No, not a shout for attention but a stunningly beautiful, white-washed village in Santorini (pronounced something like ‘here’ but without the h). It’s a place that you will have seen photographed a thousand times and it is the reason I have wanted to go to Santorini for a very long time, although I didn’t even know it.
In fact, I had never actually heard of Oia. I had seen images of white-washed houses, marble-paved alleyways and blue domed churches, many, many times before, not realising that most of these beguiling images were probably taken in just this one village. While there are many lovely places on Santorini, none of them is quite like Oia. And it is for this reason that it is packed full of tourists, even in October when I recently visited.
I have yearned to go there, to see it for myself, walk along those marble pavements and of course, photograph it for so long.
And when I finally made it to the island of Santorini and the village of Oia, it didn’t disappoint me, despite the crowds that kept getting in the way of my viewfinder and no doubt, I in theirs. I loved it.
Bright, white and brazenly luxuriant, in the still sizzling, October sunshine. Oia shouts for attention. The iconic image of Santorini. If you want to stay in Oia it really is overpriced and there are many lovely villages to pick from beyond Oia. Each one has its own charm and a smaller price tag so well worth considering when you are deciding where to stay in Santorini.
And just look at that view…
Oia. Beautiful without doubt. But is it the real Santorini?
I’d have to say no. It’s a highly polished, shiny version of Santorini. Yes, I loved it but I also wanted to discover another Santorini. I’m pleased to say it is there and I think I found it, or at least glimpsed it. Check out my post Hiking to the hidden cave village of Akrilia, to see a very different side of Santorini.
Want to know more about things to do in Santorini? Read Top 15 Things to See, Do and Eat on Santorini.
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Do you have suggestions on where to stay in Oia? We are going in August and all the villas we’ve looked at are booked up or either ridiculously expensive. The ones we’ve looked at are:
Thanks in advance!
I’m afraid i can’t really help. I’ve never stayed in Oia. Nearby Imerovigli, I believe is just as lovely and has the same stunning sunsets but I imagine everything on the island is pretty booked up by now for August, which I suspect is also the most expensive time to go. We stayed on the other side of the island in October, much more reasonable and we foudn it easy to get around on the bus.
Thanks for the response, Kat. We’ll look to Imerovigili. I like the suggestion, and maybe we can find availability.
Hope yo find what you are looking for and have a fabulous time.
The colours of Oia are so beautiful, what a photogenic place!
Lovely pictures of Santorini. It is a special place but let me recommend nearby Naxos and Paros as less busy and touristy!
Thanks Andrew, I’d love to visit them one day.
Oia and even more so, Fira were very busy indeed. Kamari, where we were staying, wasn’t too bad but it was very touristy.
I also visited Pyrgos (not too busy and only touristy in places) and the island of Thirassia. The later couldn’t have been less touristy and we barely saw anyone, tourist or local, for most of the time we were there.
Seriously one of my favourite places in the world. Looking at my photos from Santorini never fails to make me smile 🙂
I had a bit of a love affair with the Greek Islands a long time ago. Time to re-ignite! Santorini looks to be beautiful and I can’t wait to see the more rustic side that you explored too.
Santorini must be the most perfect spot for photography. I could hardly believe it when my photos turned out exactly the same as those of professionals. Beautiful shots Kat 🙂
Oh it is Pam and I’m eager to see yours too so I’m off to visit your site right now.
Thanks Kat and pleased to see you found my photos. I’ve read a few posts in the last couple of days on the Greek islands – maybe we need to organise a bloggers meet up on one of them 🙂
Now that really would be fun! Lovely pics by the way.
Absolutely amazing!! I love the white and blue colors :-). You captures the scenery perfectly, so romantic!
Thanks Agness. I’m already longing to go back there.