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T he Monastery of Prophet Elias (Prophet Elijah) is one of the many beautiful churches on the island of Santorini but certainly the most important of all. Let’s find out more about it!

Where is it located?

Prophet Elias Monastery is located in the southeast part of Santorini, near the village of Pyrgos, on the summit of Mount Profitis Ilias. It is built at a height of approximately 567 meters above sea level, which makes it the highest point on the whole island and therefore a place with a tremendous view!

A dive into the history of Prophet Elias Monastery

The Monastery was built in 1711 in the resemblance of a fortress and it is a stunning example of Cycladic architecture. During the first years, it played a very important role in the cultural and educational life of the people, as it operated as a school, where its students were taught the Greek language and Literature. Not only its role in the society was significant, but it also exerted economic influence, as it conducted a prosperous trade business in the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea with its private ship. It finally went through serious damage from a severe earthquake that hit Santorini in 1956.

Today, the Monastery has its own museum, with a collection of ecclesiastical items, rare handwritten books and stunning Byzantine icons and sculptures. It also hosts displays of shoemaking, printing and candle making.

It holds an impressive bell tower and is surrounded by 4 other churches and chapels, which are the only ones you can visit, as the Monastery is closed for the visitors.

There are a few monks still staying there and they are involved in wine-making, as well as the production of other goods, all of them available for purchase to anyone who wants to taste the traditional Santorini products.

How can someone visit the Monastery?

Prophet Elias Monastery is located 5 kilometers away from the traditional village of Pyrgos, a 26-minute drive from Fira town, and in order to visit it, you should follow a route uphill from the main square of the village. There isn’t a direct bus to that point from Fira, as the bus stops at the center of Pyrgos, so the only way of visiting the Monastery on your own is by car. This route is ideal for trekking, if you feel athletic, and ensures an amazing view of the impressive mountainous landscape around.

A more comfortable and informative way of visiting this peaceful but stunning location is by organized bus tours. The semi-private or private bus tours give you the opportunity to visit all the famous parts of Santorini island, along with its picturesque traditional villages, the variety of museums and interesting archaeological places and the famous extraordinary Santorini beaches. This way you absorb useful information about every site and enjoy the privilege of having everything planned for you!

Once you choose to visit the Monastery by car, make sure that you stop to take a walk in the small paved paths of the graphic village of Pyrgos and taste the famous Santorini wines in Santo Winery, which lies near the village.

Visit Prophet Elias Monastery and combine history along with breathtaking views of the island from a different perspective!

Location & area

Location of Prophet Elias Monastery

Area map & nearby

Prophet Elias Monastery is located in Pyrgos village
Prophet Elias Monastery is located in Pyrgos village

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