Pyrgos can found at the highest point of Santorini, with panoramic views of the whole island all the way to the village of Oia. This hillside village was declared a EU protected settlement in 1995.
Pyrgos represents the best of Santorini. Still relatively undeveloped, a visit to Pyrgos will put you in the mood for life on a Greek island “the old way”. Smooth winding paths, little white houses and charming art galleries tucked into hidden corners are all part of the magic. Here and there you’ll come across a church, or a little stall selling homemade Greek wine. Pyrgos is a wonderful melting pot of Greek tradition. You definitely need comfortable walking shoes, so girls, leave your heels at home.
Not to be missed is Sunset time at Franco’s Café Bar high up inside the castle walls. Franco ran the famous Franco’s bar in Fira for 20 years. In 2006 he decided to retreat from the hustle and bustle of Santorini’s capital, forsaking it for the beauty and tranquility of a smaller, more traditional village. Originally from Turin, Italy, Franco Colombo arrived in Santorini at the end of the 70’s and couldn’t escape from the island magic. Newsweek International described Franco’s Bar in Pyrgos as one of the “World’s Best Bars”.
Once you get to Pyrgos’s main square, take the one and only path straight up the hill and follow the arrows. You will see small signs labeled Franco’s. It can take a while to get up there, but the walk is so picturesque, it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose track of time.
We recommend you set off at least one hour earlier. Pyrgos is a place you definitely need a camera – take something to throw over your shoulders – the evenings are quite cool. By the time you get to Franco’s you’ll be more than ready for one of his famous cocktails, some nibbles and of course a sunset and island views to die for. And all this to the sweeping sounds of classical and opera music.
Pyrgos is a typical Fortress Settlement of the Cyclades. On the hilltop you can find ruins of Kastelli Castle, one of the five ‘Kastellia’ on the island. It became the capital of Santorini after the abandonment of Skaros Castle in the mid-18th century, and before Fira, which is the capital of Santorini today. There is a memorial plaque near the entrance to the castle, commemorating those who died in the Second World War.
Traditional architecture, remains of neo-classical mansions, narrow winding paths leading up the hillside, small white houses, galleries, vineyards, churches, breathtaking sunsets – Pyrgos is truly magical.
Buses to Pyrgos
Buses leave from Fira town every 30 minutes. The distance from Fira to Pyrgos is about 7,5km.