Megalochori village in Santorini
Megalochori village in Santorini
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Megalochori invites you to step into a world frozen in time. Whispering tales of Cycladic heritage, it is a haven away from the tourist hustle, promising an authentic Santorinian experience.

With its whitewashed buildings, narrow winding streets, and peaceful atmosphere, Megalochori seamlessly blends tranquility and history. As we unravel the treasures of this hidden gem, anticipate discovering the essence of the island’s allure tucked within its corners.


How do you get to Megalochori, Greece?

Situated on the southwestern part of Santorini, Megalochori boasts a prime location that is both secluded and easily accessible. 


Distances from key points of interest

  • Santorini airport – Megalochori: 7 km
  • Santorini port – Megalochori: 4.6 km
  • Fira – Megalochori: 5.8 km
  • Oia – Megalochori: 20.7 km


Megalochori Santorini


There are many ways you can reach the village from any location on the island. Let’s discover them one by one.


Santorini airport to Megalochori

There is a bus connecting Santorini airport with the capital, Fira, departing every hour. Then, you should take another bus to Perissa to get to Megalochori. This is an affordable option if you wish to follow a budget-friendly route.

Alternatively, you can pre-book a private transfer to pick you up from the airport and take you directly to your Megalochori hotel.


Santorini port to Megalochori

From the bus station located at the port, take a bus to Fira Central bus station. From there, you should take the bus to Perissa, which stops at Megalochori.

For a more hassle-free journey, private transfers offer convenience, especially if you carry lots of luggage or want a direct route.


Car rental

If you are based in any of the other Santorini villages, you can reach Megalochori by leasing a car. This is a fantastic way to explore the island at your own pace while following your preferred itinerary.


Santorini day tour

Joining a guided tour to Megalochori not only simplifies transportation logistics but also provides insightful commentary on the village’s past. This is the best choice if you wish to explore its magic with the help of an experienced local guide!


Megalochori’s rich history


Megalochori Santorini


Megalochori’s roots date back to the 17th century, which is relatively young compared to Greek standards. However, its broader area has a significant historical heritage with traces of ancient settlements

As a village, it was originally established by wealthy wine merchants, which is evident in its traditional cave houses and beautiful neoclassical mansions. It was also one of the favorite getaways of Mediterranean pirates, who used to unwind there without plundering it.

Over the centuries, Megalochori has witnessed the ebb and flow of Santorini’s history, from Venetian and Ottoman rule to the devastating earthquake of 1956, which ruined it. It was only after 1999 that the locals started to restore its buildings and wineries to revive it.


How Megalochori looks now

Megalochori today is a harmonious synthesis of historical preservation and contemporary charm. The restorations have maintained its allure, making it a serene haven for those seeking a glimpse into Santorini’s past amidst the modern appeal of a Cycladic village.

Its cute pathways, whitewashed buildings and colorful flowers offer a delightful experience that is a treat to the senses. Furthermore, the quaint cafes, traditional tavernas, and local shops complement the picturesque landscape, creating a unique ambiance. 


Things to do in Megalochori, Santorini

Unveil the enchantment of Megalochori with a wide range of activities, which ensure that every moment is filled with excitement and magic.


1. Explore the peaceful lanes boasting architectural grace

Wander through Megalochori’s narrow, winding streets adorned with bougainvillea-covered facades. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleys featuring well-preserved captain houses, neoclassical mansions and traditional cave houses. 


Whitewashed building in Megalochori


2. Savor local cuisine

Indulge in authentic Greek flavors at the village’s traditional tavernas. From mouthwatering Santorini fava to freshly caught seafood, Megalochori’s culinary scene promises to gratify your taste buds.


3. Visit iconic churches

Marvel at Megalochori’s historical churches, such as the impressive 6-bell church of the Virgin Mary and the chapel of Agios Nikolaos outside of the village. These gems offer an insight into its religious and cultural heritage.


6-bell church in Megalochori, Santorini


4. Unwind at arresting beaches with fantastic caldera views

Hike steep trails along the cliffside to enjoy sun-soaked moments of relaxation at the secluded beaches of Plaka and Thermi. Surrounded by imposing volcanic rocks, there is no better way to wind off after a day of exploration.


5. Go on a wine tasting at Gavalas winery

Experience the island’s renowned viticulture with a visit to Gavalas Winery. Take a Santorini wine tasting tour to sample the distinctive Assyrtiko and Vinsanto wines while enjoying panoramic views of the Aegean Sea.


Gavalas winery in Santorini


6. Pay a visit to the Lost Atlantis Museum

Become part of the legend as you explore the first museum in the world dedicated to Atlantis. Through an immersive virtual experience, you will learn everything about this mythical city that met catastrophic destruction and has long been associated with Santorini. 


7. Relax in the village square

Finish your day at the central square, which boasts many cafes and tavernas. Enjoy a leisurely coffee or a glass of local wine while observing daily life unfold in this tranquil setting.


So, is Megalochori worth it?

Absolutely! Visiting Megalochori is one of the best things to do in Santorini. With its timeless charm and authentic Cycladic beauty, it beckons you to step into a past era while savoring the tranquility of present-day Santorini. 

If you wish to fully immerse in its treasures while learning all about it, a First Impressions Santorini day tour is what you need!



FAQs about Megalochori, Santorini

What does the name Megalochori mean?

Megalochori means “big village” in Greek, reflecting its historical significance as a substantial settlement on Santorini.


What is Megalochori known for?

Megalochori is renowned for its traditional Cycladic architecture, laid-back way of life and rich history, providing a glimpse into Santorini’s captivating allure.


What is the population of Megalochori, Santorini?

About 600 permanent residents live in Megalochori, according to the 2011 census.

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