Where do you want to stay on your trip to Santorini, Greece? Between the sunsets, nightlife, and panoramic views of the Santorini Caldera, tourists by and large prefer Oia village. Pronounced Ia, this village has everything a tourist could want from a visit to Greece.
By day, it’s a quiet community full of rich history, architecture, and rugged landscapes. Oia offers some of the most beautiful views in Santorini, and the sight of the sun setting over the Aegean Sea can’t be beat. By night, Oia has all the entertainment you need, with bars, restaurants, dance clubs, and first rate hotels.
Here are just a few things that drive tourists to Oia, Santorini.
Architecture and Landscape
Oia is built on the northern clifftop of the Santorini Caldera overlooking the caldera itself, the island of Thirassia, and the vast Aegean Sea. But the natural beauties of Oia, Santorini are not the only beauties to be found there. In fact, their architecture is famed the world over.
The buildings along the cliff are largely whitewashed, in keeping with most Greek island architecture. But what makes Oia’s architecture stand out is its trademark deep blue domed roofs. These domes typically denote churches, like the Anastasis Church in Oia.
Houses in Oia, however, are often colorfully painted, dotting the white-washed landscape with something fun and unique to the typical neoclassical trends. As you walk through Oia, you may find brightly colored houses, studios, or even churches that seem to come straight out of a Wes Anderson film!
This architecture stands out, but it doesn’t clash with the rugged landscape of of Santorini, Greece. Instead, it complements it.
Sunset over the Aegean Sea
The situation of the village of Oia makes it the perfect place to take in the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. There are beaches, opportunities for diving and kayaking, but perhaps the best way to view the sea is at sunset. If any place in the world could be famous for its sunset, it’s Santorini, Greece. And the village in Santorini with the best views of the sunset is agreed by tourists the world over to be Oia.
The sunset in Oia is best viewed from Oia Castle, a medieval fortress located on a hilltop (once to protect it from piracy and invasions). A rental car can take you to the castle, and from there you can climb the steps until you reach a place with the clearest view. Make time for traffic as you leave to view the sunset--there will be plenty of others in the crowd. But the spectacular views can’t be found anywhere else.
As the sun slowly appears to dip into the sea, the sky changes into deep orange and pink hues. Even the cliffs and the water are lit with a beautiful burnt orange. Bring a good camera--you’ll want the perfect pictures to remember this.
The Santorini Caldera
Of course, one of the main things that brings people to Oia, Santorini is the Santorini Caldera. This millennia-old caldera, largely submerged in water after the Minoan eruption, is one of the natural beauties left in the world. It has ties to the mythological city of Atlantis and possibly even ties to the Biblical book of Exodus.
Oia, positioned just above it, has perfect, sweeping views of this stunning, historical caldera. In fact, with the right Oia, Santorini hotel, you might have the perfect view from your own window.
Many tourists come to Oia, Santorini for the caldera, but they find much more here. Here, they can find first rate accommodations in a village that hasn’t lost its charm or peace and quiet to time. Here they can find the perfect place to stop and appreciate the sunset--literally.