The gorgeous Greek Island of Santorini has four major villages, and one of them is stunning Oia, pronounced as Ia. The village makes a perfect backdrop for a Greek Island postcard, as it is nestled on top of cliff, and featuring picturesque white buildings.
Because it is so visually pleasing, Oia attracts a number of visitors, many of which are cruise ship passengers. If you want to avoid the cruise ship crowd, which usually comes in the early afternoons, come to Oia in the early evening. You will have more room to wonder around the village, and take photographs. Spending more than a day in this Greek village makes your visit more worthwhile, as you will have time to immerse into the culture and enjoy the atmosphere.
The main attraction in Oia is the village itself. With its captivating architecture, connecting staircases and amazing views of the calderas of Palia and Nea Kameni Volcanoes and the Thirassia Island; it is so easy to fall in love with Oia. By walking around its narrow streets, you will find delight in the village’s open verandas, blue domed churches and quaint taverns.
The village taverns, which specialize in fresh seafood dishes, are great spots to have a relaxing dinner after a day of exploration. While here, try Mediterranean favorites like potato salad and souvlaki, while at the same time sampling a nice wine produced in the vineyards of Santorini. Shopping for gifts and souvenirs is not a problem as there are plenty of shops scattered around the area. Despite the number of visitors it receives, the village remains more traditional and relatively quiet than other island villages.
Some of the notable landmarks in Oia include the Maritime Museum and the Ammoudi port. The museum features the maritime life and heritage in the village. It depicts stories of artists who chose to settle in the town because of its beauty. That is why, you can also find several art galleries in the village. The Ammoudi port is within your reach if you are willing to climb down 300 steps. At the bottom, the Armenis Beach is waiting to provide you solace from your journey.
There are small boats with locals who can take you to the Thirassia Island. Oia is known for its stunning sunsets. In fact, a lot of people get seats in restaurants on the western side of the village Caldera just before the dramatic setting of the sun. If this interests you, then make sure you come at least 2 hours early.
Oia is found on the northern section of the Santorini Island. From the island’s main bus station in Fira, you can easily take a bus to the Oia Village, which is about 11 kilometers away. If you are coming from Thira port or the airport, you can hire a taxi or get on a shuttle bus to the village. The road to Oia is very rough, so expect that the journey going there is not going to be the most comfortable. There is a car park at the village entrance where people usually leave their vehicles. Once you pass the entrance, you can do most of your exploration on foot. An alternative is to ride on a donkey to take you through staircases. A scooter is also a popular mode of transport to get around conveniently.