Visitors to the stunning island of Santorini should undoubtedly make plans for a stop in the island's most famous village of Oia. Pronounced "ia", Oia Santorini is a picturesque conglomeration of whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches. The Santorini Oia village was once the island's primary center, both economically and commercially. That was until the village's thriving shipping and marine industry was sorely affected by an earthquake in 1956 that saw many of the villagers abandon their homes. Around 500 people of the once 9,000 inhabitants remain there today, and Oia, and Santorini on a whole, has more than established itself as a worldly destination since tourism began to reinvigorate the local economy in the 1970's. Oia Santorini is just 6 miles from the island's capital of Fira.
Oia is renowned worldwide for its small village charm
and amazing sunsets. Arguably the sunsets at Oia are the
best in all the Aegean Sea. Oia Greece is the postcard image that comes to mind when you think
of the Greek islands, and it is without contest the most
beautiful village on the entire island of Santorini. Its
perch on the cliffsides overlooking the island's
central caldera only adds to the villages overall appeal.
Looking out to the caldera, you can view the islands of
Nea and Palea Kameni, which locals refer to as the Santorini
volcano. Oia Santorini, also offers views across to the
island of Thirassia, as well as much of the entire island,
and you could spend your entire time there with your camera
in your hand.
Having attracted numerous artists with its beauty, Oia
Greece is home to a few art galleries, and its narrow
streets contain a wonderful assortment of shops, and of
course taverns and cafes. Seafarers will appreciate the
Maritime Museum found at the Santorini Oia village, and
if the temptation to take to the water is too much, you
can trek down the long series of steps down to the Oia
Greece port of Ammoudi and hitch a ride by boat across
the caldera to Thirassia. Next to the small port, you
can take a dip at the Armenis Beach. Oia may not offer
the best in Greece beaches,
but the waters at Armenis Beach should prove extra refreshing
after you trek down the 286 steps to get there.
With your first glimpse of the Santorini Oia village, you will likely decide that you must spend at least one night there. You'll be happy to know that there are some great options for hotels in Oia. The Ikies-Traditional Houses Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel with amazing views out to the caldera. The Ikies-Traditional Houses staff is extremely keen on keeping up the maintenance of the hotel as well as the service. The hotel fits in with the surrounding Oia scheme of architecture while managing to offer a mix of tradition with modern amenities. The hotel offers eleven rooms, and the houses are actually cut into the pumice cliffsides with some featuring their own hot tubs. On-site there is a swimming pool, steam room and jacuzzi, and the rooms offer satellite TV, internet connectivity and air conditioning. Rates at this absolutely stunning hotel range all over from $160-$920, depending on season and type of accommodations selected.
The Aris Caves hotel is another fine option for a small
and beautiful hotel in Oia with views out to the caldera.
From its site perched on the cliffs, the sights are astounding
and you are within minutes of downtown Oia. Aris Caves
only offers six rooms, but the exclusivity of small hotels
like this means that you get top notch attention from
the owners and staff. Such is the case at Aris Caves,
and any questions you have, the staff can assist you with.
You can choose from either apartments or studios at Aris
Caves, ranging in price from $120-$220 per night depending
on the season. Each of the accommodations comes with its
own terrace, and there is a larger community terrace,
all offering scintillating views. The rooms' kitchinettes
feature refrigerators and a few other appliances to prepare
you own meals, if you wish, but when there is authentic Greek food awaiting you at Oia's
eateries, you might not end up doing much cooking.