Oia Greece

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.

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