Oia (pronounced as Eeyah) is the most popular and posh village in Santorini. It is where you can find the famous blue-dome churches and the traditional windmills which you can see in most of Santorini postcards. Plus the white-washed houses that clings on the cliff and the views of the caldera that certainly made the village very charming and picturesque.
The village is home to luxury accommodations and shops. Expect that everything here is very expensive especially during peak season. But if you’re ready to spend moolah to indulge on luxurious stuff then this is the place to enjoy a grand holiday.
Derick and I visited Oia twice. First was during our whole day excursion of the island since it was included in the tour that we have joined in. (See our Sightseeing Tour in Santorini). It was the last village we visited in that tour. The tour company was actually saving the best for last because Oia has the most spectacular sunset view in the island. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed when we arrived there. The place was packed with tourists. It was hot, noisy and literally we squeezed ourselves into the narrow alleyways full of people just to get a good spot to see the sunset. Frankly it’s not the scenario I had in mind before coming there. My expectation was quite high but the reality of the place hits me of how difficult and crowded it is during summer. Although I captured several good sunset photos, I don’t have decent pictures of the village since there were too many people and it was getting dark when we first went there. That’s why we decided to go back another day.
Ruins of a Byzantine Castle packed with people to catch the celebrated sunset.
During our second visit we made sure to be early to beat the crowd. From Fira, we took a 15 minutes bus ride and we arrived there at around 9:30 in the morning. The shops were already open with a few people on the streets. Basically we have the entire place to explore by ourselves… and so then the non-stop snapping began.
It was a perfect day for taking pictures. The natural light was enough to capture beautiful photos without needing any filters.
There are many shops (that sells both local and signature items) lined along the narrow alleyways as well as restaurants and cave hotels.
Some of the souvenir products that were displayed along the streets of Oia. How about a piece of Santorini to add your travel souvenir collection? Pretty isn’t it?
I maybe have been disappointed during my first visit but nevertheless I was blown away of how stunning Oia is. I must admit that I fell in love with this beautiful place but not with the swarm of tourists that attacks it during summer. Given another opportunity I would love to go back again and get lost into the labyrinth streets of this white-washed village.