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Oia is one of the most beautiful villages on the island and a getaway that is undoubtedly worth making. It is located on the north-western tip of the island, just 20 minutes by bus from Fira. However, if you have time, we strongly recommend that you make the journey on foot. It takes less than three hours to walk from Fira to Oia and the journey offers unforgettable landscapes that will provide you with lasting memories. Many people say it is the most attractive walk on the Cyclades Islands.
Whether you go by bus or on foot, as soon as you arrive in Oia, a beautiful landscape unfolds before your eyes: a village with a bohemian air, with its white walls, blue domes, tiny bell towers and cosy restaurants overlooking the sea and the caldera. It is a magical place, where the eldest residents still ask Hephaestus, the god of fire, for peaceful sleep.
We recommend a leisurely stroll through the streets of Oia to uncover the interesting contrasts hidden in this village. Cave houses carved out of the cliff in pastel tones, patrician mansions that exude a nostalgic charm, elegant and modern hotels, etc. Amidst these contrasts stand the Maritime Museum and the Orthodox Cathedral, two places well worth a visit.
The Maritime Museum is housed in a beautiful neoclassical house, which exhibits valuable historical items that help us imagine how the island's sailors and shipowners lived. Portraits of former captains, models of large ships, historical documents, etc. If you are passionate about naval history, be sure to visit. In addition, the museum's library has fantastic gems like the philological encyclopaedia by Ioannis Patousas from 1795, a book from 1894 on the different positions of the sun, logbooks, old maps and other manuscripts.
The centre of Oia features the Orthodox Cathedral. Although it is situated in the heart of the town, it is rarely visited. However, there's no doubt that it conveys an enormous sense of peace and tranquillity that's difficult to forget. It is worth going in occasionally and being transported to another era. You'll find it on the main street, where tourists gather at dusk to take photos of the sun setting on the Aegean Sea.
While Oia is much quieter than Fira, it also has numerous shops, bars and restaurants, most of which are located near the area that offers the best views of the sunset. This is the town's biggest attraction, a show that attracts hundreds of people every day. Residents and tourists congregate just before the magical sunset to see the exact moment at which the sun melts into the sea. The faint music from a nearby chill-out café and the ocean waves provide the only sound track to this mystical moment.
Perhaps it's because of its sunsets that countless artists have fallen in love with Oia. That's why the narrow streets feature a wide range of art galleries. If art is your thing, be sure to visit them.
After sunset, we urge you to top off your evening in the ports of Armeni or Amudi. Reach them by steps and discover a variety of picturesque fish taverns, where you can enjoy a delicious dinner. The house speciality: freshly caught seafood. Savour every mouthful!