Oia (pronounced I-a) is a picture perfect town found at the north of Santorini Island famous for it’s epic sunsets, delicious seafood and blue-domed buildings that break up the white painted buildings all over the cliff side. A destination for locals, tourists and even cruise ship passengers, people flock into Oia in the hopes of experiencing the perfect European sunset.
But there is so much more to Oia than the sunsets. Although they are spectacular!
Oia is one of the most photographed places in the world, and after only a short time visiting, you can definitely understand why it’s the destination everyone is always talking about. One of the unique things about Oia is its architecture, with cave houses dug into the volcanic rock on the Caldera cliffs overlooking the ocean.
Most of the hotels are built right into the cliff faces, with plunge pools over looking the ocean and restaurants with beautiful views over the town. The village of Oia actually sits 150 metres above sea level, so the views are pretty spectacular.
Things to do in Oia
Take time to wander around the tiny painted pathways to experience every kind of view Oia has to offer, they are some of the best on the island. Try to avoid the crowds by exploring some of the more quiet alley ways, they might just be the most beautiful.
If you’re coming to Oia to see the sunset prepare yourself for an absolutely huge increase in people and crowds. It seems like everyone from around the island floods to Oia for the sunset and it can be extremely crowded in the most popular spots. Get down there early (maybe mid-afternoon) if you’re coming to see the sunset to explore for a few hours before all the crowds begin to arrive.
It’s almost impossible to have dinner without a stunning view of the caldera and the cruise ships moving in and out. Don’t be surprised if you spot a little cat wandering around your restaurant our the window ledges surrounding your table, they are absolutely everywhere and they’re not shy about saying hello!
Another highlight of Oia is Ammoudi Bay, the secret little bay with the clearest water that can be found at the bottom of a steep 235 step climb, accessible by either walking or riding a donkey. You can also access the bay by driving down, with parking available and seafood restaurants sitting right on the water. Just around the corner is also the Bay of Armeni, just as beautiful and maybe even more quiet.
Running up and down these steps might be the perfect way to work in some travel fitness, if you’re looking for the perfect place to work out. Run down the stairs and reward yourself by jumping straight into the bay. You won’t regret it.
Getting to Oia
From Fira – from the Fira bus terminal you can catch the bus to Oia. It takes about 30 minutes by bus and costs just €1.60 per person for a one way trip. You can grab your ticket on the bus and then the village of Oia is within walking distance of the bus stop.
By quad bike – if you’re riding your quad bike over from another village on the island that’s no problem, but be prepared. The ride takes you winding around the cliff faces and the ride can be quite windy and a little bit cold. Make sure you wear a jacket and hold on tight.
There is parking around the main streets of the village that’s pretty cheap if you’re coming to watch the sunset, although it does fill up pretty quickly. Aim to arrive a couple of hours before the sunset at least if you’re coming in the evening, to avoid missing out on parking.
Read more of our adventures around Santorini
- Renting a Quad Bike in Greece
- Top 20 Things To Do in Santorini
- Beach Hopping Around Santorini
- Santorini Secrets – The Bay of Ammoudi