Santorini Island, is a delicious combination of volcanic cliffs, bright bougainvillea in bloom, and sparkling white clifftop cave-style houses with blue rooftops, against the turquoise of the Mediterranean and surely Oia is the very symbol of Santorini, and the most photographed destination on the island, maybe in Greece.
But Santorini has a lot more to offer ...
Here are the things we think you should do during your stay, to make your experience truly memorable:
See the famous Sunset and luckily Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, offers a perfect location for watching the sunset: right next to the famous cliffs of the Sunset Seranade point. So you can take in the spectacular colors and the breeze without leaving our premises, secluded from the tourist crowds. Many tourists prefer the vantage point at the Castle of Oia to see the sunset.
Hike from Oia to Fira. It may not be as spectacular as Oia, but Fira has its special charm too – and it is also the capital of the island. The path is not marked, but it is pretty obvious: just follow the edge of the caldera and walk south. It may take you up to five hours to reach Fira if you don’t rush your pace, so leave early if you don’t want to spend the night there. The views along the way are glorious, so don’t forget your camera.
Explore Oia’s Stairways and Hidden Paths, Oia is never boring: just explore its pathways to discover something rewarding every time, including see-for-miles viewpoints with out-of-this-world vistas.
Take a Sailing Tour Across the Caldera. There are several boats and catamarans offering tours on the caldera from the Ammoudi Bay. It’s a romantic experience if you visit Oia as a couple, but it can also be a fun experience when you are joined by cheerful friends. You will see Santorini’s finest: the volcano, the hot springs, the lighthouse, the Indian Rock, the beaches, Mesa Pigadia, and much more. The sunset cruises with dinner offered by Santorini Sailing are the most popular.
Go for a Swim in the Ammoudi Bay : This is one of the most famous spots for swimming in Santorini, mainly favored by adrenaline junkies, who like to take a plunge from the massive boulder in the waters of the Ammoudi Bay.
Shopping for Local Crafts : It would be a pity to leave Oia without a souvenir, and while many shops cater to the general crowds, offering overpriced trinkets, there are also many stores selling gorgeous pottery, and local crafts. Explore Oia enough to find them.
Visit Oia’s Charming Churches : For a few moments of hard-earned downtime, step inside one of Oia’s beautiful little churches. They are peaceful most of the times, except for when a traditional “panigyri” (village party) is organized, with food and drinks, and welcoming smiles for foreigners who want to join. But even if you don’t catch a “panigyri”, go to admire outstanding, valuable iconography and other objects of Greek Orthodox religious art.
Sunbathe at Baxedes Beach : Baxedes is a quiet black pebbly beach, just 3 km away from Oia. It is peaceful and less touristy than others, and close to other, more popular beaches, like Paradise or Cape Columbo. This is the beach to experience what Oia used to be before the tourist invasion.
Taste Local Wines : What would your stay in Oia be without the delicate taste of local wines? You can always book a wine tasting tour, or visit Domaine Sigalas on Oia’s Baxedes plain for wine tastings with views of Santorini’s amazing sunsets.
Imerovigli is the next village after Fira & Firostefani on the famous Santorini caldera. The name of this village belongs to the days of the pirates : vigla (Latin = vigilare = To Guard or to Act as a Look Out, imera (Greek) = day. Imerovigli has been declared a Traditional Settlement, and special rules and regulations have been enforced regarding building development. Its position at the highest, most central part of the caldera gave it visual command of the whole area. It also derived importance from its proximity to Skaros Fortress. The Church of the Panagia Malteza has a marvellous carved wooden screen with icons depicting scenes from the Old Testament. There is a path from Imerovigli caldera walkway to Skaros Rock and the Chapel of Panagia Theoskepasti. It is only 20-30 minutes' walk from the crowds of Imerovigli, but feels a world away. The name, which means "covered by God", comes from a story about a huge rockfall which crashed down all around the chapel but left the building (and the faithful few within it) unharmed, as if protected by an invisible shield. You can walk back the same way, or (slightly tougher) go straight up from there to the ruined Venetian castle atop Skaros rock.
Imerovigli has views of the volcano, stunning sunsets and tranquility. There is a main square which leads up to the Caldera and the traditional hillside cave settlements. If you continue on the road to Oia, the lower plains of Imerovigli also have wonderful sunset east coast views. The largest part of Imerovigli was destroyed in the 1956 volcano eruption. Some of the population perished, while others moved away to the mainland.
A visit to Santorini opens doors to a rich bouquet of experiences, as the island reveals its amazing treasures and invites you to indulge into a true culinary and romantic paradise.
Explore it by rental car or with a private guide tour and visit the cosmopolitan towns of Santorini for culinary and shopping experiences or seek some more peaceful villages surrounded by vineyards to indulge your senses. Escape to the south part of the island and enjoy deep blue waters and beaches with red or black sand and amazing volcanic formations.
If you are passionate with trekking the paths Fira – Ia and Kamari – Perissa offer unique occasions for exercise and photo shooting.
We invite you to embark on a cruise on the Aegean Sea to witness the exceptional beauty of Santorini, hidden treasures, the magnificent Caldera and the brightest sunsets. Cruises (private or group) are also available to nearby islands (Ios, Mykonos,etc).
Or maybe you would like to wander through the winding cobbled street of Oia, with its photogenic chapels and sea-views. Oia is a traditional settlement and 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 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.
Visit the Maritime Museum in Oia In Oia, an 19th century mansion has been restored and converted into a museum that houses the Maritime History of Thira. Rare figureheads, Seamens' Chests, old maritime equipment, careening drawings and patterns, models of old and new Thiran ships, acquarelles featuring old sailing vessels as well as rare photographs and a library, all register year by year the contribution of the Thirans to the glorious history of the Hellenic Navy. Oia reached the peak of prosperity in the late 19th & early 20th century. Its economic prosperity was based on its merchant fleet which plied trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially from Alexandria to Russia.
