Oia Santorini is a kind of a pilgrimage place for all travelers to Santorini Greece. It is the most picturesque village in the island, despite the fact that is the most crowded.
The sunset from Oia Santorini is the most famous thing to do and the edge of this village gets crowded each and every day from sunset lovers and lovebirds…
Where is Oia in the island of Santorini?
Oia village is situated at the north of Santorini island, around 11 km from Fira (Thira).
The village of Oia is on top of a cliff (approx. 150 mt from sea level) from where you can admire the whole of Santorini Caldera; Palia and Nea Kameni & the island of Thirassia.
Oia village is also known as ‘Apano Meria’ or ‘Anomeria’ and the inhabitants are named as ‘Apanomerites’. That means “those who live on the top”.
Oia village has a traditional character. There is rumor that is a quite place but that is not true. When ti comes to quietness it is 2nd to Thira (Fira) but the latter is really noisy…
There are narrow streets, churches with blue domes and verandas that welcome the sun all day long.
Most of the accommodation establishments come with swimming pools as there is no actual beach at Oia village.
When you enter the village you will find a large parking area where you can leave your car, bike or ATV. You can’t drive through the traditional stone paved streets and Oia village is best experienced on foot. It is not that big.
Since you are there pay a visit to the Maritime Museum.
The color combination of all small villas and houses (in rich okra, deep fuchsia, cobalt blue, oyster pink and earthy red) that lay down the hill is mesmerizing and during the “golden hour” (early afternoon) sun plays some wonderful games with these colors.
If you have time walk the 300 steps to the small port of Ammoudi. There are small boats leaving from there towards the island of Thirassia.
You won’t find great beaches in Oia but here are the best beaches of Santorini.
The famous sunset of Oia is experienced near the village edge called as the Castle of Oia. It takes a bit of walking to get there, navigating through the village.
Architecture of Oia
You will meet 2 types of architectural styles in Oia.
One type is the cave houses that are dug into the volcanic rock at the cliffs of the Caldera. The 2nd on are the Captains houses.
The first ones were used as homes of ship crews, while the latter where the houses of ship owners class. Many of the churches you see around Oia are dedicated to sailors.
Hiking from Oia to Fira (Thira) and back
If you stay in Thira then you can hike your way to Oia. The route is really smooth with a couple of low hills and the views are majestic. We did that and you can read about it here.
The route is 20km back and forth, but you can choose to take a bus or a taxi to get back to your base on both ways.
If you don’t fancy doing the whole route, just get outside of Oia towards the direction of Thira and get to the top of Oia. You can get some really great photos of Oia from that location.
Visit Ammoudi Bay at Santorini Oia
You can visit the port of Ammoudi by walking down the 300 steps or use a mule. There is a small harbor there with fishing boats and some really popular taverns.
A path that gets you around the base of the mountain leads to a great diving area. Ammoudi was the port used two centuries ago.
Theran pumice and wine were exported from here. The island imported porcelain, timber and silverware, fabrics, furniture, perfumes, food supplies and hardware.
Smaller than Ammoudi, Armeni port was also used for wine trade. Take the boat from Ammoudi or walk the 290 steps to the harbour (or use mules). Only one tavern exists here and you need to make sure it is open.
How to get to Oia, Santorini?
If you are staying in Fira (Thira) then you can take a bus, taxi or a ferry to Oia Santorini. Here are the details.
To Oia by bus: You can move everywhere in Santorini by bus. It gets crowded in summer months. Price is: 1.80 euro p.p. and you pay the conductor on the bus to get that ticket. Make sure to check the timetables.
To Oia by Ferry: There are 2 ferries that will take you from the Port of Athinios to Oia. One is the traditional ferry and the other the high speed ferry. You need to walk the 300 steps to the top of the hill… Cost changes depending on the the ferry type and year so plan ahead. A great ferries booking site for Greece is this.
To Oia by Taxi: Taxi costs around 20 euro per car (not per person).
Where to stay in Oia, Santorini?
There is a range of magnificent hotels & suites in Oia. Check these out.
- Best Honeymoon Hotel: Art Maisons Oia Castle
- Best Villa: Oia Mansion
- Best Cheap Hotel, just outside of Oia: Villa Agnadi
- Best Cheap Hotel with Caldera View: Rimida Villas
Oia, in Santorini, is a very beautiful place. It is probably the most photographed place in Greece, if not among the most photographed ones in the world.