Oia!

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.

iconic Santorini, Oia

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.

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iconic Santorini, Oia

 

iconic Santorini, Oia

 

And just look at that view…

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Oia, Santorini

 

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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Travel Planning Resources


Travel clothes for women

Check out my guide to all my favourite travel clothes for women.

Book your hotel

Agoda is my preferred hotel search engine. I also use Airbnb ($31 discount) for booking rooms/apartments.

Rent a car

Discover Car Hire is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local and international rental companies.

Book an experience

When I’m travelling solo, especially to a new city, I use Viator and Get Your Guide to book tours and excursions, in particular, food walking tours or to visit somewhere tricky to get to by public transport.

Protect yourself and your trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! Protect yourself from possible injury, theft, and many other unexpected mishaps while abroad. World Nomads provides travel insurance to travellers from over 140 countries.  
 

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