Oia Village, Santorini Island
The small exquisite village of Oia perches at the northern end of santorini, tumbling down the steep incline from the top of the caldera towards the water. Famous for its whitewashed houses, blue domed churches, and narrowed cobbled walkways lined with small stores, galleries, and restaurants, The sunsets and views over the caldera are major attractions. Romance is in the air.
Oia ( pronounced Eeyah ) has been around for a while. Settled by the ancient Greeks it was an important seafaring and maritime port into the 19thC. Venetian rule began in 1207 with the creation of the Duchy of Naxos. The Ottomans conquered the Aegean Islands in 1537 which fell under the rule of Sultan Selim II. They named the village Apano Meria, changed to Oia in the late 19th C, when the village reached its economic peak on the route between Russia and Alexandria Egypt. Business fell off precipitously shortly thereafter as PIraeus became the dominant Greek port and WWI accentuated the fall. In 1956, a major earthquake pretty much levelled the town. As late as the late 1970s only 300 inhabitants remained. The development of tourism and reconstruction of the village as a tourist mecca since then has enlarged it consdierably but the population is still stated to be less than 10% of the 1900 census.
The touristic center extends aproximately 1.2 miles along a pedestrianized walkway, wide on the southern extent but progressively narrowing as one nears the tip of the city and the prime viewing spots for the sunsets. Height above water level is 200-300 ft. At the top, two story buildings now housing restaurants and shops are the homes of sea captains and the wealthy. Extending down the cliff where all the fancy hotels and restaurants are found were formerly the homes of the lower classe sailors and ship workmen. Along the cliff hotels and restaurants are organized vertically, one on top of the other. To reach some requires walking through another. The shops line the main walkway.
Like an enormous crescent moon, Santorini encloses the pure blue waters of its caldera, the core of an ancient volcano. Its two principal towns, Fira and Oia (also transliterated as Ia), perch at the summit of the caldera; as you approach by ship, bending back as far as possible to look as far up the cliffs as possible, whitewashed houses look like a dusting of new snow on the mountaintop. Up close, you'll find that both towns' main streets have more shops (lots of jewelery shops), restaurants, and discos than private homes. If you come here off season -- say in early May -- you'll still find Fira's streets, shops and restaurants crowded. In August, you'll experience gridlock.
Sunsets are sunsets ... despite where you see them from ... it depends on who you see them with also! Even if you happen to go to Oia hours ahead to get a best seat (on a small castle like place), hundreds of others will come there before the sunset ... the Oia village is beautiful and should be visited, explored leisurely ... don't get hung up on watching the sunset ... its beautiful like any other place
Oia, is one of the most beautiful villages of the island, carved out of the cliffs and clinging to the edge. The architecture is amazing and is highlighted by the stark white of the buildings and the contrasting colorful doors and window shutters. It has often been compared to the eagle's nest!
Enjoy the panoramic view of caldera, the volcano, Thirassia Island, and the rest of Santorini looking back toward Fira.
Oia is a favorite haunt of artists, many of whose works can be found in the local galleries of the village. And no wonder ... who would not be inspired by this magical place!
(See some beautiful photos from Oia I have)!
The most popular spot to watch sunset is by the Kastro Walls.
While the sun sinks into the sea, its splendid colors spread throughout the sky. It literally takes your breath away! Get a front-row seat on the terrace of one of the many cafes lining the caldera, and enjoy a drink while watching the setting sun produce an array of colors beyond your imagination.
Oia is famous for its imaginary sunset and its narrow passageways.
The village has a cultural centre.
The characteristic classic view of the village of Oia is the bright white and blue of the church contrasting with the deep blue of the Aegean Sea in the background.
An ideal place for those seeking peace and quiet.
It is found in the northern part of the island.
Come to Oia for the best golden sunset in the world.
There's a very small beach at the port below Ioa, Amoudi, about 270 steps down from the old fort, and to the left there's a path that takes you around some red lava outcropings where you will find a small island which is where you can find some nice places to dive and or jump off. Beware of the dangers of doing this and ask a local about the risks.
