Take a sunset stroll through this picturesque village and experience Greece at its romantic best.
Oia is the epitome of Greek island perfection. This charming village on the northern tip of Santorini has been a magnet for photographers and artists through the centuries, as well as a popular tourist destination, with plenty of hotel accommodation and restaurants offering traditional-style hospitality to the hordes of seasonal visitors.
The village overlooks the sparkling Aegean Sea and its maritime heritage is reflected in the many elegant two-storey sea-captains’ houses, or "kapetanospita", that share space with the more modest workers’ homes. The pretty whitewashed buildings with their traditional blue painted doors are set into the cliffside in a delightfully ramshackle fashion, dotted here and there with church domes and windmills. Some of the dwellings are built into the rock itself to provide a cool living environment sheltered from the excesses of the summer heat.
Not surprisingly, this picturesque village continues to lure professional artists, and there are several galleries where you can browse the artworks and maybe treat yourself to a precious souvenir of your visit.
One of the best ways to explore the narrow, winding streets is on foot. Stop to admire the bell tower of the Church of Panagia of Platsani, or discover Santorini’s maritime heritage at the Naval Maritime Museum, which houses a wealth of fascinating objects from the island’s seafaring past including seamen’s chests, historic photographs and maritime equipment.
As evening falls, take a walk down the steep path to the port of Ammoudi, and choose a table at one of the pretty tavernas to watch the sun set over the horizon as you tuck into a feast of freshly caught seafood washed down with delicious local wine.
There is a bus service from the island capital Firá to Oia, but many visitors prefer to take a taxi or rent a car.