Picture Perfect Oia
If you’ve ever seen a postcard or random Pinterest image of Santorini, there’s a 90% chance that it’s a picture of Santorini’s most famous village, Oia.
Yup, it’s that place with the blue-domed churches! It’s apparently also the place where the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was filmed, although I’ve uh… yet to watch that movie… *hides*
Pronounced EE-ah (instead of OI-ah), this village is where hordes of people come to watch the sunset every day, and I mean hordes – I remember reading a tip on Tripadvisor or something recommending staking out a spot at 4.30 pm (!!) just so you can get the best view of the sunset there. Like whoa, seriously.
I’d always wondered why the buildings on Santorini were all painted white and blue – according to Wikipedia, the explanation given was that it was a defiant response to the Greeks not being allowed to fly their (white and blue) flag during the Ottoman rule of Greece, which lasted for over 400 years. So badass!
Apart from general Greek badassery, the other reason Oia is so picturesque is because it seems to lack the telephone poles that criss-cross all over the other villages. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you try and take photos there yourself… trust me.
All the villages on Santorini are basically a maze of buildings on slopes, and Oia is a great example of that. You could easily spend a whole day there exploring all of the narrow alleyways, and nooks and crannies in the village.
Amen for colours 🙂
I think one of the things that makes Santorini so fascinating is definitely its cliffs. You’ll never forget the first time you see the sweeping views of the caldera for yourself 🙂
I mean, sure, everybody loves islands, but how many islands do you know that will let you feel like you’re having breakfast suspended in midair like this?
The property doorways were also an endless source of fascination for me – it seems really random to have a door with nothing else behind it, but you just gotta keep reminding yourself that the building is about 10 ft downstairs 😛
One of my favourite memories of Oia is of a family I met when I went down to Ammoudi Bay, a gorgeous bay about 200 steps down from the ruins of the Oia castle 🙂
Ammoudi Bay is known for the row of tavernas right by the water’s edge, famous for being the best fish restaurants on the island. They’re not open all year round though (as is the case with most of the island anyway), because bad winter/spring weather brings strong waves that crash on the harbour, and flood all the tavernas.
The restaurants were indeed still closed for the season, so I just walked along the path past the restaurants to grab a few photos.
As I was walking back though, someone from one of the restaurants I’d passed called out to me and asked me to join them, and I’m so glad I did!
Meet Joy, Atropoulos (uh spelling?) and Dimitris… who’s not in the picture because he’s taking this picture of us. The fat cat skulking under the table on the bottom left is Madonna Junior (Senior wasn’t around, I asked). They’re the owners of the most famous of the tavernas of Ammoudi, Dimitris Taverna!
Boy, has Joy she lived the ultimate travel dream. I noticed that her accent was decidedly un-Greek-like, and over a cup of espresso, she started telling me about how she’d left her hometown of Vancouver, Canada on a holiday to Santorini with a friend, and she stayed while her friend returned. You guessed it – love was the reason 😛 She fell in love with Dimitris, stayed for him, and has been there ever since! What a trip, huh?
Madonna Junior wasn’t the only feline friend they had – Joy said there were 7 of them, if I recall correctly. The one I loved most was Rosie! Rosie loves the attention from patrons of the taverna, and I was overjoyed when she decided to spend the better half of an hour curled up on my lap like a little portable heater. I’ve never had a cat sit still on my lap before!! I didn’t even care when she pulled a few threads out of my pants when she gave me “cat massages” 😛
Unfortunately I couldn’t try any of the dishes they were so famous for since they weren’t open yet, but according to this raving review, they’re totally legit, so do drop by if you ever make a trip to Santorini. It’s said to be one of the best places to watch sunsets from 🙂 And say hi to Rosie for me too!
So that’s it for a roundup of Oia, coming up next is my trip to the prettiest volcano ever!