Although a tourist spot, Oia remains an exceptionally artistic, hardly touched site; it is the part of the island least affected by tourism. A model of architecture, finesse and charm, Oia has its own fanatic followers: those who know how to appreciate what is different and unique!
Oia lies at the northermost part of the island, 11 km northwest of Fira, at an altitude of about 121 metres.
The residential complex of Oia was the first one in Greece to be listed as an architectural monument (in 1976 by EOT/ Hellenic Tourism Organisation); it was integrated into the Programme for the Development of Traditional Hamlets. Oia is divided into two sections by a central road (Nomikos Street): one faces the Caldera and the cliff and it is where the yposkafa residences are, while the other contains “conventional residences”, the so-called kapetanospita (Captains’ Homes). The yposkafa are carved in the volcanic rocks and used to be where ship crew members lived. On the other hand, kapetanospita used to be ship owners’ homes; in other words, they belonged to middle-class members. The morphology of yposkafa was determined by local materials and the use they were put to. Today Oia Community includes: Oia, Finikia, Tholo, Armeni (small bay), Ammoudi (small port), Mavri Petra (Paradisos), Koloumpo and the islet of Thirasia.
Quiet yet cosmopolitan, Oia is chosen by those who seek serenity, calmness and luxury in their holidays. This is why here are some of the best places to stay on the island, as well as luxurious restaurants, exquisite galleries and a wide range of shops. We have wandered around its alleys, chatted with its people and share with you all those features that make it stand out!
Read more in our special article for Oia Village in Santorini