Fira is the beautiful capital of the island and the biggest and most cosmopolitan settlement of Santorini.
Oia is a coastal town on the northwestern tip of Santorini. Oia, also known as Pano Meria, is considered the most picturesque village of Santorini and holds the position of the most visited spot for sunset viewing, as it provides an excellent view of the well-known sunset, probably the most famous sunset in the world. It is on the northwest coast of Santorini and it is built on the caldera slope.
If you have time to visit just one place in the island – choose Oia. That’s what you’ve been dreaming of for so many years looking at the pictures of the white churches with bright blue domes.
Oia is located 11 km away from Fira and is a pedestrian town.
Most of the visitors come here to admire its unique architecture, captains’ houses, Blue Domes, cave houses and the sunset.
Oia Places to Visit
- Panagia Platsani (Cathedral Church of Virgin Mary Platsani)
- St. Nicolas Castle (Kastro)
- Blue Domes
- Captains’ houses
- Cave houses
Fira vs Oia
- Fira has more nightlife and shopping.
- Oia is more romantic.
- Both Oia and Fira have some great places to eat (and some average ones), but I would give a slight edge to Oia for the quality of restaurants. Fira does have more cheap places to eat.
- Both Oia and Fira have great views of the caldera – very different perspectives but I couldn’t say one was better than the other.
- Both Oia and Fira have good sunset views (though the best are in Imerovigli). In Fira most hotels on the caldera have a pretty direct view of the sunset. In Oia, most hotels don’t have a direct view of the sunset and you need to leave your hotel and take a short walk to see the sun set into the water.
Traditional Villages of Santorini
The picturesque island of Santorini is probably known for its picture-perfect village of Oia, its caldera and its unique beaches. But Santorini is much more than this. Boasting a strong history, a long wine tradition and an interesting geology, it is home to several villages, all as interesting and distinct as the next. Here are the towns and villages you should visit when in Santorini, Greece.
Santorini Things To Do
Akrotiri excavation site: guided tour in this Minoan Bronze Age settlement buried by volcanic ash in the 17th century BC.
Emporio village: Explore this quaint village with hilltop windmills, fortified medieval castles and centuries-old churches.
Perissa Beach: Enjoy free time for lunch and a swim at the island’s most popular black sand beach.
Santorini Winery: Tour a traditional winery and taste Santorini’s distinctive wines.
Profitis Ilias: Visit the island’s highest peak and admire views from the agricultural plains to the hilltop village of Oia.
Prophet Elias Monastery and visit the picturesque monastery.
Pyrgos village, one of the most picturesque villages on the island.
Red Beach to simply enjoy the colorful formations of the mountains.
Akrotiri Bay for coffee or lunch with Greek traditional mezedes and ouzo.