The Magic of OiaNovember 13, 2017
Oia (pronounced ‘ee-yah’) is the most famous cliff-side village and the main attraction of Santorini. The enchanting town is home to the iconic views that are usually associated with the island and it’s postcard perfection. With more hidden pathways than any other village, there are jaw dropping views around every corner. There are many restaurants in Oia but little to no nightlife due to the fact that the village is a UNESCO world heritage site so the noise level is restricted. There is a path downhill where you can that leads to the beautiful Amoudi Bay.
The magic of Oia is in the town. The only way to navigate the town is by foot since it’s closed off to traffic. It can be very busy with tourists, but it never actually feels overwhelmingly crowded. There are many shops and restaurants on the main path, but be sure to wander around the many hidden pathways (off the main path) to stumble across breathtaking views in every direction. There is a also a path running downhill that leads to the beautiful Amoudi Bay. You can either walk down the stairs or opt for a donkey ride to the ocean. (I personally never want to take the donkeys because I wouldn’t want them to get overworked in the heat!)
In my opinion, Oia is the most romantic town on Santorini. It is the part of Santorini we see in photos and magazines because of it’s jaw dropping views that lurk around every corner. There is a scenic walking path from Oia to Fira that takes about two hours. Many people chose to take the walk to enjoy the views that run along the caldera. The path tends to get busy around dusk because most people around the island flock to Oia to watch the famous Santorini sunset.
Where to Stay?
All of the hotels around Oia are built into the caldera and descend downward. This means that there are usually many many stairs to climb, but the ‘work out’ is totally worth it.
Kirini Suites & Spa : An alluring boutique with rooms of white perfection, an infinity pool, a mesmerising cave spa, and panoramic views that are extremely hard to beat. I couldn’t be happier that I chose to stay in this hotel. The amazing concierge even upgraded us to the honeymoon suite upon arrival and it is absolute bliss. For more photos and an in depth description of the hotel, view my post here.
Katikies Hotel : This is the sister hotel to the Kirini with bright white rooms, three pools, and a popular daily champagne breakfast.
Mystique Santorini : Painted a tan color, this hotel stands out from the rest of it’s white neighbours. Situated on the caldera, it offers uninterrupted views of the sea and volcano.
Canaves Oia : Located on one of the highest points of Santorini, this hotel offers some of the best views in town. Simple but beautiful.
Where to Eat?
Oia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so the noise levels are restricted. There are many restaurants in the village, some being the best on the island, but there is little to no nightlife. There are a few bars around to grab a drink at night, but none of them are suitable for music and dancing.
Roka : Off the main path, this restaurant is cozy and makes you feel as though you’re dining in one of the local’s homes. It serves some of the best food on the island and is definitely popular among the Greeks.
Ambrosia : This is the most romantic restaurant in all of Santorini. Reservations are recommended for the cliffside terrace.
1800 : A very popular restaurant built in an old 19th century mansion with a rooftop terrace. Reservations recommended.
Lotza : A small cafe with great food and a patio outside with views. The baklava and ice cream are said to be the best on the island. Very laid back and relaxed.
Hasapiko : Also known as Mary Kay, this is the only true bar in Oia that speciailizes in strong cocktails with a relaxed atmosphere.
What to Do?
- Get the perfect spot to watch the famous Santorini sunset, which is said to be the best sunset in the world.
- Get a fish pedicure.
- Eat at a fish taverna at Amoudi Bay and swim near the charming port. Don’t miss out on the cliff jumping!
- Visit one of the many churches. (There are 90 in Oia.)
- Rather than staying on the main pedestrian path in Oia, descend and wander down all the hidden passageways.
- Experience the real meaning of ‘dinner with a view’ at one of the many cliffside restaurants.
- Take the scenic walking route all the way to Fira. (More of a hike than a walk.)
- Rent a quad bike and explore the roads less travelled.
- Always have your camera ready to capture all of the picture perfect views.