Oia – Sunset Town in Santorini

Oia in Santorini

Our arrival in Oia on the waterfront, was interesting. Like many waterfronts on Santorini it is notched into the side of the cliff at sea level, with the town perched at the top of the cliff above. One look at the steps up to town and we paid for a couple of donkeys to take us up. That was interesting ride with sheer drop on the left. There are no photos - I was too busy hanging on!

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Situated at the north end of Santorini, with a view to the west, Oia was the "rich" end of the island. When the island was the centre of trade and local fishing, Oia was the home of the ship captains and owners. Declining fortunes after the introduction of steam ships and loss of the trade routes, left Oia with few residents. The volcanic eruption of 1956 damaged much of the town. It was subsequently rebuilt into a pretty tourist town, retaining the curved white walls and blue domes of the Cycladic architecture.

Oia is one of those places in which I could disappear for a week with a camera. Indeed it has featured in a number of movies. Walking around Oia I saw a number of photographers sporting pro camera gear, with their models, taking advantage of the afternoon light and pretty environment.

Our first visit to Oia was at the end of a caldera tour, with the main object of seeing the sunset. The sunset is a an event, as the light reflecting from the houses built into the cliff side, and across the caldera make a magnificent scene. A few hundred, if not thousand, people turn out on the western side of town lining the paths and sitting on the ruins of the old castle, just to see the sunset. Getting good photos is a matter of being there early and picking a spot. The Oia sunset is, indeed, superb.

Without landing, we visited Oia again the following day this time to see the sunset from the water. We had the pleasure of sailing into the sunset serenaded by one of the boat crew with a saxophone. Now that was an experience!

With Santorini on the return visit list, Oia features as a place i would like to spend a few summer days.

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