Ammoudi is the scenic little bay below Oia
, also known as the harbor of Oia. It is the usual stop of cruise boats touring around Santorini
or water taxis going to Thirasia
. Ferries are too big to enter it and they use the Athinios
port after Fira
Ammoudi is backed by high cliffs in saturated red color, a memory from the volcanic eruption in the past. On the top of the cliffs are lined the buildings of Oia and the emblematic windmill. Except for boat, there are two more ways to reach Ammoudi - by car, as there is a road going down to it, or on foot via a path with steps which starts below the castle of Oia. The walk on the steps is one of the things you must do, unless you are not in good shape - the route is a bit steep and climbing back is not that easy but it is something unique which you can do only there.
Many tourists come to Ammoudi not only because of the dramatic landscape, but also because of the seafront tavernas which claim to serve the best fresh fish and seafood on Santorini. Some people use the concrete pier in front of the tavernas to jump in the sea but this is dangerous because there are constantly boats arriving or departing at the harbor. If you have ever read about cliff jumping at Ammoudi, this pier is not the right place. For the purpose follow the path after the last taverna, it runs just next to the shore and leads to a small platform surrounded by rocks, opposite the islet of Agios Nikolaos. This place is known as Ammoudi beach, although there is no beach strip at all. The water is deep enough for jumping, transparent and warmer because of the underwater volcanic activity. You can easily swim to the islet (the distance is less than 20 meters) and there is another platform with stairs to climb on. The experience is surreal, just be careful with the rocks.