Oia is one of Santorini’s smallest towns, but is easily the most popular. It’s best known for its sunsets and caldera views; most of Santorini’s postcard photos are shot from a viewpoint in Oia. The town is a popular stop for cruise ships and island-hopping tours so it’s often flooded with visitors during the day, but in the evening the daytrippers disappear, leaving overnight guests free to enjoy the peace and quiet.
Most people come to Oia just to enjoy the scenery; the whitewashed houses, cobbled streets and blue-domed churches make it one of the most beautiful spots in Greece. The town has a great vantage point on top of a cliff, offering panoramic views of the caldera and the volcano of Palia. Oia’s a great place for wandering the streets, browsing craft shops and ducking your head into the numerous little art galleries.
People come to Oia for sunsets and scenery rather than sea and sand, but Oia does have two black sand beaches for those who want some beach time. You’ll have to tackle 200 steps to reach Ammoudi beach, but the views of white houses perched on red cliffs above the beach are worth the trek. If that’s too far to go for a swim, book a hotel with its own private pool overlooking the caldera.
Getting a table at a restaurant with a view is the best way to enjoy the sunset without having to endure the crowds. These restaurants do tend to charge more for their view, but it can be worth it and the food is delicious. Santorini also has many wineries – it’s easy to book a tour and visit a few in a day, getting plenty of tastings along the way!