Imerovigli, Santorini

GreeceSantorini › Imerovigli Travel Guide
by Santorini Dave • Updated: April 27, 2021

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sunset view

Sunset in Imerovigli, with Oia visible off in the distance.

Imerovigli Village Information

Imerovigli Village – Video

Lay of the Land
The tranquil and picturesque village of Imerovigli is Santorini’s quietest town along the caldera. It is located midway between Fira and Oia on the caldera’s highest point, 300 m above sea level, with unobstructed sunset views that rival even those of Oia, Santorini’s most famous sunset spot. From the cliffs of Imerovigli, there are spectacular views of the caldera, Skaros Rock, the Nea Kameni volcano, Thirassia island, and the deep blue Aegean Sea. Imerovigli is known as a romantic destination because of its beauty and serenity. Some parts of the village are set back a bit from the caldera, a maze of narrow cobblestone and paved alleyways that are lined with bright colored flowers, white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, high-end dining, and casual restaurants. Imerovigli doesn’t have a lot of restaurants, but the ones that are here all all very good to great, and almost all have caldera views. There is no night life.

There are many luxury hotels with infinity pools as well as less expensive studios and apartments available throughout the village. If you’re looking for peace and quiet but still want to be near sightseeing, restaurants, and nightlife, then Imerovigli is a great option due to its proximity to Fira. It’s about a 20 to 30 minute walk (about 2.5km) between Fira and Imerovigli, or a very short bus or taxi ride. The walk into Fira from Imerovigli is easy and mostly downhill; if you find the uphill walk back to Imerovigli too taxing after a large dinner or a night out, its easy to find a cab in Fira.

Skaros Rock
One of the main attractions in Imerovigli is Skaros Rock, large rock formation created by volcanic activity and shaped over generations by earthquakes and erosion. Skaros Rock juts out into the ocean from the caldera cliffs, and is visible from just about anywhere in the village. It is one of the island’s five fortified settlements that date from the island’s Byzantine and later on, Frankish rule (the others being Akrotiri, Emporio, Pyrgos and Oia). Strategic and inaccessible areas were chosen for these settlements because the Aegean coast suffered incessant pirate raids during this time.

Skaros remained an important settlement until the catastrophic volcanic eruption in aproximately 1613 BC. This eruption caused several strong earthquakes which destroyed part of the settelement into the sea. The volcano continued to have periods of activity over the next few hundred years until an 18th century eruption further destroyed the already declining Skaros. This caused most of its residents to move to Fira or Imerovigli. The crumbling ruins seen here today are what remains of this once prominent settlement.

Many people visit Skaros Rock as a short side trip while hiking the Fira to Oia trail, but it’s also worthwhile as an excursion of its own. The trail to access Skaros is reached by descending a steep winding staircase just below Grace Hotel, in the middle of Imerovigli. The path begins with concrete steps and a thin wire guard rail, and transitions to a gravel path with no barrier. There’s a small historic church, Panagia Theoskepasti, tucked into the bluffs on the far side, and a 13th-century Venetian castle at the top. Visiting Skaros Rock takes at least an hour round-trip, longer if you climb to the top, or stay to picnic and enjoy the views.

Fira to Oia Hike
Imerovigli sits directly in the middle of the Fira to Oia hiking trail. This incredibly scenic 10.5 km trail winds along the caldera cliff and through the villages of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia. The entire hike takes between 2 and 5 hours depending on how fast you walk and how often you stop. Part of the path is similar to a sidewalk, parts are cobblestone, and parts are a dirt path. There is a good climb in both directions. From Imerovigli, both Fira and Oia are mostly downhill hikes. If hiking to Imerovigli, the climb from Oia to Imerovigli is long and gradual, so the elevation change is a bit easier to handle; the hike from Fira to Imerovigli is shorter but steep. The Oia-Fira Trail is not baby-stroller or bike friendly. Most 7 year-olds would have no trouble completing the walk in terms of difficulty because the quality of the path is good, but it is a very long walk for anyone under 10. From Imerovigli to Fira, it’s about 2.5 km (about a 20-30 minute walk); from Imerovigli to Oia is about 7.5 km (a couple of hours’ walk at least).

Attractions

  • Oia-Fira Hiking Trail: One of the top attractions on the island is this scenic 10.5 km hiking trail connecting Oia and Fira. A mix of sidewalk, cobblestones, and dirt trail, this route boasts gorgeous vistas the entire way.
  • Agios Georgios Church: Small white church on a platform over the caldera, marking the start of the trail to Skaros Rock. Gorgeous, panoramic views from here. Map.
  • Anastasi Church: The most picturesque, blue-domed church in Imerovigli offers gorgeous caldera views overlooking Skaros Rock. Popular for weddings and photo shoots. Map.
  • Imerovigli Basketball Court: Not an attraction, but good to know. This is the main parking area in Imerovigli. Map.
  • Skaros Rock: Impressive volcanic rock formation housing the ruins of a medieval castle and town, dating to 1207. The monastery at its base, Panagia Theoskepasti, is the only part of Skaros that is still active. Map.

Map of Imerovigli

Imerovigli village map of Hotels and things to do.

Imerovigli Village

Skaros Rock

Skaros Rock in the center of Imerovigli lies just below Grace Hotel.

iconic hotel

Gorgeous caldera view from a patio at Iconic Hotel.

aenanon villas pool

Aenaon Villas at the very north end of Imerovigli has an exquisite view and very private location.

Athenian House restaurant caldera view

Athenian House restaurant has fabulous food and a breathtaking caldera view.

grace hotel

The incomparable infinity pool at Grace Hotel.

astra suites

The dining area of Astra Suites with Oia visible in the distance.

Cavo Tagoo hotel

The divine infinity pool at Cavo Tagoo Hotel.

avocado restaurant

Avocado Restaurant is one of our local favorites for lunch or dinner.

Skaros Rock

Hiking out to Skaros Rock is a great way to spend a few hours and look back to the length of the rim of the caldera.

Romantic table for two with a sunset view over the caldera.

view toward fira

Looking south toward Fira from Imerovigli.

Pathway heading toward the caldera, perpendicular to the walking path that runs through the middle of the village.

fira to oia walking trail

Signs along the Fira to Oia walking trail as it passes through Imerovigli. Here the path is cobblestone, sometimes it’s paved, sometimes dirt.

hillside view

Beautiful Imerovigli.

Parking in Imerovigli is limited but can be found as you look further away from the caldera and toward the main highway. This is one small lot.

road into the village

The narrow lane into Imerovigli from the main road.

bus stop

Imerovigli bus stop along the main road between Fira and Oia.

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