Oia, Santorini, Greece

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The day arrived! Our boat anchored off the coast of the island group known as Santorini!
Considering the towns are cliff hugging villages with loads of stairs, we decided to go sans kids one last time. Chris and I headed down and took a tender to shore. 
Santorini is one of the Mediterranean's most dramatic islands: a flooded collapsed volcanic crater with a long, steep arc of cliffs thrusting up a thousand feet above sea level. Sometimes called "The Devil's Isle," this unique place has captured visitors' imaginations for millennia and might have inspired the tales of Atlantis. Perched along the ridge line is a gaggle of perfectly placed white-washed villages punctuated by bright blue domes. 
Clearly, this is one of Greece's most scenic spots and it was a dream come true to visit.
The largest island of the caldera is Thira with two main towns: Fira and Oia. Oia is the place you imagine when you think "Santorini" and that was our first stop. It took a loooooong time to get here (tender to the shore near Fira from the cruise line, then a water taxi over to the port by Oia, then a bus up to the back side of the village, and finally a walk to the heart of town), but man alive was it worth it!
Not every building is whitewashed. :)

Pops of color around town.
Oia, pronounced "EE-ah," is perfectly positioned to enjoy the famous sunset. But, the city wasn't always this alluring. In fact, fifty years ago it was in ruins after it was devastated by an earthquake in 1956. While rebuilding, the locals seized the opportunity to make their town picture-perfect and it paid off.

The main sight is simply the town itself.
Why all the whitewash? For one thing, it reflects the powerful heat of the Greek sun. Also, white is the natural color of the mineral lime mixed with water which makes a good antiseptic. Locals painted their houses with this to naturally disinfect the rainwater that collected on rooftops. And later, white turned into a patriotic choice since during the Ottoman rule, Greeks were not allowed to fly their famous blue and white flag. Oia, with its white houses and blue domes, sky, and water was like one big Greek flag.
There are secret doors and paths winding every which way on this cliffside.
Chris and I decided that we are going to come back and stay at one of these swanky hotels, preferably one with our own private pool or hot tub to lounge in as we watch the sunrise/set.
Damage from the earthquake? Most likely an old structure being torn down for a new hip boutique hotel.
Views every which way!
The town is effectively traffic free, except for the main road that runs on the back flat side of the cliff.

I don't think I ever turned off my camera the whole time we were exploring. In fact, the battery died and I used my phone at the end!

Windmills + white washed homes + Greek flag waving = HEAVEN!

I loved the colors. It wasn't just whitewashed buildings. Some were different shades of white while others were yellow, pink, red, and more.
A quick vid.
Me in my new favorite place.

Give me all the colors!

I'd say an open gate meant they wanted us to come down and join them for a swim and some cold beverages. 
Colorful door.
Yes. This is a real place!
Insert "E" here.
Oia is far from undiscovered, but there are narrow, winding lanes where you can have it all to yourself.
But, even as you're bustling along with a load of other people, you just don't mind.


Rick said, "If you can't snap a postcard-quality photo here, it's time to retire your camera." Lol.
But it's true. I think you could close your eyes, spin around, and randomly snap a picture and you'd undoubtedly have captured something beautiful.
Store with the ultimate view.
Colorful details.
What an awesome little front courtyard.
How did they build these places?!

I saw this shot on Pinterest and found it.

A golden Orthodox church.
Looking towards the far southern end of Oia. It definitely reminded me of some of the hill towns we visited in Spain.
What can you say? These pictures can't even fully capture the magic of this place.
Santorini is one of the few places in Greece where the population isn't aging on average since tourism has made the island wealthy. Locals don't have to move away to find satisfying and well-paying jobs since people come here from all over world to shop, eat, relax, and spend.
We stopped at a cafe (since we liked the view) and got some little treats. Ice cream for me and some Greek vanilla creme pastry for Chris.

After I worked up a hunger with my happy trigger finger snapping hundreds of photos, we stopped for a more substantial lunch, a delicious gyro to go.
THE Santorini view. Chris found it for me. He's a keeper. :)
Chris & Paige in Oia, Santorini, Greece on Monday August 29th 2016.
 Definitely one of the top 10 best days of my life! With my dream guy in my dream place.
Next - sister city to Oia and on the same island of Thira in Santorini: Fira! (Say that 10 times fast!)


  1. Wow wow wowwwwwwwwwww! What a BEAUTIFUL place!!!!!!!! LOVING all the photos ... just WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Fabulous photos! Love the beauty of Santorini and you had perfect weather for your date day with hubs.


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