tour or a yacht cruise that starts from your luxury Kivotos suite and takes you to all the must-see coastal attractions. These cruises can be as private as you wish and may even give you the option to fully customise the itinerary so that it fits your particular desires and requirements.
So, it can be a beach-hopping experience, a cruise that involves stops at key landmarks, such as the Hot Springs and the volcanic crater, or even a tour to the other Cyclades islands nearby. It’s totally up to you!
A Dream Fulfilment In Every Aspect
Whether you are here for the authentic Greek island experience, unique landscape, and romantic sunsets, or second-to-none adventures, utmost pampering, honeymoon, a family getaway, tying the knot with your life’s partner, or to get a taste of the hospitality the Greeks are so notorious for, Santorini will feel like a utopia.
Feel free to close your eyes and make a wish. Any wish; and watch it transform into your most satisfying reality. And, if you need any help with having your wish(es) granted, do not hesitate to ask for our assistance. The knowledgeable and friendly front desk staff at Kivotos Hotels is always more than happy to contribute to making your holidays memorable. As of now, this is a promise we are proud of never having failed to deliver on (and nothing ever seems to get in the way when it comes to customer satisfaction)!
Welcome and enjoy your stay and vacations!