The scenery in Oia, Santorini, is incredible… Oia is one of the most photographed places in the world and is considered by many as the best place to watch the sunset in Santorini. However, Oia offers much more than a beautiful sunset! Santorini Island tours to breathtaking Oia are on every discerning traveler’s bucket list, and for good reason! Here is where you can witness old cave houses, blue-domed churches, exquisite restaurants and cafés, high-end shops and avant-garde galleries that make Oia unique and amazingly popular.
Shop for Memories that Last a Lifetime
Apart from being one of the most photogenic spots on Santorini, Oia is also one of the best places to shop. There is a plethora of upscale boutiques on its labyrinthine streets. Discover the local crafts and icons, silver and gold designer jewelry, high quality clothing and shoes and authentic Greek souvenirs. But most of all, Oia is known for its exclusive art galleries! They host leading names in the Greek contemporary art-world. On your next Snatorini Island tour, drop in to admire the unique pieces of art or shop for memories that last a lifetime!
Discover the Atlantis Books Bookshop
The most beautiful of the Santorini Island secrets are the places where the soul remains intact, away from the stunning views of the Caldera. Such is the Atlantis Books bookshop; a hidden corner that no one suspects unless one is literally "read”. This haven full of books is considered one of the best bookstores in the world. The Atlantis Books bookshop in Oia, Santorini, is a tiny underground cave on the main road of the village, among the shops with works of art, ornaments, souvenirs, coffee and food. It looks very strange and misplaced. Many people pass by it every summer, several notice it, others don’t. But what those on a Santorini Island tour who DO go down the stairs face is something totally unexpected. Above ground, the bookstore offers a patio with stunning views of the Aegean Sea.
Uncover Oia’s Charming Little Churches
Just about everyone has seen Oia’s iconic blue domed church nestled on the steep slope of the caldera on postcards or online. But what’s surprising is that such a small village would have so large a number of charming little churches. This is owed to the maritime life of its habitants who would build them in hope of the sailors’ safe return. They are devoted to various Saints and hold remarkable icons, carved iconostasis and altars and wonderful frescoes. Most are open to the public, so when on a Santorini Island tour, go inside to admire the outstanding iconography and other items of the Greek Orthodox religious art.
Churches in Oia Village
• Panaghia Platsani
• Saints Hephtapaides
• Saint Nikolaos Peramataris
• Saint Spyridon
• Zoodochos Pigi
Admire Oia’s Architectural Jewels
The picturesque village of Oia was restored with utter respect to its traditional style. Here you can admire Oia’s architectural jewels; the old cave houses, the captains’ residences and the white washed modern mansions that make Oia amazingly pretty. The inhabitants of Oia created the entire village by building their houses into the volcanic rock on the island’s cliffs. Most of the “yposkafos”, the common cave houses, are along the brow of the caldera. The sea captains’ multistoried houses were inspired by neoclassical architecture and have wonderful views to the sea. Other of Oia’s most recognizable buildings are the windmills. The windmills, which were initially used to grind wheat, have now been converted into luxury hotels and restaurants.
Relish Santorini’s World-Renowned Wines
No Santorini island tour to Oia is complete without a taste of Santorini’s world-renowned wines. Embark on a Santorini 5 Senses Wine Tour to 3 Awarded Wineries intended to reveal the secrets of Santorini’s exquisite wineries. Relish Santorini’s world-renowned wines at one of the restaurant or café terraces with a striking view over the Caldera! You will be overwhelmed!
Visit the Naval Maritime Museum
The Naval Maritime Museum is housed in a renovated 19th-century ‘captain’s house’ near the cliff-top in Oia. The historical village’s strong connection with the maritime life of the islanders can be seen through the various exhibits in this museum. It displays ancient nautical charts, seamen's chests, old maritime equipment, photographs and drawings, models of old and new Thiran vessels and many manuscripts and books. The Naval Maritime Museum is a must-visit when on an Akrotiri Excavations - Red Beach & Oia - The Splendor of Santorini tour!
Take in the Views from the Castle of Oia
The Castle of Oia, the Venetian castle dedicated to Saint Nicolas, is the most famous spot in Oia to watch the sunset on your Santorini Island tour! The castle dates back to the late 15th century when it served as an observation point with a complete 360° view of the sea. Most visitors gather here before the sunset preparing their cameras as they wait for the sun to start bowing towards the sea in a palette of colors. For those on the Highlights of Santorini – The Black Pearl of the Aegean tour who prefer less crowds, take in the views from the Castle of Oia any other time of the day, but be sure not to miss it! From here, you may walk a bit further down the path to the windmills.
Remember, Oia is much more than a beautiful sunset. Oia is every traveler’s dream come true! So, when contemplating which Greek Islands to visit, the Cyclades or the Ionian Islands, keep Oia, Santorini island tours always on your mind!