Santorini, Greece | I Left My Heart in Oia.

Santorini, Greece

Oia pronounced as Eeyah is the prettiest and the most sophisticated village in the island of Santorini. Situated on an impressive cliff about 150 metres above sea-level, it offers a spectacular view of the sea and a glimpse of the caldera.

It was an affluent mariner’s town which was part of the trade route between Russia and Alexandria during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The economy of the town declined when concentration of shipping was transferred to Piraeus in Athens. It was also heavily damaged in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake which hit the island in 1956.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

It continued its decline due to emigration. In 1977, it only had 306 inhabitants. Now how were they able to flourish from an almost non-existent town to the famous tourist destination that it is now? I really have no idea but I’m so thankful that it is what it is now.

Houses in Oia are built in succession one above the other directly into niches. Most of the buildings on the islands were made of volcanic stone mainly because they didn’t have enough wood available to build houses. The color of these stones absorbed the heat which means it becomes an instant oven inside the house during summer. In this case, they have painted the outside walls of their buildings white to reflect the harsh sunlight – to make it a little more heat resistant.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

The blue-colored roofs came from a blue tinted cleaning agent called “loulaki” which was used for washing clothes and a very cheap alternative to buying real paints. It’s very economical specially since they whitewash their houses every 3 years and it would be great to not have an all-white colored house as it’s quite hurtful to the eyes.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

It wasn’t during the military governance in Greece in 1967 that the white and blue combination became mandatory for all the buildings since it signifies a unified government and full support of people towards their political agenda. In the late 70’s, the government realized its aesthetic value and ability to pull in tourists. The colors are no longer political at this point, it now became for tourism purposes.

Santorini, Greece

I’m glad they decided to do it because it is such a beauty to behold. While Oia can also be packed specially during sunset, it’s definitely less crowded than the capital of the island – Fira. The main street has a lot of shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes and even one of the most amazing bookstores in the world – the Atlantis Books. The use of space in this bookstore is quite amazing.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

One of the things every travel guide tells you to do while in Santorini is to see the sunset from Oia. I personally haven’t done that even if I’ve been to Santorini twice mainly because it’s ridiculous. During sunset, almost every single person in Santorini goes to the end of the village to see the magnificence of this sunset that they speak of.

Santorini, Greece

I’m not very good with crowds so if you’re like me, the best thing to do in Oia during sunset is to go to the other side of the village because it would be empty, peaceful and so so pretty! How to go to the other side? Walk along the main street of Oia with the sea on your right and you can just take any alleyways on your right whenever you feel like it.

Walking is the best way to explore Oia, you don’t really have a choice since it’s a pedestrian village but what I meant by walking is you really have to explore every turn, every alley and every corner of the village. There is always something pretty waiting for you at each turn. Also, make sure your camera battery is fully charged. It’s seriously my favorite place in the whole wide world.

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Oia, SAntorini, Greece

This post is part of The Weekly Postcard link-up.


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  • Epic Travel Selfies - Travel Pray Love February 1, 2017 at 10:19

    […] Captured By: Noemi at Photo Location: Santorini, Greece “I very rarely take a selfie but I guess, when you’re in the island of Santorini it’s mandatory. A tip for a great selfie, during sunset when almost everyone in the island is watching the sunset – go to the opposite side of the island where the sunset can’t be seen. You’ll be able to take great selfies without anyone behind you as they’re all too busy watching the sunset.” Check out Noemi’s itinerary for this location HERE. […]

  • Joy Generoso August 15, 2016 at 10:31

    This is a good trivia. Don’t have any idea why they whitewash their houses. Seriously, there’s a ‘Rent a Cat in Santorini for 5 Euros’? If it’s true, my husband would love to rent one hahaha.

    • Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 21:14

      Lol, we didn’t rent one. If it was rent a dog I probably would. :p

  • Cathy July 31, 2016 at 17:24

    This is gorgeous! I’d brave the crowds at least once for a sunset shot but I do like the thought of the empty side as well!

    • Pinay Flying High August 1, 2016 at 10:44

      You’re more patient than I am, definitely a good blogger. Not me. Lol.

  • Lyn - A Hole in my Shoe July 31, 2016 at 03:24

    What a stunning place! Unfortunately I have not been to Santorini, but have been to Mykonos which is similar. I just love the white wash buildings and stone alleys, but those sunsets would be amazing. I have to ask, did you rent a cat? What’s with that? Thank you for linking with #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Pinay Flying High August 1, 2016 at 10:43

      Lol. Saw that too. I’ve no idea what that was all about. Lol.

  • Liloneoftheashes July 24, 2016 at 09:49

    I just love seeing your Greece photos. Makes me feel like I’m travelling eventhough I’m stuck at home with a baby, haha! Yeah we did do the touristy thing and watch the sunset from Oia, it was from a road side so it wasn’t all that packed though. Wish I could go back again, I second you on the one of the favourite-st places in the world! Just so beautiful.

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    Welcome to my blog! My name is Noemi, a Filipina who caught the travel bug at an early age and has never been cured. I blog about travel, food and my extraordinary mundane life in London with the Greek Mister.

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