The Island illustrates an all-in-one combination as it hosts some really quiet villages where visitors can explore and admire the authentic lifestyle of local people. In addition, Santorini is known for some famous villages that form well-known destinations for visitors coming from all over the world. One among these popular villages is of course the infamous Oia.


About Oia

The village of Oia is located at the northern part of the Island at a distance of 11km from the capital village of Fira. It is commonly known by the Greek people as “Apano Meria”, which can be translated as the upper site. Accordingly, the inhabitants of Oia are commonly known as “Apanomerites” or the people living in the upper site. It has to be noted that the greater municipal area of Oia includes a total of 5 different settlements and the Island of Thirassia.

The settlement is situated at a height of 150 meters above the sea level and is one of the most famous locations in Santorini for a number of reasons. Among other factors that constitute Oia as a popular destination, is of course the stunning views over the sunset, the traditional architectural design and the unique authentic lifestyle of the people.

The visitors of Oia are able to enjoy generous panoramic views over the tiny volcanic Islands of Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni. Moreover, visitors are able to observe and admire peaceful and spectacular views over the Thirassia Island. These magnificent views are mainly due to the Oia’s location as it is situated on the top of an imposing cliff.

This charming village has a unique capability in capturing visitors’ attention due to its interesting architecture and vibrant lifestyle. However, it has to be noted that due to a massive earthquake in 1965, Oia suffered extensive damages and undergone a restoration process throughout.


A unique setting

The harmony and the beauty that the village of Oia demonstrates, is in reality beyond any expectations. They say that a picture equals a thousand words, however, in the case of Oia, a thousand of worlds is not enough to describe the thrilling and spectacular scenery. The village of Oia hosts beautiful characteristic white washed houses. The village includes also a lot of narrow streets that are perfect for a quiet and romantic walk. Visitors exploring the streets can find many hidden gems such as shops, fine restaurants and known bars. In fact, through the main pedestrian street of Oia, visitors can find a unique variety of known brands, crafts of all kind, souvenirs and a lot more that are able to meet their expectations and needs.

When it comes to the architecture, Oia is not an exception, as all the buildings reflect the traditional Island architectural style and maintain a unique and charming character. It is important to mention that there are two different types of houses in Oia. The first type is the one that includes the houses that were carved into the rocks and used to be owned by sailors. The second type of houses includes the ones that are built on the top of the cliff and used to be the property of the local ship owners.

The houses are harmoniously built and spread on and around the cliff and their white color is perfectly paired with some colorful details. The color palette of Oia includes, among others, okra, fuchsia and blue. Charming little chapels and big terraces that serve as viewing platforms are the additional characteristic elements of Oia.



Visitors of Oia can explore not only the outstanding architecture and the thrilling views, but in fact they can immerse themselves into the Island’s culture and tradition. The Maritime Museum that can be found there unfolds the Island’s nautical history and tradition. Inside, there is a small library that includes several interesting books and a collection of sea-related exhibits. The artistic element is widely spread in Oia and visitors can visit several art galleries that can be found in the charming narrow streets.



ammoudi beach Santorini

Ammoudi is a small bay located in Oia and forms an incredible location for the visitors who wish to explore a more picturesque and authentic setting close to the sea. There is a small port located at Ammoudi which can be reached either by car or by walking from Oia towards Ammoudi. It has to be noted though, that the last option includes 235 steps! This small port is an excellent example of authentic Island lifestyle and culture. The area has a long history in serving as a port of the Island since the ancient times. Santorini was famous for its wine, fabrics and crafts. Nowadays, the fishing boats and small tavernas provide the perfect setting for a culinary experience right next to the sea. Ammoudi is also an ideal spot for scuba diving and snorkeling.



Armeni beach Santorini

Oia also hosts another port called Armeni. Despite the fact that Armeni is a smaller in size compared to Ammoudi, it also has a long history in trading. This small port was used to load ships with the infamous Santorini wine. Visitors who wish to visit this small and quiet port can use the boat that departs from Ammoudi. Alternatively, they can walk down through 291 steps.