Visit one of a kind Oia in Santorini, Greece and be changed forever. There are so many things to do in this eclectic and cultural haven. Scroll down to learn about our Top 5 things to do, where to stay, where to eat and how to get there. Your Greek Island paradise awaits you and your family <3
Oia (pronounced Ee-uh. the o and i together make a long e sound) is a charming, colorful and socially conscious village at the Northern tip of Santorini. The captivating marshmallow neighborhood sits at the cliff of arguably one of the most majestic sunset backdrops on the planet; commonly referred to as the Caldera view sunset.
We stayed in a “cave home” (marshmallow home) called Domus Solis that sat halfway between the village and the sea. Every evening between 5pm until sunset, the village would become enveloped with tourists that marveled at the sunset in almost complete silence and awe. An occasional applaud before the sunset typically indicates a marriage proposal.
At about 7:30pm, the Sun begins her much-anticipated show of orange and pink hues that move downward to hide behind the other side of the world. Each evening was an opportunity to soak yourself in presence, gratitude and every other word that can’t quite depict the essence of tranquility amongst awe-inspiring nature.
Where to stay:
We will only ever stay in the beautiful marshmallow gem called Domus Solis owned by an Italian man named Lorenzo. If there was a review higher than 10, we would have given it. All of the pictures you see including a sunset are from the Villa Domus Solis. Lorenzo fills the fridge with water, croissants, oranges and cream. The pantry is filled with marmalade, jams, nutella, wine, tea and bread. While the rest of the Oia visitors bus or hire a car to patiently and courageously stand perched above the village awaiting sunset; we simply stepped outside with our evening tea and stepped into the magical glory on our second-story patio. The home is conveniently accessible yet completely away from the crowds. To see more pics of the home, you can go to Domus Solis website and to receive a discount, you can book directly with Lorenzo at firstname.lastname@example.org Another perk of renting the villa is that Lorenzo is there for you while you are in Oia via text, call or in person. He will make your dinner reservations, have your clothes laundered and folded at no charge and make any arrangements you need while in town. Now… onto excursions!
Catamaran Cruise through the Caldera – www.calderayachting.gr
We picked Caldera Yachting for our four-hour sunset/dinner catamaran cruise through the Caldera. The crew was so delightful and gave us history on the fascinating and unique rock formations that sat perched through the water in the middle of the ocean. We cruised over to the middle of the Caldera, which is literally the center of the volcano and swam through the mineral dense sea that moisturized our faces and bodies for days. As we jumped into the water off the nose of the catamaran, the chef made us authentic Greek food that he learned by watching his mother while growing up in Athens. The girls, who are very picky eaters, were licking their fingers when it was all done. We marveled at the sunset for what felt like hours as we cruised home. The sky lit up in an orange and misty behind the catamaran. It was an evening we will always remember fondly and with great affection. We highly recommend Caldera Yachting company and if possible, we’d request Alex and Ikas as your crew/captains.
Top 5 things to do
Get your feet kissed Kissing Fish Spa-
Get your feet kissed by the gentle little Greek Kissing fish of Oia. These giggle provoking critters extract aged skin cells, stimulate blood circulation and activate acupuncture points; all the while leaving your feet smooth and baby like. The staff prep you before dipping your feet into the tank and are vigilant with sanitation. The water is sterilized 24 hours of day with UV filtration and is crystal clear. I giggled for about 5 minutes before getting the “relaxing benefits”. However, I am extremely ticklish and was by far the loudest one in the spa (oops).
Atlantis Book Store- Atlantis Book Store Trip Advisor Page
Calling ALL book Lovers <3!!!
The famous Atlantic book store lives up to its reputation. This 3 story cave shop encompasses an honor system with thoughtful and thought-provoking quotes decorating it’s each corner. The view from the third story is one of the best in the village and is open to everyone yet stays very quiet and empty #hiddengemoia #mustseeoia
The shop has novels, fiction, non-fiction, layman philosophy all in English, French, Spanish and of course… Greek.
Melanio Cafe- Melanio Webpage
Juice, Coffee, Tea and/or dessert with a stunning view! This pastry shops serves up home-made ice cream, traditional Greek lemon cake, cappuccino and an elaborate tea menu. It has a casual vibe with an adorable sign that says “No wi-fi… talk to each other”. It’s inexpensive, casual and has an incredible view of the Caldera. We highly recommend stopping by and taking in the view with a treat.
Pet a Stray- SAWA Santorini Animals Welfare Association The streets of Oia are filled with an array of friendly and safe strays that love a cuddle. The SAWA ensures that all dogs are neutered/spayed and given annual check-ups. The community leaves out food and water at every corner for their furry homeless friends. They live a pretty luxurious life amongst the caldera view. #straysofoia
The village of Oia takes marvelous care of it’s strays. 99% of the strays are wearing collars due to the community raising funds to donate to SAWA. Your children will be entertained in a kitty and pup petting wonderland while you sip your cappuccino or wine with glorious views. The community within the village all take responsibility for the animals and it shows in the friendly and playful demeanor of these luxury strays.
On to Food yummmmmm!
Restaurant 218 (218 degrees) – www.218.gr
Restaurant 218 hosted one of the best views we have experienced in the world. The dark nights sky reflected through the deep blue sea illuminates the twinkling of the village lights and mainland Santorini. The menu is full of options but not so many that it loses credibility. The wait staff are attentive kind and sincerely enjoy watching you delight in their cuisine. The food was one of the best we had in Greece and the staff made us feel like we were in the home. The girls pet a cat named Moustaki (mustache) before and after the meal for an extended period of time while Steve and I soaked in the view. Thanks to Moustaki for entertaining our girls and thanks to 218 for a delicious evening.
If you’re craving gyro and other traditional and casual Greek Food, take a stroll to Pito Gyro. They have an array of Gyros, sides, traditional plates and Greek Lemonade. We had the feta app with pita bread, the veggie gyro, the chicken gyro and the Greek Salad. This was one of the best meals I have had in Greece.
How to get there (Oia) www.googleflights.com
While there are many cities that fly direct to Santorini, we chose to fly into Athens and spend a few nights in the Placa neighborhood next to the Acropolis before flying on Ryan Air direct to Santorini. Flights start at $36 one-way from Athens to Santorini. This is the google flights link that will give you other options as well. Cheap Flights to Santorini
We flew to Greece via Condor air after seeing a tip from The Points Guy www.thepointsguy.com in regard to a special that we couldn’t pass up.
Final Four Traveling Trees Priceless Tip of the Blog – How to say Thank you in Greek
EF (as in the letter F) Harry (as in the name) Stow (as in the grocery Stow) 😉 Ef-Hari-Sto. Also, they don’t use it as much as us. It is sort of like tipping… if you are happy with service and feel like the service was exceptional you tip… same goes for saying Thanks.
Ef Hari Sto for reading our blog and feel free to comment or message me with any questions. Have a wonderful Day and Happy Traveling!! <3
The Four Traveling Trees