Santorini Oia

General information

Oia, pronounced Ia, is the most visited village in Santorini and the second largest after Fira, the island's capital town.
Oia lies in the northern part of the caldera, 12 km away from Fira.
The village is situated above an impressive cliff overlooking the volcano and the island of Thirassia.
The settlement dates back several centuries; it was likely built in the 15th century and is still home to the ruins of a Venetian castle.

It has become globally famous for its authentic Cycladic beauty, whitewashed houses, labyrinth-like alleys, and amazing hotels, even though the number one thing Oia is renowned for is its magical sunset.
Hundreds of people gather every evening to watch the sun setting above the Aegean Sea and capture the most beautiful sunset in Greece.

Straight out of a postcard, Oia is certainly the most picturesque village in Santorini - some may even claim it is the prettiest one in Greece!

Best Hotels & Accommodations

Recommended by Greeka

Katikies Oia

Luxury

Feel the magic in the premises of Katikies Hotel, situated in the uniquely beautiful Oia settlement. Katikies offers luxurious, up-to-date services ideally combined with tradition and romance. All units include necessary amenities, as well as private bathrooms and private sea-view terraces. A mini ...

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Recommended by Greeka

Aspaki Exclusive

Luxury

Aspaki Exclusive Hotel is located in the center of the picturesque settlement of Oia. It has the perfect romantic environment, with cave pools and jacuzzis, providing the ultimate relaxing experience! Its elegant earthly tones and traditional architecture, combine splendidly with the outstanding ...

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Recommended by Greeka

Andronis

Luxury

Hosting almost as many pools as the number of available units in it, Andronis Luxury Suites complex appears as a small independent citadel inside the traditional village of Oia. Standing at a relatively short distance from the main island town and the airport, the hotel oversees the famous Caldera ...

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Things to See & Do

Top Tours and activities

  • Best Seller

    Bus tour around the island (best sights)

    Category: Island, Bus
    Show description

    This bus tour around Santorini allows you to see the top sights: the Minoan Town of Akrotiri, the Red Beach, the black beaches, Santo Winery, and Oia at sunset time.

    12 hours Map
    from € 55.00
    Book now
  • Helicopter tour above the Volcano & Oia

    Category: Helicopter
    Show description

    Visiting Santorini during the summer is perfect for enjoying its scenery the most. However, crowds of tourists and the intense heat during the daytime turn sightseeing into an uphill struggle. A helicopter tour is an ideal option to discover the island from a unique perspective.

    20 minutes Map
    from € 690.00
    Book now
  • Private Romantic Catamaran Cruise

    Category: Private, Boat Tours
    Show description

    Book a 5-hour private cruise with your friends, departing at 10:00 AM or at 3:00 PM. Sail from Ammoudi and visit the Hot Springs, Indian Rock, Venetian Light House, Mesa Pigadia, and two beaches all in one perfect day.

    5 hours Map
    from € 400.00
    Book now

Map

More info about Oia

The only way to explore around is on foot since almost all of its alleys are paved.
During your stroll, expect to come across numerous charming houses with a traditional style of architecture and sun-kissed terraces, the famous blue-domed churches, other chapels, as well as several lovely restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops. Many of them are located at the pedestrian N. Nomikos Street, the settlement's main commercial street and busiest spot.

Other cultural attractions and landmarks include the Maritime Museum with its small library, windmills, and art galleries founded by numerous artists who fell in love with the area and settled there.

Below the village and the cliffs, you can espy the tiny settlement of Ammoudi, which, in fact, is the port of Oia. A set of 300 steps allows you to get to Ammoudi directly from Oia's Castle, although the village can also be reached by car.
From there, you will be able to reach Thirassia island by boat or spend some time in Ammoudi, gazing at the sea and the fishing boats while tasting fresh fish at one of the local taverns.
If you would like to swim in the area, you will encounter the Thermal Springs of Ammoudi, a jumping spot from the rocks at Zoodochos Pigi, and the islet of St Nikolas near the bay.

Useful info

Discover a map of Oia with information about the best things to see and do, parking areas, and more.

Where to swim?

Although there is no beach in Oia, Armeni Beach is a great option for a swim. A boat from Ammoudi may take you there, or you can reach the beach on foot, by descending approximately 300 steps.
The beach is tiny, pebbly, and unorganized, allowing some peaceful moments. It also boasts a tavern and a diving spot.

