Imerovigli resort guide Santorini
Virtually an extension of Fira, the village of Imerovigli is perched even higher on the cliff overlooking the caldera and arguably offers even better views than its more popular neighbour which is about three kilometres away. The name Imerovigli derives from 'imera vigli' — 'daytime look-out' when this was the main island watchtower in the days when pirates roamed the Mediterranean.
Imerovigli is now one of the most sought after, and expensive, destinations in the Greek Islands. Although much of it was destroyed in the 1953 earthquake it has been tastefully rebuilt.
Away from the cruise ship day trippers of Fira, Imerovigly has a more relaxed pace and a more exclusive air. On the seaward side of Imerovigli village is an enormous rock outpost, with the remains of the fortress of Skaros standing on top of it.
Before 1800, Skaros was part of Imerovigli but most of it, along with the houses that surrounded it, was destroyed in the 1956 earthquake.
Skaros was one of five fortresses on Santorini and the most important one. Built by the Venetians in the 13th century it was the capital of Santorini until the 18th century and impregnable. It was never taken in its 600 years despite several sieges.
Houses on Imerovigli cliff edge were also abandoned following the earthquake but were reoccupied in the 1970s and many were restored to their former beauty.
It now benefits from protected status to prevent any unsympathetic building — a useful bulwark against development given the breathtaking sunsets over the caldera that can be viewed from here.
Imerovigli is also known for the many cave houses that have been carved out of the cliff. The Church of the Panagia Malteza also has a magnificent iconostasis carved wooden screen and many fine icons depicting Old Testament scenes.
A splendid cliff path links Imerovigli with Fira and it is worth taking an evening stroll along it to get the best of the sunsets.
The Museum of Prehistoric Fira on the Greek island of Santorini displays a very large number of ancient artefacts from across Santorini, notably from the fabulous Minoan site at Akrotiri.
It's the white cube houses of Oia on Santorini that make the most tempting scenes for the tourist clicking cameras followed by sites in Chania in Crete, Corfu and Mykonos.
Wine-making has been going on throughout Santorini for thousands of years. Small vineyards are dotted all over the island, and the locals have always been proud of their wines.
Tempting as it might be to pay big money for the best sea view on the island, we would recommend a slightly different approach when on holiday on Santorini island.