Oia is the most famous settlement of Santorini. It is also called "Apano Meria" or "Anomeria" and the inhabitants "Anomerites". It is situated at the northern end of the island, at 11 kilometers from Fira and at an altitude of about 121 meters. Most of the photos of Santorini you have seen are from Oia as the picturesque settlement has become a pole of attraction for many artists and writers around the world. The exquisite sunsets in combination with the rough terrain and the traditional Cycladic architecture offer the visitor an experience worthy of the island’s international reputation.
Every afternoon, locals and visitors flock to alleys, balconies and terraces looking for the best spot to enjoy one of the most famous sunsets in the world. As the sun dips into the sea, the crowd erupts in ecstatic applause.
There are two types of traditional houses in Oia: the cave houses, which used to be the residences of ship crew members and the captains’ mansions, which were the residences of wealthyship-owners.
Oia was one of the five citadels, the so-called "kastelia", of Santorini during the Frankokratia (13th-16th century AD) and was called Agios Nikolaos Kastell. It was traditionally an area whereship-owners resided.
You should visit the Prophet Elias hill, where the churches of Panagia Platsani and Agios Nikolaos are located, and the Naval Museum, which is housed in a restored 19th-century captain's mansion. Two trailsstarting from within the village lead visitors to Ammoudi (214 steps) and Armeni (286 steps). In these two ports the visitor can swim and eat at seaside taverns or take a boat trip to the Caldera of Santorini and the volcanic island of Thirasia. A small trail from the port of Ammoudi leads to the small church of Agios Nikolaos, "perched" on a rock in the sea, just ten meters from the shore.