Pyrgos (Greek: Πύργος Καλλίστης, literally ‘Tower’) is a village on the Aegean island of Santorini, Greece, in the Cyclades archipelago with a population of 912 according to the 2011 census. Pyrgos is part of the Municipality of Thira and is situated approximately 7 km away from the island’s capital Fira. It is built amphitheatrically on a hill that offers magnificent views of Santorini in almost all directions. On top of this hill remain the ruins of a Venetian castle (Kasteli) that was once the island’s administrative center.
Pyrgos is a typical example of medieval architecture with narrow, labyrinthine streets, fortified walls and hidden passages.
What makes Pyrgos unique is the fact that it is the highest village of the whole island, providing great panoramic views of both sides of the island. It is situated on the west coast, about 8 kilometers southeast of Fira, the capital of Santorini.
Pyrgos is surrounded by blue domed churches and vineyards. Here and there you will meet small galleries and shops tucked into hidden corners, as you get around the successive, uphill and downhill alleys. At the bottom of the village there are some tourist shops, mini markets, welcoming restaurants and taverns with delicious food and coffee shops, most of them around the main, round square.
As you are ascending this hillside village you will reach the Venetian Kasteli, one of the five castles of Santorini, where the view is unexampled. It is built amphitheatrically with three churches in and around it. On the west side lays the church Theotoki or Koimisis of Theotokou that is believed to be one of the oldest churches of the island. The church of Eisodion of Theotokou is found on the highest level of Kasteli and the church of Agia Theodosia is very close to its entrance.
One can visit many more churches and chapels in Pyrgos, but the monastery of Profitis Ilias, near the village, is worth mentioning. Inside the chapel of Agia Triada (of Profitis Ilias) is held the museum of “The icons and relics Collection” of Pyrgos which has got an important collection of ecclesiastic items, books and plenty art works.
Additionally, in Pyrgos you can come across some remarkable wineries where you can visit the vineyards, learn about the history and production of the famed Santorini wine and, mainly, taste the surprisingly savory wine.