Imerovigli Village Information
- Location: Northwest Santorini, between Fira and Oia at the highest point of the caldera.
- Parking: Free public parking available as you enter Imerovigli, just off the main road from Fira to Oia, behind the public bus stop.
- Bus: The bus stop is on the main road from Fira to Imerovigli, just before the entrance to the village. There is no direct bus to Imerovigli from the port or the airport. From either, take a bus going to Fira (where the main bus terminal is) and transfer to a Fira-Oia bus. General bus information and public bus schedule.
- Dining: Athenian House, Avocado, and La Maison are 3 of our favorite restaurants in this area.
- Shopping: Limited. Mini markets for food items but not known for fashion or souvenirs.
- Best Hotels: Grace, Astra Suites, Iconic, Cavo Tagoo, The Vasilicos, All Imerovigli Hotels
The Village of Imerovigli – Video
The tranquil and picturesque village of Imerovigli is Santorini’s quietest town along the caldera and has amazing sunset views, though Oia is more well known for that. Located to the north of the island, on the highest point of the caldera 300 m above sea level with unobstructed sunset views from any neighboring islands, which isn’t always the case in Fira or Firostefani. There are spectacular views of the caldera, the volcano (Nea Kameni) and the deep blue Aegean Sea. Imerovigli is known as a romantic destination because of its beauty and serenity. The village is a maze of narrow cobblestone and paved alleyways that are lined with bright colored flowers, white-washed houses, 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 because of its proximity to Fira. The walk into Fira is easy but 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. It’s about a 20 to 30 minute walk (about 2.5km) from Fira or a very short bus or taxi ride.
One of the main attractions in Imerovigli is the hike to Skaros Rock. A large rock formation created by volcanic activity and shaped by erosions and earthquakes. It sits in the ocean on the caldera side and is visible from anywhere in the village. At the top of Skaros is a 13th century castle built by a Venetian ruler. The trail gets steeper and more difficult as you get closer to the top so some hiking skills are required. It was one of the five fortified settlements of Sanotrini during the Byzantine Empire and later on, the 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. Panagia Theoskepasti church is built on the cliff edge by Skaros Rock.
Imerovigli sits on the Fira to Oia hiking trail. The 10.5 km trail takes you 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. The climb from Oia to Imerovigli is long and gradual so you don’t notice it as much. The climb from Fira to Imerovigli is short and steep. The trail is not babystroller 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, its about 2.5 km (about a 20-30 minute walk) and to Oia its about 7.5 km (about an hour or two walk).
- Oia-Fira Hiking Trail: 1-minute walk. 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. Hiking northwest, the full length of the path from the hotel to Oia Castle takes about 2 hours. Heading south to the trail’s end in Fira, near Keti Hotel, takes about 33 minutes. Add at least 30 minutes for a detour at Skaros Rock either 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. 3-minute walk.
- Anastasi Church: The most picturesque, blue-domed church in Imerovigli offers gorgeous caldera views overlooking Skaros Rock. Popular for weddings and photo shoots. 4-minute walk.
- Imerovigli Basketball Court: Not an attraction, but good to know. This is the main parking area in Imerovigli. 9-minute walk or 3-minute drive.
- 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. 8-minute walk.
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