Oia is the star of Santorini. It sits at the northern tip of our crescent shaped island, atop the cliffs with spectacular views to the Sunset, Volcanic Caldera, neighbouring Thirasia island and towards the rest of the island. Marble pathways thru the village lead to the numerous picturesque spots overlooking the caldera. White cave houses, blue domed chapels, winding stairways created from volcanic red and black stones, historic sea captain’s mansions, unique shops, atmospheric cafes, elegant restaurants and artist workshops are all within the pedestrian only zone of the village.
OIA (Latin spelling is often IA and it is pronounced Eah) and Santorini have a long history connected with the Aegean Sea, our local wines, international trade, the simple tomato and of course, the focal point of Santorini – the volcano and it’s sea-filled caldera or crater. Look inside 1864 The Sea Captain’s House & Spa and you will find our island’s history.
Santorini’s earliest sailors from the 1700′s BC are beautifully immortalized in the colorful Akrotiri wall paintings depicting these Minoan voyagers.
The numerous ruins of 14th and 15th century castles and village fortifications on the island, tell us of the invading pirate sailors.
Italian sounding names, even that of “Santa Irina” herself, recall the frequently interrupted reign of Venice over the island.
But by walking through the marble and volcanic stone paths of Oia, you will find the memories of more recent sailors and their sea captains.
The unique, white cave houses, dug into the cliffs of volcanic pumice and rocks, were home to the village’s sailing crews.
The prosperous sea captains and ship owners, also skillful international traders, built cliff-top mansions influenced by the architecture they found on their exotic voyages.
Their 18th and 19th century homes were financed by the shipping and trading of the popular Santorini wine to Russia, Russian wheat to France and treasured French products onward to Mediterranean and Greek merchants.
Tomatoes, although not traded extensively abroad as the Santorini wines, were and still remain, unique by growing in the rich volcanic soil without rain. Receiving moisture only by the heavy night dew or morning fog.
Served fresh, sun dried or in the island’s traditional tomato fritters ‘tomato keftedes’, they have a powerful flavour despite their small size.
Constantly in view, the Santorini volcano’s several heads pop up from the Aegean Sea in the center of our crescent island. Black, and now thankfully silent, the volcano has dramatically shaped the land and sea here for thousands of years.
Oia and other locations on the island -
- Santorini Airport: 18 km / 25 minutes
- Santorini Port: 22 km / 35 minutes
- Ammoudi Beach: below the Oia castle ruins,
- 15 minutes by stone staircase path or 2 minutes by road
- Baxedes Beach: 1,5 km / 5 minutes
- Perivolos Beach : 30 km / 40 minutes
- Fira Town: 10 km / 15 minutes
Useful phone numbers -
- Santorini Health Center: +30-22863-60300
- Santorini Tourist Police: +30-22860-22649