Another option for swimming would be Katharos, a hidden beach only 1 km away. Note that the beach is secluded; you need to follow a short but steep path in order to reach it.
The seashore of Katharos is rocky and unspoiled, with crystal clear waters when the weather is not windy.

Where to watch the sunset? The Venetian Castle

The famous Venetian Castle is a major landmark of the village. Also known as the Castle of St Nikolas, the 15th-century castle was constructed during the Venetian occupation. Its location is the reason it constitutes one of the most popular places to watch the sunset in the entire Aegean Sea.
Several hotels are available in the area near the castle.

Oia to Fira Hike

Hiking is one of the best things to do in Santorini! The hike from Oia to Fira is the most popular route due to its amazing views. It offers the opportunity to walk alongside massive volcanic cliffs and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea and the caldera. You can either start from Fira and end up in Oia to watch the sunset or vice versa.

Where to eat?

When visiting the village, don't miss the opportunity to have an unforgettable dining experience in one of the most romantic settings. The village's diverse culinary scene features restaurants at a scenic location, where you can savor a gourmet dinner on a terrace while gazing at the sea and the sunset.
A reservation in advance is a must! Find the best restaurants in Oia.

Parking in the area

Generally, the streets of Oia are quieter than Fira's. A car parking area at the entrance makes the village easy to approach. You may leave your vehicle there and enjoy long walks along the village's paths.
However, note that it might be hard to find a parking spot during the high season. Therefore, if you pay a visit in July or August, it is recommended to park your car at the very beginning of the village.

Reviews

5/5.0
10 Reviews
  • mella_b 28 Jul 2020
    Best village
    Simply the best village in Greece
  • quartz 27 Oct 2010
    To fix or break your heart
    If I wasn't already married, I would certainly love to get married with this amazing sunset at the background. Maybe a vow renewal could also do or a silver anniversary! Really people, this is the sunset that either revives your love or breaks your heart! The best sunset was in Oia sure, but in Imerovigli was also great and certainly less crowded.
  • tessydat 13 Jun 2010
    Will remain in me forever
    This is one sunset I will never forget!! The picturesque island of Santorini is eminent for legendary tales. Nature is at its best as the sun kissed the island, beautiful beaches and romantic sunset add glory to the place. Now I know why millions of tourists across the world come to this beautiful and wonderful place - to enjoy tranquility and pure nature. There are numerous spots in Santorini that boast of beautiful and unobstructed view of the sunset. I loved watching the fireball slowly disappear into the magnificent Aegean Sea. The vibrant orange and pink colors added beauty to the environment. This sunset will remain with me forever.
  • agelikoni 26 Oct 2009
    The most romantic sunset
    Thinking about Santorini... the first thing that always comes in my mind is the sunset. The island is famous all over the world for its spectacular sunsets and the best place to enjoy these sunsets is Oia village.

    Many locals and tourists, visit Oia in Santorinievery evening, seating at the coffee shops or in a quiet romantic spot, starring the stunning view. The most well known spot for this sunset viewing in Oia, is the Kastro Walls.

    While the sun sinks into the sea, its splendid colors spread throughout the sky. It literally takes your breath away! Best place to be, especially if you are a couple.

    After spending one evening watching the sunset, you will have these memories for a long long time. While wandering at the narrow paths and speaking with the locals, you learn about many love stories of couples that visited the village. True or not, the whole place is so romantic, like it has been taken out of a fairytale.

    Getting lost in Oia narrows paths, you will find plenty of souvenir shops with handicrafts and jewelleries, along with many traditional sweets and drinks.
  • jellyf 04 May 2009
    Be careful with prices

    I think it is a common sense that the vibe in Oia was certainly better than in Fira, which was most tourist and crowded. The first stop on the island is Fira and then the crowd sets apart to the different sides of Santorini. Also, from there start all the buses and taxis, so it is normal to be the most popular place on the island. On the other side, Oia is soft and calm and moving and most of all it has the best sunset I have seen! The locals are lucky to see it every day, although when we see something beautiful many times, in the end we come not to appreciate it. It is a pity that I couldn't take any photo of this great sunset (camera baterries run off the worst time!). Prices are also better in Oia than in other sides of Santorini. I was surprised to see that grilled fish would cost 60 (!) euros in Fira and only 24 in Oia. Fish are sold by kilo in Greece. When you ask a waiter to suggest a dish, he will probably suggest you the most expensive in the restaurant. Also prices in souvenirs are much different, so better check before you buy. I bought a fridge magnet for 6 euros in Fira and I saw the exact same magnet in a store next street for 3 euros.


