Demeter Cave House

Pyrgos, Santorini, Greece Book from Book from £108 per night

A beautiful, bijou bolthole for two, hidden away in one of Santorini's prettiest villages
If you're looking for a chic little hideaway - as we constantly are! - on Greece's most spectacular and popular island, then you can't beat this deliciously styled, semi-subterranean home for two. Tucked away in the lovely white-washed village of Pyrgos (our favourite), next to the chapel of Agios Demetrios (hence the name), it's got everything a couple needs for a short break. There's a lofty living area with kitchenette, a tiny private courtyard with plunge pool, and a super comfy double bedroom with ensuite bathroom burrowed into the tufa hillside. The one thing it lacks are those caldera-edge views; but what bliss to escape the selfie-snapping crowds and retreat to your stylish little sanctuary. And you can climb up onto your pueblo-style roof terrace, glass of chilled wine in hand, to enjoy the same spectacular sunsets, as well as wonderful vistas over the whole island.

The village - largely car-free - is worth exploring: churches and cafes, a crumbling castle at the top of the hill, and several tavernas serving authentic Greek fare in case you don't feel like cooking. It's a short drive to the black sand beaches of the east coast, or to the bars and boutiques of Fira, with its cable car down to the harbour for boat trips to lava islands and hot springs. Santorini is truly a unique and photogenic island, and we've just found a new reason to revisit.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Guests rave about the service from owner Andrew: "like a boutique five-star hotel with a concierge service", says one
  • It's a super romantic bolthole, with heated jacuzzi pool, double shower and the cosiest of bedrooms
  • For us, the location is perfect: in a picture-perfect village away from the crowds, but with stunning views
  • Impeccably finished and maintained, with fast WiFi, free movies, striking artworks and gorgeous toiletries
  • When you consider all this, it's superb value for money - especially for Santorini

Lows

  • You're not on the caldera edge but inland, a short drive from those classic plunging sea-and-cliff views
  • Being part cave-house, the bedroom and bathroom don't get much natural light, but that keeps them blissfully cool
  • This is an adult-only hideaway; kids stay home for this one
  • Be aware that the island as a whole gets more than its fair share of tourists, with commensurate prices
  • The hot tub doesn't have a sea view, but it is super private and not overlooked (a rarity in Santorini)

Best time to go

We think May, June, September and October are the best months to visit: the temperatures are generally lovely and warm (fine for swimming), and island not too crowded. However, even in midsummer, Demeter Cave House remains cool and quiet, with its own tiny pool and secluded courtyard. The house is closed December-February.

Our top tips

Eating out in Pyrgos is a foodie's dream: from authentic Greek tavernas to fine dining. Lunchtime is popular with the locals who gather for excellent meze plates and a glass of ouzo; in the afternoon enjoy iced coffee and cake in the shade of the pine trees in the main square. Early evening bag a table for cocktails to watch the blood-red sun sink into the horizon. Take dinner in one of the friendly village tavernas for delicious home-cooked dishes or sample innovative cuisine and Santorinian wines on candlelit terraces. Do sample as many establishments as possible, there's a guest book in the house which has up to date recommendations.

Great for...

Beach
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Cave House for 2
  • 1
  • Self-catering; food shops and restaurants nearby
  • Adults only
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Jacuzzi
  • Laundry Service
  • Caretaker
Room:

Rooms

The perfect hideaway for a couple, the cute vaulted cave begins with the open-plan kitchen and dining room, and leads into the bedroom which comes with a king-size platform bed (with Sealy mattress) and has a skylight allowing natural light. There's a built-in sofa and shelves, domed ceilings, alcoves, windows and doorways - all white-washed in keeping with the vernacular architecture hereabouts.

The bathroom at the farthest end of the cave has been plastered in grey and features a couples drench shower concealed behind the double sink partition.

Decor has a distinctively Scandi-chic vibe with pale wood cupboard doors and shelves, under-stated dove and indigo patterned fabric on cushions and bedspreads, and wicker pendant lights.

The cave opens into a private courtyard with Jacuzzi, which leads to a panoramic roof terrace with sun-loungers and long views to the sea.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Iron
  • Jacuzzi
  • Kitchenette
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The kitchenette is in the open-plan living area, a neat whitewashed arrangement of open shelves above and a built-in sink and 2-ring hob atop pine-clad cupboards concealing the fridge below. It comes with a toaster, kettle and coffee-maker, and is supplied with salt, pepper, cooking oil, washing up liquid and laundry tablets. There are a number of shops (including an excellent bakery) and a mini-mart in Pyrgos; Fira (the capital, 4km away) has a wider range.

Although the set-up is perfect for preparing breakfast, light meals and snacks, you'll not cook much given the many really great places to eat and drink on your doorstep. Nip to the bakery (5 minutes) for breakfast in the courtyard, or to the square (3-5 minutes) for traditional platters, fresh juice and thick yoghurt with thyme honey and seasonal fruit. Try Penelope's for authentic Greek cuisine, Cava Alta for a treat - both in easy walking distance; then round off with cocktails at Franco's.

Alternatively most restaurants in the village offer takeaways; enjoy a feast on your private terrace while soaking up that panoramic view.

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Hob or stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Make the most of your gorgeous hideaway including the terrace with long views to the village and sea beyond, and the private courtyard with hot tub
  • Explore authentic and pretty Pyrgos, the highest village on the island, with its superb panoramas and stunning sunsets, winding medieval streets and blue-domed churches; all cobbled roads lead up to the oldest castle on the island
  • Andrew can arrange outings and excursions such as a private tour of the island, a cruise around the caldera, or a romantic gourmet dinner at a top-notch restaurant
  • Pyrgos is surrounded by vineyards, there are some excellent wineries to visit
  • The nearest beaches are the famous black-sand Kamari and Perissa (catch the bus from the main square if you don't want to hire a car)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Fishing
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting

Kids

This is a grown-up hideaway so under 18s are not permitted

Kid Friendly:

Location

Demeter Cave House is in the village of Pyrgos, about 5km from Santorini;s main town Thera (Fira) and from its airport.

By Air:
Fly into Santorini or Athens (which has regular domestic flights to the island). It's about 15 minutes' drive from the airport; you can take a taxi or hire a car.

By Boat:
From Athens' Piraeus port, there are regular ferries and hydrofoils to Santorini; ferries take 6-8 hours, while hydrofoils take only 4-5 hours but cost more. The hotel is 20 minutes' drive from Santorini's Athinios ferry port.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Santorini 6.0 km JTR

Other:

  • Beach 5.0 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Demeter Cave House was simply stunning. Superb location, beautifully designed with stylish decor and comfortable furnishing. There were also spectacular views, especially from the roof terrace. We were very well looked after, nothing was too much trouble and the recommendations for local restaurants and things to do were all excellent. It really was a perfect couple of days, and we'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for a quiet and romantic get away in a traditional Greek village (but with all the mod cons)

10/10,

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