Oia, also known as Ià, is probably the most beautiful and picturesque village of Santorini. The churches with shining blue domes and the white troglodytic houses that seem suspended in the void perfectly symbolize Greece and belong to the collective imagination.
Built high on the edge of the Caldera Oia has small alleys, a breathtaking view, well-kept stores, lovely museums, numerous art galleries and the ruins of the Venetian fortress so much to make the village a unique and fascinating place.
In the second half of the 19th century Oia was a very rich and developing center, and could trade with Russia, the Levant and Alexandria. Officers and sea captains lived in the beautiful dwellings in the flat on top of the cliff, while sailors lived in troglodytic dwellings.
Unlike Fira, Oia has tried and still tries to keep its charm intact and thus escape mass tourism. Nevertheless, in the main street there are many luxury boutiques and jewelry stores.
From Oia you can enjoy an absolutely unique view of the bay and the volcano!
From Oia you can enjoy the most beautiful view of the caldera since the bay is closed by rocks. The profile of the crater can be perfectly perceived from the water: strangely shaped houses, charming chapels and magnificent houses abandoned after the earthquake of 1956 furrow the massif in almost labyrinthine alleys. This landscape will convince you that it was worth coming here!
The small port of Oia is easily accessible on foot along a picturesque path or by car from the road. The beautiful hike involves a dizzying descent and a steep climb before arriving at the tiny pebble beach of Amoudi.
A little beyond the beach of Amoudi is the beach of Armeni: full of rocks is ideal to stretch a little ‘on the pier to enjoy the breeze and snorkeling: the water is particularly clear and warm, ideal for a dip before sitting in a tavern.
There are runs practically every half hour between Oia and Fira. Buses run from 7 a.m. until midnight plus some nightly connections. In low season there is a connection every hour and the last one leaves at 20.30.
Renting a car or a scooter is an excellent solution that allows you to appreciate the landscape without getting tired. However, remember that the road on the ridge coming from Fira is full of curves and in August dangerous gusts of wind blow. In some curves you will find names written on the rocks as a tragic reminder…. The lower road is longer, but safer.
It takes about 3 hours to reach Fira from Oia. The path along the cliff is picturesque and runs for about 10 kilometers. Ideally, leave early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the intense heat; remember to bring a bottle of water, a hat and sunscreen.
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