Vlychada is the largest coastal settlement on the south coast of Thira, and it has the only marina of significance in the archipelago. Most of the vessels moored in the marina are small fishing vessels, which unload their catch and sell directly to the fish restaurants of Vlychada and its environs. The southernmost tip of Thira is a laid back village known as Exomytis. On clear days, Crete can be seen from the coast at Exomytis.
The area of modern-day Vlychada has been inhabited since antiquity, shown by the evidence of the remains of Ancient Eleusis. These rock carvings representing tombs are the third most important archaeological site of Santorini, after the cities of Thera and Akrotiri.
In the 20th century, Vlychada became an industrialised town when a tomato paste factory was opened. The factory ran on steam, generated in boilers of which the two chimneys still dominate the skyline of Vlychada. Later in the 20th century, diesel engines provided power to the factory. Vlychada didn't have a proper port at the time, and barrels with oil were just dropped overboard of cargo freighters. Oil is less dense than sea water, so the barrels floated and were pulled ashore by factory workers. Tomato farmers from the southern part of Thira came to Vlychada to sell their tomatoes, carried by donkeys, and returned with tomato pits that could be sowed the next season.
The acute scarcity of fresh water on Thira meant that the industry was dependent on sea water; even in the tomato factory, tomatoes were washed with sea water. Tomato paste was dried for multiple days in the sun on the roofs during summer months. Unfortunately, these practices were not compatible with increasingly strict food regulations, and the tomato industry gradually moved from Thira to the Greek mainland. The tomato factory has since been turned into an industrial archaeology museum and can be visited.
Little evidence of Vlychada's industrial heritage can be seen today, and the modern town has once again returned to a laid back fishing village with excellent sea food restaurants and accommodation that is much cheaper than other coastal towns on the Santorini archipelago.
- See also: Santorini#Get_in
- 1 Vlychada Beach. 24/7. Widely considered the best beach of Thira island, this black sand beach has the stunning sand of beaches in Perissa and Kamari but with spectacular wind-eroded cliffs, and without the over-the-top commercialisation. Also has a nude and gay section. Free.
- 2 Tomato Museum, ☏ , email@example.com. Apr, May, Oct: Tu-Su 10:00-16:00; Jun-Sep: Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. An industrial heritage museum documenting the history of one of Santorini's most famous produce, the tomato. A historic tomato factory has been transformed into the modern Tomato Museum, which guides visitors through the cultivation, processing, and production of tinned tomatoes in juice, and tomato concentrate. The collection features processing machinery dating back to the late 19th century, hand written account books of the factory, authentic tools, and traditional processes. An audio guide in English is included in the admission fee. A tour takes around 1 hour, and ends with a tasting session of tomato paste. Visitors can also seal their own can in an authentic can press. €12 standard, €6 reduced.
- 3 Ancient Eleusis. 24/7. On the southern slope of Gavrilos Hill are rock-cut ancient tombs (also known as Ancient Echendra) dating from 400-200 BC. The archaeological site consists of tombs, an altar, rectangular niches carved into the rocks, the remains of a catacomb or temple with wall and remains of entrance gate visible. On one of the rocks is a bas-relief depicting a snake crawling on the rock (called Echendra). Archaeologists believe that the archaeological site may have been part of the ancient city of Eleusis, located in what is now Perissa and was one of the most important ports of ancient Thera. Free.
- 4 Marina. 24/7. The largest marina on the Santorini archipelago, where fishing vessels can be watched departing and arriving, then unloading their catch. It's very calm during the day but gets quite busy in the evenings and early mornings. Free.
- 5 Agios Merkourios Church (Εκκλησία Άγιος Μερκούριος). 24/7. Greek Orthodox church. Free.
- 6 Profet Elias Church. 07:00 - noon daily. Iconic white church building with typical 3 bell clock tower. On top of the hill, it offers a lovely view over Vlychada, Exomytis, and Agios Georgios. Free.
- 1 Santorini Arts Factory, ☏ . Exhibition hall and music performances.
- 2 Art & Soul Coaching, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Personal training and meditation.
- 3 Efipos, ☏ . 09:00 - 22:00 daily. Horse riding tours.
There are no supermarkets or shops in Vlychada, the only shop is a mini market at the waterfront.
- 1 Minimarket Vlychyda (next to the Fisherman's House restaurant). Small market with drinks, food, convenience items, souvenirs, and basic supplies such as sunblock and hats.
- 1 Salty Bone, Vlychada (across the street from the Tomato Museum), ☏ , email@example.com. noon - midnight daily. Greek restaurant with vegan and vegetarian options.
- 2 Meroula, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 07:30 - midnight daily. Nice and quiet sea food restaurant.
- 3 To Psaraki, ☏ , email@example.com. 13:00 - 23:00 daily. Seafood and Mediterranean cuisine.
- 4 Aidoni, ☏ . 09:30 - 23:30 daily. Restaurant and event venue.
- 5 Lava, ☏ . 14:00 - 23:00 daily. Grill restaurant and bar with sea view, between Exomytis and Agios Georgios.
- 6 Dimitris, ☏ . 09:30 - 23:00 daily. Mediterranean restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, and a nice terrace overlooking the marina.
- 7 Fisherman's House (Το Στέκι του Ψα), ☏ . 11:00 - 20:30 daily. Seafood restaurant with only outdoor seating, so bring a sweater! While dining, fishing vessels can be observed entering and leaving the marina, unloading their catch, and so on. Many local specialities on the menu.
- 1 Vlychada Beach Bar (at the beach front near the Tomato Museum). Drinks and cocktails bar.
- 1 Notos Therme And Spa (Ξενοδοχείο), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel and spa with sea view in the centre of Vlychada. Quite luxurious, with private swimming pool next to the marina. €75.
- 2 Diamond Apartments, ☏ . Looks like a shabby motel on the outside, but the flats are actually quite comfortable with a large living room and equipped kitchen, and bathroom with washing machine. On a 5 min walk from the marina and 10 min walk from the beach. €50.
- 3 Villa Michalis, ☏ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. €41.
- 4 Porto Villa. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Small hotel with private pool, next to the marina, and within 5 min walking distance to the beach and restaurants. €55.
- 5 Villa Stella, ☏ .
- 6 Family Village, ☏ . Bed and breakfast for families.
- 7 Vlychada's Holiday Home, ☏ .
- 8 Aegean Melody Suites, ☏ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Luxurious accommodation with sea view.
- 9 Sea Breeze Santorini Beach Resort, ☏ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00.