Santorini’s fans are sometimes overwhelming; the beauty of Oia and Thera are undisputed, but they’re both overcrowded most of the times. If you too are looking for a cooler spot to relax and enjoy your evening, Megalochori, the historic wine village of the volcanic island, is the perfect place to be. Normally away from any pack-tourist itinerary, the picturesque village offers beautiful caldera views combined with the authenticity of a traditional Cycladic village. Narrow cobblestoned passages form a maze with the white-washed walls of the houses, calling the visitor to wander around and get lost, until they reach the center of the maze, the heart of the village, its main square.

People from every street gather on this square to see their kids play, talk about the latest news or go out for dinner in Raki restaurant, the “jewel” of the village. Sit in its welcome shade from the overhanging years-old vines and browse the menu for authentic Greek recipes. Don’t be hasty, relax and let the food travel you through Santorini, while more people join in Raki. Ask the friendly staff for their wine recommendations or, if you’re feeling more adventurous ask for raki, a strong Greek spirit, which is usually sweetened with honey and consumed in small portions, to avoid getting drunk!

It’s right after dawn that the real Greek fun begins. Live Greek music fills the square at night, since Raki restaurant hosts Greek Folk musicians to accompany its visitors indulging in its culinary delights. The music lifts the spirits of not only Raki visitors, but every single Megalochori resident who’s come to enjoy the night. Wine keeps filling the glasses and plates of tasty meze keep coming to the tables until the early hours of the night.

It’s no surprise that this low-key, relaxing, cobblestoned town-square, next to a white and blue traditional church, is an attraction pole for the locals of Santorini. The amazing tastes and welcoming environment of Raki give Santorini the beating heart it deserves.