Santorini Oia

Information about Oia

Oia, pronounced Ia, is the most visited village in Santorini and the second largest after Fira, the capital town of the island.
Oia can be found on the northern part of the Caldera, 12 km away from Fira, the capital of the island.
The village is situated above an impressive cliff, overlooking the volcano and the island of Thirassia.
The settlement is several centuries old; it was likely built in the 15th century and the ruins of a Venetian castle are still located there.

It has become famous all around the world for its authentic Cycladic beauty, whitewashed houses, labyrinth-like alleys and amazing hotels, although the top thing Oia is known 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 -and some may claim it is the prettiest one in Greece!

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

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

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, it is possible to visit Armeni Beach for a swim. A boat from Ammoudi may take you there, or you can reach the beach on foot, by climbing down approximately 300 steps from Oia.
The beach is very small, pebbled and unorganized, offering some peaceful moments, a tavern and a diving spot.

Another option for swimming would be Katharos, a hidden beach only 1 km away from Oia. Note that this beach is secluded and to get there you will have to follow a short but steep path.
The seashore of Katharos is rocky and unspoiled, with crystal clear waters (when it is not windy).

Where to watch the sunset? Oia Castle

The famous Venetian Castle of Oia is one of the top landmarks to visit in the village. Also known as the Castle of St Nikolas, the 15th century castle was constructed during the Venetian occupation period. Its location has turned it into one of the most popular places to watch the sunset in the entire Aegean Sea.
Many 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 one 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 go from Oia to Fira.

Where to eat?

When visiting the village, don't miss the opportunity to have an unforgettable dining experience at one of the most romantic settings. The village's diverse culinary scene involves restaurants at a scenic location, where you can have 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 Oia

Generally, the streets of Oia are quieter than Fira and a car parking area at the entrance of the village makes it easy to approach. You will be able to leave your vehicle and enjoy long walks in the village's paths.
But note that in high season, it might be hard to find a parking spot. The best is to leave your car at the very begining of the village.

How to get to Oia

Hotels in Oia

Recommended by Greeka

Art Maisons Oia Castle

Hotel Apartments Villas Traditional Houses Suites HoneymoonLuxury

Discover the elegance of Cycladic minimalism in Art Maisons Oia Castle! With a mesmerizing view of Oia’s picturesque scenery, the sea and the castle ruins, Art Maisons Oia Castle provides spacious cave-like rooms and suites with an impressive architecture, a relaxing atmosphere and numerous ...

Recommended by Greeka

Aspaki by Art Maisons


Overlooking the volcano and the whitewashed houses of Oia, Aspaki by Art Maisons offers cave suites that will become the perfect background for your summer vacation in Santorini. You will find rooms and suites with private pools and a minimalist Cycladic design, while breakfast with a view is also ...

Recommended by Greeka


Hotel Suites Junior Suites HoneymoonLuxury

Katikies will become your luxurious home away from home in Oia! With a breathtaking view of the sea and the volcano, this hotel ensures that your vacation in Santorini will have the best Cycladic landscape as a background. The suites offered by Katoikies have an all-white style that combines ...


Things To See And Do In Oia

Tours and activities related to Oia

Map Of Oia, Santorini

Reviews of Oia, Santorini

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 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