Oia Santorini is a kind of pilgrimage place for all travelers to Santorini, Greece. Even though it is the most picturesque village on the island, it is the most crowded.
The sunset from Oia Santorini is the most favorite thing to do, and the edge of this village gets crowded daily with sunset lovers and lovebirds.
Where is Oia on the island of Santorini?
Oia village is situated 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 ‘Apanomerites.’ That means “those who live on the top.”
Oia village has a traditional character. There is a rumor that it is a quiet place, but that is not true. When it comes to quietness, it is 2nd to Thira (Fira), but the latter is noisy.
Narrow streets, churches with blue domes, and verandas 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. It is not that big. You can’t drive through the traditional stone-paved streets, and Oia village is best experienced on foot.
Since you are there, pay a visit to the Maritime Museum.
The color combination of all the 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 fantastic games with these colors.
If you have time, walk the 300 steps to the small port of Ammoudi. Small boats are leaving from there towards the island of Thirassia.
You won’t find great beaches in Oia, but here are the best beaches in Santorini.
The famous sunset of Oia is experienced near the village edge called the Castle of Oia. It takes a bit of walking to get there, navigating through the village.
Architecture of Oia
You will meet two types of architectural styles in Oia.
One type is the cave houses dug into the volcanic rock at the cliffs of the Caldera. The 2nd one is the Captain’s house.
The first ones were used as homes of ship crews, while the latter were 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, you can hike to Oia. The route is smooth with a few 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 both ways.
If you don’t fancy doing the whole route, get outside of Oia towards the direction of Thira and get to the top of Oia. You can get some 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 using a mule. There is a small harbor with fishing boats and some famous taverns.
A path that gets you around the mountain’s base 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 the wine trade. Take the boat from Ammoudi or walk the 290 steps to the harbor (or use mules). Only one tavern exists here, and you must ensure it is open.
How to get to Oia, Santorini?
If you are staying in Fira (Thira), you can take a bus, taxi, or ferry to Oia Santorini. Here are the details.
To Oia by bus: You can move everywhere in Santorini by bus. It gets crowded in the summer months. The 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: Two ferries will take you from the Port of Athinios to Oia. One is the traditional ferry, and the other is the high-speed ferry. You need to walk the 300 steps to the top of the hill… Cost changes depending on the ferry type and year, so plan. A fantastic 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 beautiful place. It is probably the most photographed place in Greece, if not among the most photographed ones in the world.