  • stavrpap 15 Mar 2009
    Most romantic sunset
    Indeed Santorini has the best sunset in the world!! I am happy that I experienced such a romantic view and I am much happier that I spent my honeymoon there :))
  • ocean.blu 19 Oct 2008
    Keep your charm
    Greece is a place that I always dreamed of, a place that I always wanted to vist. I have been travelling around Europe since lthe ast 3 years but Greece was the only country that I left off for some reason. Finally this year I managed to organise myself to visit Greece. It was my first time & I haven't have much expected over there. I managed to get some info from tourism of Greece & thanks to Greeka.com too, which provided me lots of information as a first time visitor.

    I stayed in Santorini - Marizan Village Oia.
    I was amazed by the hospitality of the hotel owner who provided us whatever for our convenience. He even welcomed us when we first arrived, which never happenned to me as a traveller. He always greeted to us whatever he saw us & made sure we all were alrights & fulfill whatever we needed such as arrange personal tours guide to show us along Santorini, our transportation, even delivered take away for us. . .etc.

    I was over whelming by the views of Santorini and impressed with the breath takings of Oia. What on earth this place has been keep up so well with all the traditional houses & churches. And the seafood was unbelievable fresh & cheap! The people there was amazing friendly & helpful. In our hotel, we had private privileged place of viewing sunset, that's absolutely awesome! We stayed at Oia 3 days, then moved down to Kalmari area, we were really disappointed with the town as it was no way near what we had experienced in Oia.

    I'd travelled many different country & cities, I must say Oia is my favourite & unforgettable place! It is on my schedule for next summer, I will re-visit Oia again. . .what a wonderful place!
    Santorini. . .you are truly romantic & beautiful, keep your charm!
  • zoekour 16 Sep 2008
    Oia Santorini
    I feel so happy that I visited such a beautiful place. the sunset was amazing as was the place. Next time I visit Greece I will stay in Oia.
    Peace, beauty, good food and tranquility. What else do you need? Santorini is really beautiful. Enjoy it if you ever get the chance to visit.
  • Michael_S 20 Jun 2007
    A dreamy sunset
    Hello, I'm Canadian and I'm 22 years old. In the summer of 2006 I visited Greece and the island of Santorini.
    While I was there I decided to visit Oia, since it was recommended on a brochure, and on an internet site. I got there by car and it took me about 30 minutes since I was staying in Fira. The road to the village was a bit bumpy, but I really enjoyed the trip. I didn't have to use a map or anything, because it was perfectly indicated.
    The village is picturesque with beautiful architecture and beautiful surroundings.
    In the area someone can find telephone, bank, and mini market.
    My favorite thing about it was the sunset.
  • C_Conners 08 Nov 2006
    Beautiful sunset
    Nationality: South African

    Age: 17

    -How did you get to the villageof Oia: Public Transportation

    -Where is your accommodation located: Fira Santorini Camping

    -How much time did it take you to reach the village of Oia: 25 minutes

    -What are the conditions of the roads that take you to the village of Oia: Good

    -If you used public transportations, did you have to wait long for the bus: No

    -Did you enjoy the trip to the village: Yes good views over the sea

    -In order to get to Oia were there enough signs in order to find it: I used a map

    -Why did you choose this particular village: Recommended by friends

    -How would you describe the village: Authentic, small cubic houses, neoclassical houses, beautiful architecture, no flowers, no parks, clean, perched on a hill, by the sea, offering views, beautiful surroundings, local artisan activity, many churches, touristy industry, restaurants, cafes, really crowded, expensive, great

    -Can everything, one might need, be found in the village: Telephone, bank, mini market, restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, shops, travel agencies, museums, internet cafes, hotels and other accommodations

    - Did the village meet your expectations? Yes Rate: 9/10

    - Favorite thing about the village: Sights, beautiful views and of course the sunset

    - Is there anything that you don’t like about the beach or things that should be done by the authorities to improve it or is something missing: Too much crowded at the time of sunset, otherwise it is really great were among the rocks

    - Would you come to this village again: Yes

    Other recommends villages? Fira’s town is nice, there is lots of nightlife clubs and everything is someone needed



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