Agios Nikolaos in Megalochori is a small chapel located on the island of Santorini. But this small church isn’t like any other church, and it was built in the rocky cliffs that overlook the crater and the Aegean sea below.
Its bell tower has the traditional triptych of bells that can be found all around the Greek islands, but this feels more unique due to its location.
We found Agios Nikolaos in Megalochori by accident when we were in Santorini with Running on Waves in the summer of 2021. Our plan was to escape the island’s obvious tourist destinations and explore something a bit out of the beaten path. This leads us to Megalochori.
When we looked for places to explore around Megalochori, we found two different spots that caught our attention. One of them was called the Heart of Santorini, and the other was the Agios Nikolaos chapel. Here we are going to tell our story.
Besides looking for more minor touristic destinations, we were looking for somewhere to fly our drone. We wanted to capture a different view from the crater in Santorini, and we walked to a spot on the map that felt like it could be it. But it was too windy to fly safely, and we gave up shortly after arriving there.
But, once we were next to the crater, looking down at the cliffs next to Megalochori, we spotted a trail in the distance. Maybe, this could be the place where we would find the Heart of Santorini? Perhaps just a dead-end path? Either way, we were already there. What should we do?
We decided to walk there and what we found was quite a surprise.
The Heart of Santorini
We started walking, following a path covered in white volcanic ash that shined in the sun. In the distance, we could see some black lava spots over the cliffs, and we were taking too many pictures of everything since it looked so magical to us.
This downhill path led to a cobblestone stair that was made of broad steps. On the right side, there was a hole in the white volcanic ash of the cliff, and, we believe, this is the Heart of Santorini. A small cave-like hole that must be an Instagram hotspot for those who decide to wander around and see more than just the towns of Fira and Oia. But, different from other places like Mykonos, this location was completely empty.
Following down the stairs with wide steps, you feel like you’re in a science fiction movie since everything looked alien to us. Black lava rocks all around us, white ash on the ground and the blue Aegean sea in the distance. This was genuinely a photographer dream come true.
Agios Nikolaos in Megalochori
After a few minutes going down the hill, the bell tower of Agios Nikolaos started to appear, like it was being born out of the rocks. Together with the rocky cliff, the chapel looks like scenery made for pictures. The white building that seems like it goes into the cliff, as a chapel built in a cave. The view from there is fantastic, and it was more than worth the unusual hiking route we took down the hill.
Too bad we couldn’t find much information about this chapel online. It seems like it’s truly a hidden place that only locals are familiar with.
Based on stories we read online, you can continue with the trail and go down to the bottom of the cliff and visit a beach there. But we needed to go back to Megalochori to have lunch, so this wasn’t the day we went down there. It wasn’t the day to fly our drone as well, but at least we managed to find the heart of Santorini and the gorgeous chapel of Agios Nikolaos in Megalochori.
If you want to visit the chapel of Agios Nikolaos in Megalochori and the heart of Santorini, you will need to take a look at the map below.
Looking for Agios Nikolaos in Megalochori
Thera 847 00, Greece
If you like what you read here, you should join our Discord channel; there, you will find a place for open discussions about all the themes we talk about here, and it is a free space for you to share your questions, comments and suggestions.
If you are not a fan of the platform, you also can join us on our Facebook group or our Twitter and Instagram. We usually post all the lovely images we see and do there, together with curating the best links of all World Wide Web. No joke!