Greek Island Holidays

Oia resort guide Santorini

Santorini Oia

Photo: Patacancha

The village of Oia sits on the northern tip of Santorini island facing south over the caldera, which lies about 150 metres below, and north over the Aegean sea. Once Santorini's main port, Oia was virtually demolished in the 1956 earthquake. The modern Oia Greece is much quieter version of neighbouring Fira but no less attractive and out of reach of cruise ship day trippers.

The name Oia (pronounced 'ee-yah') is derived from the original village name of Apanomeria. The main street of Oia follows the fold of the cliff edge, with many small alleyways branching off.

The alleys and streets of Oia are packed with upmarket boutiques and expensive jewellery shops. There is also a cultural centre here, some art galleries and the usual lashings of souvenir trinket and handicraft shops.

Oia village is noted for its impressive windmills and for the traditional 'cave houses'. On the north-west edge of the village is the Maritime Museum, located in a restored mansion house.

Exhibits include rare figureheads and other ship paraphernalia alongside drawings and models of ancient vessels.

The most popular spot for Oia sunset watching is at the Kastro Walls. Indeed, many claim this is the best place for sunset watching. So much so that tourist buses sometimes arrive in droves for the early evening event.

Steep stairs run down from Oia to the port of Ammoudia, 235 steps below, where there is a small quay and some waterfront tavernas.

Around the headland is another small port at Armeni, and here it is 290 steps to another small quayside with waterfront restaurants.

Access to the sea is also found between the two at Armenaki, but it's a steep climb and there are no facilities.

fira blue monkeys

The Museum of Prehistoric Fira on the Greek island of Santorini displays a very large number of ancient artefacts from across Santorini, notably from the fabulous Minoan site at Akrotiri.

Santorini Home RS

It's the white cube houses of Oia on Santorini that make the most tempting scenes for the tourist clicking cameras followed by sites in Chania in Crete, Corfu and Mykonos.

Santorini Wines

Wine-making has been going on throughout Santorini for thousands of years. Small vineyards are dotted all over the island, and the locals have always been proud of their wines.

Santorini Kamari RS

Tempting as it might be to pay big money for the best sea view on the island, we would recommend a slightly different approach when on holiday on Santorini island.

Greek Island Holidays

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