- The villages of Exo Gonia and Messa Gonia on Santorini - These two villages are in the hills / mountains of Santorini, near Pyrgos and Kamari in the southeast of the island. Exo Gonia is famous for its ancient church, the Panagia Episkopi, which has survived many invasions and earthquakes. It is a Byzantine church that dates from the 11th century. It is marked with a sign and can be reached on a rather bad road with boulders from Exo Gonia. Unfortunately the opening hours are somewhat limited (from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 17.00 hours) and so when we visited we saw a closed door.
On the road from Kamari to Exo Gonia and Messa Gonia you pass a couple of nice churches on the sides of the road and you will see a lot of fields where grapes are grown that are used for making wine. In the highest village of the two, Messa Gonia, there is a big square with a huge church. Here you can enjoy beautiful views over the island. On top of the mountain you'll see a fort. The two villages have suffered a lot from the major earthquake of 1956 and many of its inhabitants have left their destroyed houses and moved to Kamari.