One of the most beautiful settlements in Greece, globally acknowledged for its characteristic architecture. White, simple forms and curves dominate. The harmonic sequence of the buildings creates an image of tranquility, with the element of its beauty being so intense that it shocks you at the same time. The courtyard of a house is also the roof of another, a cluster of caved houses with a view to the deep blue. It is located at the northern edge of Santorini, at the top of successive volcanic layers, where the castle of Apano Meria used to be there, 350 meters above the sea. Nowadays the ruins of the castle are the most popular spot for people to watch the famous sunset of Oia (Ia), and to see the view of the settlement, the volcano and Thirasia island. Oia (Ia) is a characteristic preserved settlement and has a lot of touristic development which, however, respects the special character that the village always had. You will come across many luxurious caved hotels and villas, restaurants and as far as night life is concerned, there are some bars with a very nice atmosphere. While all day Ia follows relatively relaxed rhythms, in the afternoon it is bustling with visitors coming to admire the sunset all together. The colors of the evening cover Ia and night comes slowly. The view from Ia at night is magical; it is as if small stars have hidden behind the benches and in the courtyards, offering their sweet light. The small lights make the stars above Ia twinkle even more intensely. Walk and discover the secret corners of the settlement, unique spots to take photographs and find your own path, from which you will enjoy the view. You will come across many churches with blue domes, with the most characteristic being the church of Agios (St.) Georgios, and the church of Panagia Platsani, as well as the two characteristic churches of the Anastasi (Resurrection) and of Agios (St.) Spyridon on the caldera (as soon as you pass the square to your right, the second alley to the left leads you to this much photographed view). Even though it is perched on the top of the cliff, Ia offers many nice choices for a swim. In Ammoudi you can combine swimming in the interior of the caldera and the small island of Agios (St.) Nikolas with lunch or dinner by the sea. The beach of Katharos is also ideal during the sunset and there is also Armeni and the large beach in Baxedes. On the main path you will find most of the restaurants, galleries and commercial shops, as well as the Maritime Museum, which is housed in one of the captain’s houses of the settlement.
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Would you like to combine skiing in the morning and then go swimming in the afternoon, all in one region? Click to choose your interests and see in which part of Greece you enjoy them. Combinations are endless!