Megalochori is one of the most picturesque villages of the island. Its existence is recorded in the 17th century.
Home to historic mansions, old traditional houses, pirate hideouts and wine canvas, it has a history of merchants and wealthy barons exporting Vinsanto wine which the island still produces.
In the center of the village, there a wonderful traditional square with taverns, restaurants and trees providing shade for a quick cup of coffee. The square is the heart and soul of Megalochori, a gathering place for the locals to play a game of cards or ‘tavli’ (backgammon). Spiraling out in all directions is a maze of winding cobbled streets and smooth edge pathways, just waiting to be discovered.
Physical Characteristics of the Megalochori Area
Predominantly vineyard country, the area of Megalochori covers a large expanse of the south western plains of Santorini, stretching towards the Caldera on the west, and the traditional settlement built on the banks of a stream to the east. Evidence of prehistoric settlements has been found in the area covering the Early and Later Cycladic periods.
There are two remote beaches on the Caldera side, both named after churches in the area, Plaka beach and Thermi beach.
The traditional village of Megalochori is located around seven kilometers (km) or five miles (mi) from the island of Santorini’s main airport.
Both buses and private taxis can be chartered from the airport, buses from €12 and taxis from €45.
Additionally, it’s about an hour’s walk for visitors who are light on luggage and don’t mind a hike past the stunning Santorini caldera.
There are numerous wine tasting places here and indeed this village is at the heart of the island’s wine industry. The vineyards are located all round the village, the vines coiled in a typical Santorini fashion. The village itself has a nice mixture of cream and white Cycladic houses with contrasting colourful wooden doors and a fair few white churches with bright blue domes for good measure. There are a couple of tiered bell towers over the road as you approach the square.