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Santorini is a rather small island; however, even here each village has its own unique beauty. Oia is definitely a scenic village. It’s most important trait is its location on the caldera — the whole village lies along the Northern edge of the caldera 70 to 100 metres above sea level. Te views from up there are magnificent! The combination of the whitewashed buildings and the Mediterranean sunset is something one of a kind. Many of the houses of the village are actually built into niches of the caldera, so the village itself is actually so close to the caldera, that it is a part of it.
The idyllic traditional white buildings are built rather chaotically, and this is a part of the charm of this small village — there are narrow streets and pathways between the dwellings which are interwoven with the beautiful small chapels with blue domes typical to the region. The location is such that the daylight sun shines longer in Oia than in Fira. On top of the village lie the ruins of the castle that was the seat of the Argyri family at the time when the island was part of the Venetian Republic (sometimes referred to as Fort Londsa). It offers a really stunning 360 degree view, be sure to go there if you’re in town! Other recognisable buildings include the old windmill, which appears on postcards etc. very often, and the numerous restored churches (Panagia church might be the most recognisable) as well as the grand captains houses from the 1800’s.
Oia is a part of Santorini and yet it has its own vibe and characteristic traits. I really recommend spending a night there, even if you’re staying in one of the other villages. The island of Santorini has many gems and Oia is definitely one of them.

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Santorini photographer Anna Sulte 2015.


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