Santorini and the Gorgeous Village of Oia – April 2015

When you fall in love, you can become a little obsessed.  You think about the object of your affection, you daydream about it, and you count the days until you can be together again.  That’s how it was for me…and Santorini.  As I shared before, it was Love at First Sight!  How can I resist thinking or talking about it?  As a result, you’ll probably see a few more posts on this destination before I am willing or able to move on.  Today I wanted to share my love for the village of Oia.

Oia (pronounced ee-yah) is on the northern part of the island, about a 45 minute car ride away from the ferry port.  Not only does it have the most stunning views, but it also offers a picturesque village with quaint cobblestone pathways that twist in and out throughout the town.  It’s an absolutely amazing town to get lost in, with stairs and maze-like paths leading up, down, and in every direction.  You never know what you’ll stumble upon and exploring every inch was half the fun.  We discovered restaurants, hidden galleries, jewelry shops, book stores, little pastry shops, and so much more.

The other half of the fun was planting myself with Ryan and the kids in a different spot each evening, and leisurely watching every single sunset!  But more on that below.

Oia is a fantastic choice if you want a beautiful village, stunning views, and friendly people.  It is, however, a bit pricier than nearby Fira, and a bit further away from both ferry and airport, so keep that in mind.  But…the views alone are worth its weight in gold.

If you choose not to stay in Oia, however, make sure to visit this village and plan to spend the whole day.  There are so many hidden nooks and cozy spots to explore, as well as delicious (though somewhat pricey) restaurants overlooking the caldera and treating you to fantastic views.

Take a peek at the adorable book store below; I wouldn’t have minded lingering and browsing a bit longer. And with such colorful, unique boutiques and markets, we were regretting our self-inflicted yet necessarily strict restrictions on souvenir buying!

Tons of small, beautiful details are scattered throughout Oia and the island that add to the charm of this beautiful island.  Yes, I actually used the word “charm” but honestly, it just fit.  The windmill is particularly beautiful at sunset, with the orange and purple hues glowing in the background.

Oia also has the most stunning sunsets over the caldera almost every evening and surprisingly, each sunset experience is completely different.  Plan your evening around these sunsets, because they truly are magnificent. We would either find a restaurant overlooking the caldera prior to sunset so we could enjoy our meal while watching the sun dip down, or if shopping, we would plant ourselves in an open spot as the sun got ready to descend.

As for accommodations, we opted to go the Airbnb route, as we wanted an extended stay with separate rooms, living space, a kitchen, and a washer/dryer.  The place we found was adorable and just north of Oia, a short walking distance away.

This villa offered three bedrooms.  Ryan and I shared the dome-shaped loft at the top of the stairs, overlooking the living room.  It was bright, airy, and cute.  We had a small narrow living room and bathroom on the main floor, and the downstairs opened up into another living space with two bedrooms, a little living room area and kitchen.  Though small, the villa was immaculate, constructed with quality materials, and decorated really well.  We’d love to stay again and hopefully one day we will be able to return!  Thank you, Oia, for a very memorable stay.

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