An insider’s guide to the top 10 things to do in Oia, including visiting the iconic blue-crowned chapels, dining at the best coastal taverns and, of course, witnessing the most stunning sunset of your lifetime!
Watch the legendary sunset at Oia Castle
Santorni is one of the most photographed sunset spots on earth and for good reason. When the warm light hits the white-washed buildings, the city vibrates with a golden glow. Marvel at the hypnotic views of the caldera at the Oia Castle Ruins, the most popular vantage point of the island.
Admire the blue-domed chapels
With hundreds of chapels, churches and monasteries dotted all around the island, featuring white washed walls and distinguishing blue domes, it is no wonder that visitors find Santorini so alluring. The most sought-after chapels are Agios Spyridon and Anastasi which can be easily reached on foot.
Visit Panagia Platsani, the main church of Oia
Located in the heart of the island, Panagia Platsani is a hard to miss attraction not only for its easy access but also for its stunning beauty. The church was originally located withing the walls of the Oia Castle, but after the ‘56 earthquake it was rebuilt on the main square of the capital.
Find the four bells of Oia
The four bells of Agia Ekaterini with the Greek flag and the stunning views of the open sea in the distance are magic. They are a classic examples of Cycladic architecture at its best. You can spot the bells by walking towards the windmills of Oia.
Dine and wine by the sea at Amoudi Bay
Nothing says island vacation like having lunch or dinner at a panoramic coastal tavern overlooking the sea. Savour authentic Greek flavours at Sunset Tavern, one of the oldest and most famous seafood restaurants of the island. With a hearty plate of delicious lobster spaghetti, you can never go wrong.
Find your next summer read at Atlantis bookstore
Tucked on the main marble street of Oia, Atlantis bookstore has a well-deserved spot on the list of the world’s most atmospheric bookstores. Their selection mostly includes English classics but young readers can also find a wide selection of engaging and colorful story books.
Set on a panoramic hike
There are many scenic walking routes crisscrossing the island, but the most spectacular itinerary of all is undoubtedly the Oia-Fira trail. The laid-back 10 km hike will take you along the rim of the caldera while passing through quiant, sugar-cube villages such as Imerovigli and Firostefani.
The ultimate way to sample the curiosities of the island’s versatile shoreline is to hop on a Santorini sailing cruise. Excursion boats set out from Ammoudi, the tiny port of Oia, for the volcano islets of Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni as well as the submarine hot springs. Alternatively, you can also book a romantic sunset cruise to add to the experience.
Visit the art galleries
Oia is an exciting and refreshing destination for art lovers who will find art galleries galore in the city. They showcase contemporary art from local and cosmopolitan artists, alternating between established talents and fledging names. Multiple genres and styles are exhibited here from painting and sculptures to colorful abstract art.
Walk around the panoramic maze of alleys
Simply strolling around the bougaivillea-adorned streets is one of the purest pleasures you can enjoy on the island. There are few places on earth as breathtaking as Oia; walking the maze of its cobbled paths and getting lost along the way is priceless.