Oia

Oia

This is the most famous place on Santorini, known for its sunset, and many people wrongly believe it is the island capital. The name is pronounced Eeah, not Oyah due to peculiarities of the Greek language grammar. Maybe you have read that Oia is located on the highest point of the caldera but that is not true - it is on the lowest point compared to the rest caldera villages.

The location of Oia will provide you with a spectacular view of the flaming sunset over the sea. An interesting fact is that you can see the spectacular sunset also from Fira, Imerovigli and Firostefani but Oia is the most propagated. It is good to know that you can`t see the setting sun from any corner of the village - you need to be just above the harbor. There is the windmill, which is a symbol of Oia (and actually part of the Golden Sunset Villas hotel), and the ruins of the old castle of the settlement. In the evening tourists usually occupy the top of the castle ruins in order to take the best shots.

Oia`s architecture comprises of white-washed and multi-colored buildings carved into the cliff or built above it, with small labyrinth-like streets. Like Fira, the center is for pedestrians only. The small streets and stairs can lead you to chapels, shops, cafes and restaurants, and sometimes to private homes and dead ends. Near the center is the blue-domed church of Saint Spyridon which is often seen on photos and postcards from Santorini.

The harbor of Oia, Ammoudi, is a picturesque place with a couple of taverns and many stairs leading up to the village. The good news is that except for the stairs, there is also a paved road for vehicles and people who are not enthusiastic to climb the steep part, and donkey ride transport for the adventurous ones. The beach of Oia is located 2 km away from the village, in the area of Baxedes and Paradisos on the other side of the island, but sometimes you can see people swimming and diving near the harbor. Less than 1 km northwest of the center of Oia is Katharos beach, a quiet strip of black sand and rocks.

highlights: the most famous island sunset, village in Santorini, Cyclades Islands, Greece

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