Carpe Diem – Understated, romantic, all-suite property in Pyrgos village with each suite offering a private plunge pool and panoramic island views of the sunrise and sunset.
This super-private boutique retreat offers elegant accommodations, exceptional dining, a decadent spa for 2, and an infinity pool with sweeping views over the island. The 10 suites offer ample space, ranging from 85 to 120 sqm of indoor/outdoor area, utmost privacy, exclusive plunge pools (6 heated, 4 unheated), and both sunrise and sunset views. Each hand-crafted suite offers a completely unique experience, such as the Terra Suite’s high-tech speaker system with endless music and the Lava Suite’s temperature-controlled wine bar featuring Santorini’s best labels. Dining is phenomenal at the private restaurant Gaia, led by Santorini’s most influential chef. Unparalleled, bespoke service completes the experience with a 1-to-1 guest-staff ratio, 24-hour butler service, and a host of experiences and packages tailored to guests’ desires.
Carpe Diem – Location
• Area: Carpe Diem is located in Pyrgos village, the most unspoiled traditional village in Santorini. The highest point on the island, Pyrgos offers unmatched panoramic views of the whole island and is a favorite for sunset views. Though the hotel feels remote, it is easily walkable to the pedestrian heart of the village, only 7-15 minutes on foot to some of the island’s best restaurants, bars, and viewpoints, and 20 minutes’ walk to the caldera. By car, Carpe Diem is 10 minutes to the nightlife in Fira, and 11 minutes to the shores of Kamari Beach.
• How to Get There:
Carpe Diem is located up the mountain in Pyrgos village. Most of the village is pedestrian-only, but Carpe Diem sits just off the main driving road connecting Pyrgos to Fira, Santorini Airport, and the Athinios Ferry Port, making it easy to reach whether driving, taxiing, or busing (though busing means 2 buses plus a walk). It is approximately 6km from both the ferry port and the airport to the hotel, though they are in opposite directions.
There are always buses at the ferry port for every ferry arrival, as well as buses departing hourly from the airport. There are no direct buses from the port or airport to Pyrgos, however; buses from both locations go to Fira, where you must get off and transfer to a second bus, the non-express to Perissa, getting off at the Pyrgos stop, from where the hotel is a 12-minute, mostly flat walk. To bus from the port or airport to Carpe Diem only costs about €5 in total, but it will take well over an hour, possibly up to 2 hours if you have to wait for a connection. Tickets are purchased on the bus, in cash only.
Taxis are also available from the port or airport, though there are only about 25 taxis serving the whole island, so there is often a wait; schedule a ride through a private car service in advance to avoid this (I use and recommend Welcome Pickups). Taxis on Santorini are not metered, so be sure to agree on a price with the driver before setting out. A taxi from the airport to Carpe Diem will cost roughly €25. A taxi from the ferry port to Carpe Diem will cost around €20. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more – about $45 (or €37), but is worth it to avoid the wait and for the convenience of paying ahead.
For those who prefer to drive themselves, we recommend renting a car either at the airport on arrival, or in Fira. The road from the ferry port is steep and narrow, with many tricky switchbacks, large trucks, and buses. Leave that for the locals to navigate. We strongly recommend reserving a vehicle in advance, especially if you require automatic transmission. Upon arrival at the hotel, each suite has its own dedicated parking space (a major perk).
• Handy to: The center of traditional Pyrgos village, Franco’s (best bar for sunset cocktails), Pyrgos Castle and St. George Church (next to Franco’s)
Map of Carpe Diem
Carpe Diem – The Basics
- Ages: An adults-only property, Carpe Diem allows guests ages 18 years and older only.
- Beach: Carpe Diem is closest to Kamari Beach (5 km away), though Perissa Beach (8 km away) is the easiest beach to access without a car since it is on the main bus route running through Pyrgos. Kamari Beach is a black pebble beach that is popular with families, with several beach clubs, restaurants, and an open-air cinema. Just a little farther away than Kamari is Perissa Beach, a black sand beach that is among the very best on the island with stylish beach clubs and top-notch restaurants. Both beaches are connected via boat route, so you don’t have to settle for just one.
- View: All suites offer dazzling 270° panoramic views over the island for dazzling sunrises and sunsets.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: All suites include private, rooftop plunge pools. The 3 Alba Suites and the Lapis Suite have unheated pools, while the remaining 6 suites have heated pools. The Astra Suite boasts the largest private pool on the property. Each plunge pool is super private, which earned the hotel its distinction by CNN Travel as the most “fabulous place to take a skinny dip”.
