Cultural Village of Pyrgos, Santorini

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IMG_1254If you’re like me, you’re the type of traveler that needs simple, comfortable accommodations with a shower, comfortable, bathroom, a central location and some air conditioning (for those hot summer days).

When I’m in Greece, I’m not spending time in my room but rather I’m out exploring, experiencing, eating and drinking. Such is the case while in Santorini, definitely one of Greece’s gastronomic destinations (I even just completed a tour of Santorini and Crete).

The island is small, relying on even the importation of water but they do a wonderful job of featuring their fabulous wines, the Santorini dwarf tomato (and pastes), capers and caper leaves, the local cheese known as Chloro, white eggplant (sweet – never bitter) and the yellow split peas.IMG_6519

Practically every restaurant has a couple of these products featured on their menus along with their own twists. Santorini is a gourmand’s paradise and when I visit the island, I find the village of Pyrgos to be central to all.IMG_6372

Pyrgos used to be the capital of the island and if you walk to the top to the kastelli (castle), you can see practically the whole island with its vast panoramic view. Down at the foot of the village facing northeast is the Cultural Village of Pyrgos, a contemporary cultural and gastronomic space.IMG_6524

The Cultural Village is a collaboration between founder Yiannis Chrysos and the proprietor of Selene Restaurant, Giorgos Hatzigiannakis. Located just a short walk from Selene is the “Santorini of the Past” museum, featuring several exhibits that show how the islanders lived a traditional agrarian life. Visitors to the museum will learn how Santorinians hunted for game birds, how they made wine and raki, yellow split peas and Santorini tomato paste.IMG_1241

Afterwards, you can step back up to Selene where the restaurant’s Sommelier and Restaurant manager, Georgia Tsara will bridge the Santorini of old with the new, adventurous cuisine of Selene. Guests can take in a seminar where Georgia delves further in Santorini’s unique products plus a primer on the cheeses of the Cyclades islands and finally a lunch paired with 5 wines from Santorini.

Pyrgos is the epicenter of Santorini gastronomy with the Cultural Village and Selene but there’s more! Yiannis Chrysos has also built several guest rooms that you can book/rent during your stay in Santorini. The rooms are built with an eye towards the islands traditional architecture and they are conveniently located near Selene (at the bottom of Pyrgos, near the main square, public transit, auto rentals and of course grab a taxi.

The Cultural Village is a quiet oasis amongst a tourist-filled island. Here, the cruise ship tourists never make it this far yet Pyrgos is close to the airport, the main town of Fira, several beaches, Akrotiri Archaelogical Museum and the many, many other restaurants that are yours to explore while in Santorini.

with Girogios Haztigiannakis, Selene Restaurant founder
with Girogios Haztigiannakis, Selene Restaurant founder

Click here to contact the Pyrgos Cultural Village about accommodations and more.

© 2014,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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