In Oia you will find the Traditional Weaving Mill too. Oia Santorini has always been revered for bringing the traditional Greek weaving mill into the 21st century. Having been home and representative to the weaving technique for 22 years, the past four years have also elicited support from the Communal Development Office of Oia. From rugs to patchwork, blankets, cushions and much more, women from Oia use traditional looms to keep alive their heritage.
Museum of Ancient Greek, Byzantine and Postbyzantine Musical Instruments, Oia Santorini Museum of Musical Instruments: The Museum of Ancient, Byzantine and post-Byzantine musical instruments is housed in the old Community building of Oia Santorini, a characteristic and central spot of the village. The museum, which contains the personal collection of Mr Halaris, a prominent musician, was recently inaugurated in October 2011 and is the result of dedicated research and the building up of each carefully sourced item over many years. This interesting collection includes musical instruments that date from 2,800 B.C. up to the early 20th century. It shows the effort of the Mr Halaris to preserve music as part of an ever-changing civilization. The reconstruction of some musical instruments was done with the contribution of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. The categorization of the exhibits was made according to their date and kind. A visit to the museum is possible upon request.
Hike along the caldera rim to Fira: 3-4 hours of non-stop drops to the sparkling, cliff-ringed sea.
Explore the Paths, Alleys, and Stairwells of Fira, Firostefani, and Imerovigli. This is similar to the hike from Fira to Oia but instead of staying on the foot path you need to descend, wander, and explore.
See the Museum of Prehistoric Thira located in Fira, this place is host to a mass collection of artifacts that were found in the ruins of Akrotiri. There are a ton of pots and pottery to see, but the highlight is the frescoes of the blue monkeys. Interestingly enough, there is no evidence of monkeys ever having lived on this island.
Walk down to its tiny, cliffside fishing port Amoudi - for a swim, meal or boat trip. Ammoudi is one of the best swimming spots on Santorini. Take the path that leads south from the restaurants in the port ... yes do it. 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
Perissa beach is the best swimming beach on Santorini and has the nicest sand. Good restaurants are spread along the beach front. Perissa is about a 30 minute drive from Fira and 45 minutes from Oia.
Go to Red Beach – This beautiful beach on Santorini Island has a red volcanic cliff worth visiting. There is also a black sand beach on the south eastern side of the island.
Take a boat across to the lava islands in the middle of the caldera, which are still smoking with sulphu. The island in the middle of caldera is Nea Kameni and where you’ll find the most active volcano on Santorini. The crater is 130 meters up and takes about 20 minutes to walk to. Sulfur vents are found along the way. The only way to get here is by doing a volcano boat tour or hiring a chartered boat.
The Caldera, seen from a boat is a source of wonderment a way to enjoy the changing shapes and colors of the marine landscape as you float on the water. A boat trip around the Caldera lake is a magnificent way to spend a superb morning or afternoon. The views from the sea are just breathtaking. Enjoy some hidden coves for a refreshing swim, or just enjoy the scenery and the magical feeling of this unusual place. Check out the picturesque little ports and the boat houses carved into the crater wall by the water, to get a feeling of the old days.
Visit the wonderfully preserved (pre-eruption) ruins of Minoan Akrotiri. See the village left behind after the devastating volcanic eruption that made the island uninhabitable. The site is very well done and I highly recommend getting a guide to show about the site and discuss the history of the island..
Go windsurfing or water-skiing at Perissa, or diving at Akrotiri.
Visit the Akrotiri Lighthouse – At the southern end of Santorini, close to Akrotiri, lies the lighthouse. It’s used by the Greek Navy, which means you’re not allowed to enter it, but it does make for a good photo opportunity. Go horse-riding along the black-sand beaches near Exo Gonia. This is a popular activity with couples and families. You can ride around the hills of the island or along the beaches. It makes for a good afternoon activity and if horses aren’t your thing, you can always ride a donkey.
Visit a Winery. Santorini has a lot of great wineries. The fertile land is perfect for growing grapes. There are winery tours through the island and they last about half a day. The climate and geological uniqueness of the island has contributed to the creation of a vineyard with specific characteristics. Asyrtico and Mavrotragano are two indigenous varieties, whose cultivation goes deep in time, can be found in abundance on this small Cycladic island.
Visit the Wine Museum, Vothonas. The Wine Museum is an extraordinary natural cave, 6 meters below ground and 300 meters long. It presents the history and life of wine from 1660 to 1970. The Wine Museum of Santorini along with Koutsogiannopoulos winery that produces Volcan Wines, and the vineyards are situated in the area of Vothonas, on the way to Kamari beach. A small family business, established in 1880 from brothers Gregory and Dimitris Koutsogiannopoulos, four generations later, George Koutsogiannopoulos is the new owner.
Visit Emporio village in the heart of the island of Santorini and very close to the beaches of Perivolos and Perissa. Take a stroll through the streets of the most well preserved Kasteli (Castle City) of Santorini, admire the tall steeples of churches and take unique photographs. It is also worth visiting the church of Panagia Mesiani, the second most important church of the island. It is dedicated to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary and has a lovely wooden temple (to visit the church please call 6977260048).
Explore more about Santorini : Santorini Guide
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|Type:||Mid-Size Hotels||Architecture & style :|
|Pool:||Yes||Marvelous view :|
|Dining:||Yes||Quality of service :|
|Children:||Welcome||Young Couples :|
|Closed:||November to March||Food :|