- Parking: Each suite has its own dedicated parking space next to its entrance.
- Extras: 24-hour butler service; 24-hour reception; bespoke experiences (hiking, yachting, wine, and more); pillow and mattress menu; smartphone with free, unlimited mobile data and calling to the U.S., Europe, Australia, and China; twice daily maid service; private dining.
- When to Book: The hotel is open from April 1 to October 31. Reserve at least 4 months in advance (6 months is better) for stays during the high season from June through September, and about 2 months in advance for the low and shoulder seasons.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +30 22860 34090
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: carpediemsantorini.com
Carpe Diem – Amenities
- Pool: Unheated, infinity pool overlooking the westward side of the island.
- Spa: Holistic spa designed for couples with a 2-person yin-yang shaped jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, and a full menu of massage, skin, and body treatments.
- Fitness Center: No gym onsite. Personal training and yoga instruction can be arranged on guests’ private terraces.
- For Disabled Guests: This hotel is designed over multiple floors only connected by stairs. Suitable for guests with mild mobility issues but definitely not wheelchair accessible.
- For Families: This is an adults-only property, with no one under 18 years allowed. There are no special amenities or facilities for children, and each room sleeps a maximum of 2 guests.
- Activities: Carpe Diem is proud to offer 6 bespoke experience packages which showcase the best of Santorini. These experiences focus on wine, hiking, yachting, scuba, culture, and local gems. Of course, the butler team may also put together a personally-tailored itinerary on request.
Carpe Diem – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: Exaltis is the hotel’s signature fine-dining restaurant. All ingredients are local and hand-selected for quality to create innovative recipes that combine traditional and contemporary Santorinian flavors. Open for lunch (12 pm to 5:30 pm), and dinner (6:30 pm to 10:30 pm).
- Lounge/Bar: 270 Meze and Wine offers poolside drinks, snacks, and light meals from 11:30 am to 7 pm. Flavors are decidedly Greek and made with local ingredients. The bar mixes delightful, signature cocktails and stocks a fantastic variety of wines with a special focus on local labels.
- Breakfast: Carpe Diem’s signature wine breakfast is a highlight. An a la carte breakfast paired with wine is included in the room rates and is served from 8 to 11:30 am in the lounge or on guests’ terraces.
- Room Service: Available all day from 8 am to 10 pm.
Carpe Diem – Rooms
- Room Types: Alba Suite • Aura Suite • Lapis Suite • Astra Suite • Vita Suite • Terra Suite • Dea Suite • Lava Suite
- Smoking Rooms: The hotel does not allow smoking in any of their room categories. It is allowed on the private outdoor terraces and in the outdoor common areas.
- Best Room: Every suite is amazing here, but the Lava Suite is the best. With 120 sqm of indoor and outdoor space, it is one of the largest suites on site. Built with lava rock and pumice, this suite’s unique design and features epitomize Santorini, especially its temperature-controlled selection or local wine, along with its record player and curated collection of LPs. The Lava Suite offers a heated, private plunge pool with panoramic views over the island from the caldera in the west to the Aegean in the east and the villages and vineyards in the north.
- For Families: An adults-only property, Carpe Diem allows guests over 18 years old only. There are no facilities or amenities for children. Each suite has a maximum occupancy of 2.
Carpe Diem – Local Transport
- Walking: Carpe Diem is located about 700m from the heart of Pyrgos traditional village, with its winding footpaths dotted with restaurants, churches, boutiques, and vistas. Most of the village is pedestrian-only, with charming, narrow streets and steep stairways leading to some of Santorini’s best sunset viewpoints from its vantage at the highest point on the island. Several restaurants, wineries, and attractions are within walking distance, though for exploring the island, it is best to hire a car or taxi to get around.
- Bus: From the hotel, it’s a 12-minute walk to the bus stop. Pyrgos is served by the non-express Fira-Perissa bus route. Do not take the Fira-Perissa express route, as it does not stop in Pyrgos. The non-express Fira-Perissa bus connects Pyrgos straight to Perissa or Fira, or riders can change buses in Fira to reach other villages, the airport, or the port. Tickets are bought on board and range from €1.80 to €2.50 per person in the daytime, depending on the route. Night buses (12:30 am to 5 am) run less frequently (sometimes not at all) and cost a little more, from €2.30 to €3.10. Buses can get very crowded, especially during the high season, so much so that they often fill to capacity and are unable to take on more passengers. There are only 23 public buses serving the island.
