If you were to ask people what images first pop-up in their mind when told to think about Greece, the immediate responses are “Athens, Parthenon, the Aegean, donkeys, Moussaka, museums, Zorba and Santorini”.
I have been to Santorini three times – the first time was in 1988 and although a bustling tourist destination, most of the action was in the main town of Fira and Oia to the north was beginning to gain popularity.
The island is small and getting around is rather easy with decent roads, lots of options for car/motorbike rentals , lots of taxis and a frequent and on-time bus service. One can now get to any part of the island: head north to Oia to catch the sunset, to the south for the airport or the black beaches of Kamari. To the south is the museum of Akrotiri and of course Fira, the main town with the winding alleys, cafes, restaurants and bars.
Pyrgos lays between Fira and Kamari and it has the advantage of being located on highest mount on the island, giving one a panoramic view of the island. The village itself is mostly resided by locals with only some evidence of tourist trade in cafes, shops and tavernas.
People come to Santorini for its sheer beauty – white washed Cycladic buildings, bouganvillia sprouting everywhere and the fine Santorini wines. There are vineyards everywhere as the island’s space is limited and there are wineries to be found all over the island.
I still like going to Thira for the evening, or Kamari beach for a swim and a stroll along its promenade and a visit to one (or two) of the island’s wineries is a must. However, Santorini is a busy island and if you want to be located somewhere quieter yet nearby everything, then consider staying in Pyrgos.
I had the pleasure of staying in at the Voreina Gallery Suites, with a view of the island’s northside (voreina in Greek). One can see nearby Santo Wines, Fira to the north and even Oia in the distance. To the east you can see the airport and Kamari beach. If you want a panoramic view of the whole island, then take a short walk from Voreina Suites up to the village of Pyrgos, wander through the alleys and you’ll eventually get to the top. There, you will be literally on top of Santorini!
Most travelers these days like to be wired to the internet and the rooms have plenty of outlets, free Wi-Fi so that you can upload photos and share your experiences with friends and family.
Santorini boasts of having plenty of options when it comes to dining. Sure, there are the touristy eateries serving the usual clichéd food but most will serve some of the island’s specialties like tomato fritters or Santorini Salad with caper leaves and local cheese.
You’ll immediately feel right at home at Voreina Suites and you may just want to stay in for dinner. Each suite contains an ala carte menu from Selene Restaurant, world-renowned for bringing Santorini’s cuisine to the forefront of the Greek and international food scene.
You’ll be able to wash down your meal with a Santorini wine and simply lay on the balcony until your eyes become heavy and you drift to sleep. The next morning, you treated to a room-service Greek-style breakfast as prepared by Selene.
Voreina Gallery Suites caters to the traveler that likes peace, tranquility yet the location is central to the rest of the island and its attractions. The staff are locals and their recommendations for seeing, drinking and eating the island were all bona fide hits!
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