Is the caldera the top attraction of Santorini? So Imerovigli is the top of the top! Located at the highest point of the ridge of the volcano that sinking gave rise to the island, Imerovigli is a real enchantment. For many, but not for all.
Like Oia, it is a chic resort made up of exclusive villas and suites that combine the candid white of the typical Cycladic houses with an exquisitely contemporary design: their charm is unparalleled, the prices often prohibitive (nevertheless they are almost always sold out).
Unlike Oia and especially the capital Fira, however, Imerovigli is a quiet destination. Although its sunset is one of the most beautiful of Santorini – primacy that all the resorts of the west coast contend, but that many believe rightfully belongs to Imerovigli – it is not taken by storm by tourists.
The sunset of Oia is more popular, it will be for the Instagram effect or because for cruise passengers who visit Santorini in the day is easier to get here than in Imerovigli. There are no nightclubs, you can dine in fine restaurants and have an aperitif in the cocktail bars of glamorous hotels, obviously with a view of the Aegean.
Enjoy in peace this small village 300 meters above the sea where luxury is synonymous with elegance and discretion. Its location was once strategic for the defense of the island (in fact, from here you could see the incoming pirate ships); today it is strategic for you who want to live a dream vacation in Greece.
No museums or famous monuments: the top attraction of Imerovigli, a bit ‘as throughout Santorini, is the sunset on the caldera.
This town offers one of the best views: while in Oia the sun hides behind the island of Folegandros, admiring the sunset in Imerovigli in front of you only the sea and some distant island. The only black silhouette that you will recognize in this idyllic picture is Skaros, a rocky outcrop near Imerovigli where once stood a fortress of which there are still some remains.
One of the five fortifications of Santorini, the fortress of Skaros was built by the Byzantines as a refuge from pirates and later remodeled by the Venetians. In the eighteenth century it became the capital of Santorini; today it is completely uninhabited, except for the small chapel of Agios Ioannis Apokefalisheis that stands on the north side.
Another attraction not to be missed in Imerovigli is the path along the caldera that leads to Oia. The full path starts in Fira and is about 9 km long; although it has some ups and downs, it is a path within everyone’s reach that offers beautiful panoramic views. Don’t forget sunscreen and water and wear appropriate shoes!
Around Imerovigli there are also some wineries where you can taste theassyrtiko, the typical white wine of Santorini produced with grapes grown in volcanic soil. Do not miss Vassaltis Vineyards this is a young winery which has already imposed itself for the quality of the wines produced.
Imerovigli is located on the ridge of the caldera, on a high and steep point, so there is no direct access to the sea. Reaching beautiful beaches in the surroundings of Imerovigli is not difficult: some of them can be reached by bus, but for most of them it is necessary to rent a car.
The closest ones to Imerovigli are those of Pori and Vourvoulos, reachable in only 5 minutes by car; it takes 25 minutes by car to the most distant beaches of the island, including Red Beach, Vlychada (Moon Beach), Agios Georgios and Perissa.
The first is considered the most beautiful beach of Santorini and is always included in the list of must-see attractions of the island. It is a very particular beach mixed of sand and red pebbles dominated by imposing cliffs of the same color. Very suggestive, it is however a small beach and without services (only the rental of deckchairs and umbrellas). Keep in mind that from the parking lot you will have to walk about 10 minutes on a steep path: wear suitable shoes.
If you prefer more convenient beaches to reach, the family-friendly beach of Monolitos is only 13 minutes away. More or less the same time is enough to get to Cape Colombo, a beach of black sand and pebbles in the north coast of Santorini: isolated and without services, it is a perfect beach for those who do not like confusion.
The town of Imerovigli is not very large and the center is within walking distance in a short time, so there are no better areas where to sleep in Imerovigli: any hotel in the center you choose you will be a step away from everything else!
Imerovigli hotels are famous for being among the most exclusive (and expensive) of Santorini: fabulous design hotels and villas in beautiful panoramic locations overlooking the caldera, equipped with all the comforts and luxuries such as infinity pool, private pool or Jacuzzi in the room. They are the modern expression of unbridled hedonism, perfect for honeymooners, lovers of traveling in style and anyone who wants to treat themselves to something absolutely magnificent.
Don’t despair if the budget of your vacation doesn’t allow for such luxurious hotels: by booking well in advance you can also find affordable accommodations, especially small studios or interior rooms without a view.
Along the road to Firostefani there are some cheap hotels that represent the ideal solution for those who cannot afford to pay for 4 or 5 star hotels in Imerovigli; for their location they are also perfect for those who want to explore the island by car.
Imerovigli can be reached by bus from Fira and Oia: in the summer months the runs are very frequent, about one every 15 minutes. It is recommended, however, to rent a car in order to move freely throughout the island and reach the most beautiful beaches, not served by public transport.
Imerovigli is located along the west coast of Santorini, about 3 km from Fira, 8 km from the airport and 12 km from the ferry port.