- Taxis: There is no official taxi stand in Pyrgos village. Instead, book Santorini taxis in advance. A taxi from the airport to Carpe Diem will cost about €25. A taxi from the ferry port to Carpe Diem will cost about €20 to €25.
- Scooters/Motorcycles: Scooters are the main mode of transportation for the locals, but if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, it can be very dangerous. The roads here are zigzagging, hilly, narrow, and have sheer drop-offs with no guardrails and no street lights in most areas. Lots of dirt roads and potholes.
- ATVs/Quads: ATVs are a fun and popular mode of transportation with tourists, but for the locals stuck driving behind them, they move too slowly and hold up traffic in an area where getting around is already a hassle. For those who don’t ride quads regularly (i.e. most people), they can be dangerous at high speeds and on turns. Crashing your ATV is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation.
Carpe Diem – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Cava Alta: Charming and elegant Mediterranean restaurant, tucked in the Pyrgos alleyways inside a century-old wine cave.
- Kantouni Restaurant: Casual, Greek meze and comfort food.
- Brusco Wine Coffee Deli: Fantastic deli with sharable meat and cheese plates and sammies paired with local wine or Greek coffee.
- Penelope’s Ouzeri: Authentic, traditional meze (try the meatballs and fava) paired with wine or ouzo. Great views from the outdoor terrace.
- Metaxi Mas: The best taverna on the island offers Santorinian and Cretan dishes made with fresh, local ingredients and served with heart.
- Botargo Restaurant and Bar: Upscale restaurant with a decadent menu and stunning sunsets in a 19th-century mansion.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Franco’s Bar: The #1 sunset viewpoint in Pyrgos with breathtaking views, champagne cocktails, and superb service.
- Art Space Winery: Winery and art gallery in Exo Gonia housed in a mid-1800’s wine cave and vineyard. The gallery is spread throughout the cellars and raki distillery, with contemporary Greek and international work. Tours and tastings available daily.
- Santo Wines Winery: Huge winery with expansive caldera views offering tours, tastings, and light bites. The vibe is fairly commercial, but the wine is exceptional and the views are to die for.
Best Nearby Cafes
- Agaze Bistro: Wonderful breakfast and brunch spot in a charming space with a covered terrace.
- The Bakery of Pyrgos – Ioannis Fousteris: Very traditional Greek bakery with a great selection of sweet and savory pastries and pies. Limited seating, so plan on taking food to go.
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- Art Gallery Kallisti Kastelli: Art and souvenir shop with a huge selection spilling out onto the footpath in central Pyrgos.
- Theotokaki Art: Small gallery with fantastic paintings on wood, all handmade by the owner, plus a great selection of unique souvenirs.
- Marilena: Jewelry, tees, accessories, and souvenirs in a quaint little space.
- Pezouli Souvenirs: Fun boutique with a mix of local, handmade art and accessories along with some commercial gifts.
- Church of Agios Nikolaos Theotokaki: Dating to the 1300’s and renovated in the 1600’s, this is one of the oldest churches on the island, distinguished by its blue dome and 6-bell tower.
- St George Church/Eisodia Tis Theotokou: This picturesque church dates to the 17th century and is one of the most important churches on the island. Located just behind Franco’s at the top of Pyrgos, this is the easiest church to recognize in a large cluster of churches in the castle grounds, including the Virgin Mary Church.
- Museum of Icons and Ecclesiastical Artifacts: Right next door to St. George Church is a small museum of 17th and 18th-century religious artifacts inside a former Catholic convent, Agia Triada.
- Pyrgos Castle: The castle ruins are not much to see on their own. The main reason to visit here is to see the panoramic view over the island and to visit the several churches surrounding the grounds. Behind Franco’s.
- Church Christos (Metamorfosi Tou Sotiros): The Church of Christ is an imposing church perched just above the main square, notable for its architectural design.
Nearby Markets and Grocery Stores
- Maria’s Mini Market: The best (and only) market in Pyrgos with well-stocked shelves of produce, wine, and groceries, and super-friendly staff.
- Vidalis Market: If Maria’s doesn’t have what you’re looking for, check at Vidalis. The selection is larger and more complete, though the prices are high and service is lacking.
Carpe Diem – The Hotel