Mesa Gonia is 6,5 km south east of Fira. Although small, it is absolutely worth visiting. Quiet Episkopi Gonias (it’s official name since 1915) sits on the flank of Mount Profitis Ilias. Abandoned for many years after a 1956 earthquake, its alleys are now lined with restored whitewashed cottages, tavernas, and boutique hotels, some in caves carved from the rock. Vineyards producing Assyrtiko white wines cover volcanic slopes around the village, and the domed, 11th-century Panagia Episkopi church (for which it’s named) nearby has a noted collection of icons.
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