Village Oia Santorini Island Greece
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Santorini Villages / Oia - also Ia

Oia Village :
The Inhabitants call "apano meria" which means something like "The Place on Top of the World"

Blue Domed Churches of Santorini - Tholos Area
Oia Caldera at Sunrise
Photo : Lukas Novak

Welcome to Oia

Oia is a traditional settlement in the north of Santorini. It is also known as 'Apano Meria' or 'Anomeria' and the inhabitants are called 'Apanomerites'. The village is approximately 150 meters above sea level. Oia was severely damaged in the 1956 earthquake and much work has been involved to implement its restoration.

The Community of Oia consists of following settlements: Oia village, Finikia, Kolumbo, Baxedes and Paradisos to the east and Tholos to the west. Tholos is the second farming village of Apano Meria (Oia). Also included are the bays of Ammoudi and Armeni. The island of Thirassia comes under the jurisdiction of the Community of Oia.

The beauty of Oia is unsurpassed. In fact, it is almost impossible to describe in words. Small white houses tier the hillside, interspersed by splashes of rich okra, deep fuchsia, cobalt blue, oyster pink and earthy red. Smooth winding paths interconnect, interrupted now and then by a small church, and at every corner there is something new to discover.

Oia is one of the most photographed places in Greece, if not the world. It has inspired artists, poets and every visitor who visits Santorini. Oia is best known for breathtaking sunsets; if truth be told, sunrise in Oia is also magical.

The Endless Blue of the Aegean from Cave House Settlements


In Oia there are two types of dwellings, the cave houses dug into the volcanic rock on the Caldera cliffs, and the Captains houses. The cave houses used to be the homes of ship crews, whereas the Captains houses belonged to the affluent class of ship owners. Many of the churches in Oia were dedicated to sailors.

Church of Panagia of Platsani Oia Caldera Square

Ammoudi port can be reached by car (you have to circle round the bottom road of Oia village), by walking down the 235 steps, or by catching a ride on the back of a mule. At the bottom is a small harbour with fishing boats, waterfront taverns and restaurants, and a path that leads you around the base of the mountain to an excellent diving area. It was from Ammoudi that they used to load ships with two centuries ago. Sea trading was a way of life. Theran pumice and wine were exported, while imports included porcelain, timber and silverware, fabrics, furniture, perfumes, food supplies and hardware.

Ammoudi Port


Armeni port is smaller than Ammoudi. It was also used for wine trading. To get there you can catch a boat departing from Ammoudi, or walk down 291 steps to the quiet harbour below. Mules rides are also available. There is a tavern to have a quiet meal.

Between Ammoudi and Armeni is 'Armenaki'. Climbing down is hard work. You can swim, but for the moment there are no shops or restaurants.

Places of Historical Interest

There is a Naval Museum housed in a 19th century Captain’s Mansion, that illustrates the island’s maritime history. One can also visit the Castle of Oia, a famous sunset spot.

Distances Fira town : 11 kilometers
History Oia Kasteli - one of the 5 fortified castles of Santorini
Wineries Sigalas Estate
Services ATMS, post office, shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes
Buses Buses from Fira travelling north to Oia pass by Firostefani and Imerovigli. Oia has a bus terminal in the main square below the Caldera.

See more : Oia - Finikia Hotels
See more : Oia Castle
See more : Naval Maritime Museum
See more : Beaches on the North Coast
See more : Beaches on the North East Coast

Oia Settlement stands high above Ammoudi Port

'H Pano Meria tou Kosmou' : A Book by Kadio Sigala

The Northern Plains of Santorini - Baxedes


Santorini Villages / Oia :
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