Justin Foulkes


Perched on the northern tip of the island, this once centre of trade in antiquity now reflects the renaissance of Santorini after the devastating earthquake of 1956. Restoration work has restored the beauty overwhelmingly enjoyed by visitors, though signs imploring visitors to be quiet and respectful remind you that for some, Oia is home year-round and a functioning village. You will struggle to find a more stunning spot in the Cyclades. Built on a steep slope of the caldera, many of its dwellings nestle in niches hewn into the volcanic rock.

Not surprisingly, Oia draws enormous numbers of tourists, and overcrowding is the price it pays for its good looks. Try to visit in the morning or spend the night here; afternoons and evenings often bring busloads from the cruise ships moored in the bay. At sunset the town feels like a magnet for every traveller on the island.

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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Oia.


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