EMPORIO Traditional Village, South Santorini

emporio-1Emporio is the largest village on the southeast side of the island according to the recent statistics (2011) with it’s population counting 4.000 people all year long.

Most of its residents during the summer months are dealing with tourism while during the winter they are farming their land. Emporio also has an appreciable number of economic migrants from the Balkan countries who are also working in tourism and farm work.

According to some, the village took its name from the development of commerce (Emporio in Greek means “commercial”) since some years ago, it was the only village in the southern Santorini that had small markets and shops to cover the people’s needs. According to others the name is likely to be paraphrased from the old days of Germans saying “neoumpourgk” meaning the castle, located in downtown old traditional village. The centre of the village is worth walking and taking pictures because of the small old houses build very close to one another for safety reasons during the Venetian era. Nowadays, many people, mostly young and not only locals, took the decision to restore them and equip them with all modern facilities according to follow a new lifestyle close to the nature, raising up their children in a more friendly environment and ecological way of living. The idea of giving back life to the old settlement began by the decade of 2000 and since then many houses have been restored and inhabited all year long.

At that area a visitor can find many small and beautiful houses to rent or buy. The area has many advantages, as it is close (however by car) to the beautiful beach of Perissa and quiet since inside the traditional village you can’t go by car. Houses are renovated with great style in most of the cases making the spot a wonderful selection for living during the summer holidays.

At that area you can visit the old castle of the village called “Goulas” and walk the around place with the cute houses as well as feeling like being a part of a picturesque settlement. At that area you can visit the beautiful church of “St. Spyridonas” located on a spot overlooking the entire village and the southeastern side of the island. At “St. Spyridonas” yard an open theater local’s use to present cultural events and school festivals during spring and summer time.

Most locals living at Emporio make good quality wine to cover their family needs during the year, as well as selling some to the interested buyers. In combination with the wine many local families make good quality homemade honey, which you can find by asking them! Last years the development of beekeeping is beginning to create its own tradition, since the product has very good quality.

An interesting and beautiful area to visit at Emporio is the hill of “Gavrilos” with its eight traditional windmills that were active up to late 70′s. Last years under considerable efforts the local community is trying to renovate them resulting in creating another worth to visit and learn about the local industrial history, spot on the island. Besides the fact that some of the windmills are partly ruined the whole area is very worth to visit as it has wonderful view to all southern part of the island.

At the end of the road to “Gavrilos” you will find the small beautiful church of “Prophet Elias” where you can rest at its’ yards and enjoy the view of Perissa. A nice time to visit the area is at the afternoon when the sun slows down so you will have the chance to enjoy the sunset and take pictures while walking this romantic place.

Emporio is close to the popular beach of “Perissa” which extends along several kilometres of black sand and during the summertime attracts many young people for swimming, enjoy the water sports, and visit the beach bars, as well as families for more relaxed vacations.

[Info Text by www.santorini-living.blogspot.gr , Photos by www.santorini-images.blogspot.gr]