The traditional village of OIA 11 km to the north of Fira, is a place of incomparable beauty. The unique appeal of Oia or Ia lies in its little houses, hewn out of the soft rock, with some of them white-washed and others painted blue or ochre. There are basically only two streets, one with traffic and the much more pleasant inland pedestrian lane, Odos Nikolaos Nomikou, paved with marble and lined with numerous jewelery shops, tavernas and bars. The remains of the ruined Lontza Castle at the western end of town is the best place to catch the famous Oia sunsets.
There is a superb view of the seas there - a photographer's dream. Friday evening the VT group was there to witness a splendid sunset.
Directly below lies the Beach of Amoudi. This is where we had our Friday VT Dinner ( The Sunset ). The only way to Ammoudi is by foot, going down 214 steps. The descent just about did me in. Thanks Jim (Outforlunch) for sticking with me on the way down. Those slippery, sloping stairs sure are treacherous. The hard part is the way up so thank god Galatea arranged for coaches for us.
Favorite thing: Oia is also a port, which today mostly caters to the expensive private yachts and caiques which dock below. Half destroyed by the earthquake of 1956, and once having 9,000 residents, it has won major awards for its reconstruction and restoration efforts and is a charming place built on top of its self on the cliff face.
Favorite thing: Oia (Ia) , at the northern end of the caldera, is the island's most elegant town. Most of the hotels are upscale, the shops and the restaurants are more pricey, and the people who spend their holidays here seek peace and elegance, as opposed to a roaring party atmosphere.
Our accommodation was in Firostafani Village only 10 minutes walk from Fira Town. It would have been easy to remain in this comfort zone and have a memorable holiday on Santorini , however we made the trip to Oia twice, once for the sunset and again mid afternoon the following day to enjoy the village when it is less crowded.
If you want to see Blue Dome churches Oia is the place to visit and they look spectacular, especially when you can look down from above. We made sure we found a good cafe with a view over the calder and enjoyed the view, coffee and cake.
My wife enjoyed the shops as we walked the narrow streets, always something different to see and buy.
We had a hire car for both visits, however there is public transport which should get you there in 20 minutes.
Oia is a village on the northern side of the island. The architecture of Oia is typical Santorini with houses sunk deep into the volcanic soil, their whitewashed walls and blue domes sparkling in the sunlight.
It is not a lie that it is one of the most romantic places in the world. Unique beauty!
One of our fondest memories - and there were several - was the walk from Fira to Oia along the caldera path. Well actually we walked from Karterados the village outside of Fira. The walk was about 12km long and with a drink stop and a lunch stop took about 5 hours. The path is up and downhill at times but the scenery is lovely not to mention all the beautiful villas and apartments passed en route - some lovely quiet places to stay, away from the tourists in Fira. The path proper starts just north of Imerovigli - look for the alley with La written on it - four churches will be passed en route to Oia too. One hill was rather steep and had some loose scree which was a bit of a challenge - there was an alternative path on the other side of the hill but its nicer to have views of the coast rather than the main road. The path does join the main briefly but rejoins near a roadside cafe (we stopped here for a lunch snack and was really tasty). We met a French guy who had run the path in the morning and was now walking it with his daughter - he must have been fit.
Wear good shoes and take plenty of water for the trip. I wished we had explored Oi a bit more but we had walked so much that day and we thought we'd return another day. It was a little hazy the day we walked, so not the best for photography but glad we did it then as it got so much hotter in the week.
Oia is a little village in the very north of the island. Famous for its spectacular sunsets, Oia is a much advisable choice for accomodation than overcrowded Thira capital.
It gets really crowded at sunset time (from 18:30) but until then is much more pleasant to be there.
Favorite thing: Churches are the symbols of Christians and Orthodoxes.Greek ones are in many different shapes,colors and sizes depends of the place there are. In islands for example, the most are white just like the houses.
Just rent a Jeep and get to the Oia Village you can eat fresh fish and octopus grill and then go to the beach behind the restaurants hv a marvellous day!
Fondest memory: Going up the hill with donkeys:-) but becareful not to fall down or scratch your legs...
Walking around Thira town at night is magical, the town is litterally hanging on the edge of the cliff top. The restaurants have breathtaking views over the vast bay where the remains of the volcano sit.
There are countless jewelry shops and lots of other things to buy, same tastefull, some tacky.
Fondest memory: I arrived at Santorini via a quick (4 hour) ferry crossing from the hell hole of Pireaus so seeing the island from the sea was heaven. From the sea It looks like a large slice of cake with the town of Thira and its whitewashed buildings forming the icing, sounds mad I know........!
If you opt for flying direct to the island, or via Athens make sure you take a boat trip to witness the island from the water.
Favorite thing: A part of Oia.Oia,looks like Fira and Imerovigli.You can find the beautiful short paths,nice restaurans and cafes,hotels and appartments,shops,live concerts,happenings and more...
Favorite thing: Sunsets in Oia are really famous. Every evening many people gather on the coast... it looks funny because the city is almost empty then, everybody is waiting for sunset.