Exploring Oia Village in Santorini

December 8, 2023

Undoubtebly one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen. It’s like stepping into a postcard, movie, travel calendar, or Pinterest moment. From exploring Oia village in Santorini and the surrounding areas I can’t wait to share these moments with you.

Santorini, known as Strongili many years ago, used to be a round island until the Minoan eruption occurred and left the island with a large caldera. If you stand on one end of the island it looks like a giant crescent and you are able to see all along the cliff edges where the Pinterest worthy, white buildings and blue domes stack one on top of another.

Where to Stay

Although Oia, Santorini is a must-see bucket list place on many travelers lists, it’s incredibly busy and touristy. I personally stayed in Imerovigli, a town just a short 25 minute drive away, and took a taxi to Oia. Unlike Oia, Imerovigli was a lot less crowded and offered views that were just as spectacular all while avoiding the crowds.

From Imerovigli you will be able to see the tip of Santorini, which is where Oia is located, and the entire cliff line will be illuminated by hotels and restaurants making for a spectacular view without having to be right in the center of Oia.

When to Visit

Traveling in mid May, the afternoons were sunny and warm however the water temperatures were too cold for comfortable swimming. Of course I swam anyway, who wouldn’t? But that being said for optimal swimming weather I recommend visiting July through September. Keep in mind July and August will be the peak of busy season.

If you are not staying directly in Oia then I recommend visiting first thing in the morning before sunrise. You can take a taxi to the Oia Post Office and from there it is only a short walk to the main streets. In addition it gave easy access to see all of the best areas without walking too far.

Clearly there is no doubt that Oia is known for its incredible sunrise locations. You will find people setting up their cameras well before sunrise to claim their spots and crowds will begin to grow as tourists come to watch. Come late morning/early afternoon more tourists will flood in from the cruise ships, making for an elbow to elbow experience in the streets. Exploring Oia Village in Santorini is definitely worth it if you don’t mind crowds.

Have you ever Pinterest searched Santorini? You will likely find photos of whitewashed buildings with blue domes, but you will also see this orange/peach home. This beautiful, Pinterest worthy home is only a few minutes walk from where you will arrive in the village.

Things to Do | Exploring Oia Village in Santorini

There is no doubt that Oia will never get boring. With tons of things to see, activities to do, dining, and relaxation, there is plenty for both day trip explorers or those staying in town. Things to do include:

  • Visit Ammoudi Bay – be sure to get a reservation at the Ammoudi Bay Fish Tavern
  • Explore the Castle
  • Visit the Church of Panagia
  • Shop the art galleries in town
  • Watch the sunrise/sunset
  • Go to the beach
  • Take a boat ride through the caldera
  • Enjoy a spa day
  • Walk the winding streets of Oia
  • Admire the windmills
Exploring Oia village of Santorini and dining at Melenio Pastry

In addition, my absolute favorite place for brunch was Melenio Pastry. Offering a wide selection of food, beverages, and an incredible view from the outdoor patio (pictured to the left) it is absolutely worth a visit.

    Exploring Oia Village of Santorini

    It should be noted one key thing I recommend is to bring plenty of cash. If you taxi into Oia they will not accept card transactions. ATM’s will be located nearby but always make sure you bring a good amount with you.

    Last but not least, I can’t say enough amazing things about this place and hope that your own journey exceeds your expectations. Please see below some additional images from my trip and click here to return back to my blog posts.

    The blue domes you see while Exploring Oia Village of Santorini
    the view of Ammoudi Bay while Exploring Oia Village of Santorini
    The view of the caldera while Exploring Oia Village of Santorini
    The Oia windmills seen while Exploring Oia Village of Santorini

    Email: dwp@dwpdaniellewilliamsphotography.com

    Website: daniellewilliamsphotography.com

    Danielle Oney

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    Meet your photographer & adventure bestie, Danielle

    Hey! I’m an adventurous, outdoorsy, and avid travel seeker who connects best with couples that aren’t afraid to go off-script, appreciate the candid moments, and who enjoy going with the flow. 

    With travel experience both stateside and internationally, I am thrilled at the idea of capturing your special story in a breathtaking location personalized just for you.