Oia is another town that sits along the edge of the huge cliffs that ring the caldera. Like Fira, it affords splendid views, quiet lanes, and an array of little shops and cafes. And like Fira, it's a town that lives on the edge, literally.
Oia is considered to be the artistic capital of the island and probably the most picturesque, postcard perfect village on Santorini, inviting you with its narrow, cobbled streets, with jewel-like shops on both sides selling all kind of beautiful things, a treat for your eyes.
It perches on the top of the cliff; the village looks both inward on to the caldera and northward onto the Aegean Sea. It seems to be a smaller quieter version of Fira, and is a very trendy place.
It is packed every day, by thousands of tourists who arrive every single day during the season for the "out of this world" views of the caldera!
Oia seems to be a living picture of a natural beauty and it is worth to see at least once in your life. A view of Oia is showing the density of churches within the town. The houses are built one on top of the other, the courtyard of the house above being the roof of the house below.
The village has a small port, Ammoudi, with fishing boats, waterfront taverns and restaurants, and a path that leads you around the base of the mountain to a diving area. This was once the main port for Santorini, until the entire town was razed by the earthquake in 1956.
Ammoudi port can be reached by car or by catching a ride on the back of a mule or by a set of cca. 300 steps leading down.
Though if you have to choose between two different way, either car or boat , I should recommend the last one, instead of the first, because the cliff road to Oia is dangerous, for someone who is not used to drive in narrow streets with many turns and a lot of traffic, almost all day in full season!
The village was the place of the Tomb Raider movie "The Cradle of Life".
I think Oia is the most picturesque village on this island.
It is located on the northern side of the island. Oia is the place where lot of people go to see the sunset.
At the bottom of the village there is a small port called Ammoudi which can be reached by a set of 300 steps. At Ammoudi you can find some restaurants.
I like Santorini as a place for vacation Destination and this year also I am going to santorini. The Oia sunset is amazing and I have no words to explain the purple sunset. When I saw the sunset in Oia, I got shocked of it's beauty and god's creation.
As per my view this is the most beautiful and romantic sunset, which I may not get any where through out the world.
Whilst visiting Oia mid afternoon we came across some local dogs enjoying a mid afternoon siesta. These local dogs were oblivious to the tourists and their lack of activity made me think "what are they on".
Perhaps the most costly area of Santorini. Everything basically costs at least 50-100% more than the average in the island - from hotel rooms to souvenir items. But I guess this makes Oia a place to be.
Oia is characterized by chic boutiques, shops and locales. With its outstanding yet typical Mediterranean (Santorini) architecture, it is very fascinating to stroll around and sight see.
Of course one should not miss the famous Oia sunset, perhaps one of the best sights to behold while in Santorini.
This village is the most visited and appreciated in Santorini. What was once small fishermen´s community, badly damaged in an earthquake during the fifties, has now become one of the highlights of any vacation to the cyclades. Why? Well, you can expect the so famous cycladic architecture, with the narrow alleys, blue domed churches in every way you look, the very well decorated houses, with their roof gardens and terraces...for sure most of the decoration has the touristic appeal....many of the houses are hotels or inns, very expensive by the way....but it is still a calm, small village, and the view....oh the view!!! Perfect....from the old castle ruins you will be able to have a 360 degree view of the whole village of Oia in the back, the coastline of the island further away, emerging from that deep blue sea....together with the gentle wind.....it´s difficult to describe...you must be there to feel what it´s like! =)
And the best experience is to avoid the mad crowds and visit Oia in the morning, by this time of the day you will have plenty of space and freedom. By the end of the day there will be hundreds of tourists and the village looses some of its glamour.....
I found 'sunset expereince' in Oia a kind of artificial and a way too touristy. in Oia, I felt like I was a part of a circus show or a semi-annual sale rush, with herds of people running into a village (and that was end of September which is off the peak season) to see a sunset, occupying all possible spots, and trying to get in front of each other to get "a perfect picture." but the most ridiculous, from my perspective, was when people started to clap after the sun has sank into the sea. But that’s just perspective of a person who likes sharing sunsets with someone special rather than a group :)