Driving up to the summit of Santorini from Pyrgos is a breeze & the view here is spectacular.
We have a sweeping view of the Caldera & see the islands of Therasia, the Kameni islands in the centre & Aspronisi on the far left. The mostly submerged caldera which measures about 12km by 7km has 300m high steep cliffs. It was formed when the volcano erupted emptying its magma chamber, leaving a hollowed out cauldron.
You can choose to hike up to Mount Profitis Ilias if you are fit & it is also a great way to admire nature & the scenic beauty of Santorini. There is an uphill path from the Central square of Pyrgos Kallistis that will gradually lead you up to Prophet Ilias Monastery.
You can see the Airport runway from Mount Profitis Ilias which is the highest point on the island standing at 567m above sea level.
The Museum at the Mount Profitis Ilias was closed when I got there & looked like it was longer operational.
The rugged terrain and mountainous landscape is dotted with vast vineyards which is both picturesque and impressive.
Looking over to Pyrgos Kallistis which is a hilltop town sitting on the foothills of Mount Profitis Ilias. It is surrounded by vineyards producing the renowned Assyrtiko white wines & it is a great place to visit for its steep medieval alleys that are chock a block full of wine bars, tavernas, galleries & boutiques.
The Monastery of Profitis Ilias dates back to 1711 & is one of the oldest in Santorini sitting at the top of Mount Profitis Ilias. It is a fine example of Cycladic architecture & was significantly influential in the intellectual, cultural & economic life of the island. At her height, a prosperous trading business was conducted in the Aegean & Mediterranean Sea with her own private ship.
A school was instituted & ran from 1806 to 1845 teaching Greek language & literature amongst other subjects. The monastery suffered a steady decline from 1860s & later from structural damages caused by an earthquake in 1956.
Whilst the monastery building is not accessible to the public, this little chapel with colourful frescos & religious icons is opened for visits.
The monks still living at the Monastery of Profitis Ilias are cultivating & producing local products like Dried figs, olives, honey, jams & wines for sale which you can not only sample in the small yard but bring home as souvenirs.
Mount Profitis Ilias is a popular photo-taking spot for newlyweds, for sunset chasers, for avid photographers & for everyone who loves the mountaintop views that is panoramic & breathtaking.