Wednesday, September 5:  Even though I’m at the southernmost end of Santorini, I decide I will start my exploration at the northwestern-most tip, with Oia (pronounced ee-ah), and then work my way down.  I also decide I want to see the sun set at each point (north, center and south) in the three nights I am here.  I’ll start with sunset in Oia tonight; Thursday, I’ll watch sunset in Fira, and Friday night I’ll see the view from Akrotírion.  This is my plan, anyway.

looks like some kind of official building

stairway to heaven

I love the multitudes of wrought iron doors… 🙂

So, I leave the hotel in my little car, and zip up the island.  I come to the crowded town of Fira, where I have to make my way slowly through throngs of young sun-bronzed European couples, hand in hand.  Numerous times on the road, I pass couples riding together on Quads/ATVs, motor scooters, mopeds, and motorbikes, their hair dancing in the wind.  After I see people riding on these ATVs, I wish I had known about them. I would have rented one of these myself!  Of course I would have had a hard time hauling my suitcase on one, but if I had made it to the hotel with my suitcase, an ATV would have been the perfect mode of transportation. If I ever go back to Santorini, I will rent one of these four-wheeled vehicles.  I don’t care how old I am!

Churches and blue domes are abundant here…

flowers and white & blue buildings everywhere!

stairways to the sea

church bells and blue & white: the color of the day

In Oia, I have no destination, but I will just wander through the town and see what there is to see.  Hopefully, I can kill time until the 7:00 or 7:30 sunset, where I can eat at an outdoor cafe, wine in hand, and watch the sun fall into the water.  Well, that’s not quite how it works, but I will talk about that later.

stairways to windmills

church bells, windmills, blue & white in Oia. {Santorini}

near and far

white buildings cascading down the caldera

In the town, I stroll and admire the beautiful views, snapping photos along the way.  The views that people see in most photographs from Santorini are taken in Oia; it’s the most picturesque of the whole island.

looking down the slopes of the caldera to a boat in the Aegean Sea

windmills in Oia

cobblestone lanes leading to white windmills

umbrellas and the sea

In 1956 a major earthquake near Amorgos island resulted in the demolishing of many buildings in the north of Santorini, leading people to desert its villages.  Oia reflects the rebirth of Santorini following this earthquake.  Between the restoration of the buildings and the focus on upscale tourism, Oia is now one of the most beautiful villages in the Cyclades.

looking down on the sea from Oia

Oia

The village is built on a steep slope of the caldera, and many dwellings sit in niches cut into the porous volcanic rock.  The town is noted for its picturesque architecture: its medieval Venetian houses, a throwback to Venetian rule over the island, and small in-cave village homes.  There is a large Catholic population here, as well as medieval fortifications to protect from pirates.

lanes of Oia

I stroll about in Oia until I decide I’m hungry and I stop to eat a very late lunch….

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About catbird in japan

As of July 15, 2015, I'm now taking a break from living abroad. I'm living in Oakton, Virginia and looking for my next opportunity. Last year, I lived in China and taught English at Sino-Canadian International College. I also taught at a university in Nizwa, Oman for two years, and in Korea's public schools for one year. I love to travel and have been to 24 countries.

10 responses »

  1. Wow, Santorini looks secluded! How come there is not a crowd of tourists in your shots?

    • This is Oia, which seemed to be less crowded with tourists than Fira, EXCEPT on the night when I went for sunset…. which it turns out wasn’t this night! Also, I think I try to take pictures, when I can, without hordes of tourists in them, although it’s not always possible. Fira was packed with tourists!

      • Yes i know, i had been to Santorini a few years ago. Although it is such a beautiful island, the fact that it was packed with tourists was a bit frustrating…. i am a bit of a loner, so that was too much for me! 😛

      • I’m the same Ioanna, I like peace and quiet and hate large crowds. So, staying in the south was good for me because I had a place to escape…. 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on a nomad in the land of nizwa and commented:

    the first part of my visit to Oia, Santorini…

  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Such a picturesque place with all that blue and white. I don’t think I would make it to the beach, it would kill my knees!

  4. Marco says:

    It’s for sure one of the prettiest places in the Cyclades! So many churches, soooo little time, hehe. I like the windmills and the steps though…ah can’t wait for the next installment…

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