Welcome To Oia!
This is the gorgeous town of Oia on the Greek Island of Santorini – and know that it is pronounced “E-Uh” with the emphasis on the E.
And this is one of their windmills!
It’s Santorini’s largest town, sitting on the northernmost point of the island – and we could see it from our hotel room in the mall town of Imerovigli, about 6 miles away:
Yes, we actually hiked from our hotel to Oia…I shared that story and you can see all of the pictures and video here – it’s one of the coolest way to really see the island of Santorini up close:
Once we made it to town, we explored Oia, filled with narrow streets for shoppers – and the famous Atlantis book shop!
As iconic as the shop is, it was closed! Alex found out from a neighboring store that since the pandemic, the hours have been intermittent…oh well at least we saw the famous church square where a scene from the musical “Mamma Mia!” was filmed!
We headed over toward our final destination, and it was fitting we’d come across the famous Donkeys of Oia! They are the somewhat controversial “transportation” for where we were headed!
Here we are at the edge of the town, overlooking Ammoudi Bay. To the left of us is the old fortress near the top of the island.
Right below on the right is Ammoudi Bay…and see where that backpacked guy is standing? Those are the “steps” down to the bay.
Here’s another look at them:
Two points to make: while there are 278 steps from the top of Oia to the harbor at Ammoudi Bay, you can see the water appears to be much further away than that.
Why? Well, look at how big each step is – it’s actually 3-4 steps from one to the next, so it’s really closer to 1,000 steps to the bottom!
As you can see, it’s also very steep – in fact, the total rise from the water to the fortress at Oia is almost 400 feet!
You must navigate a series of switchbacks the entire way.
So of course we did it!
You can go down on foot, but some decide to rent donkeys. They are quite polarizing here: many feel the animals are not treated well, others see them as part of the town’s charm.
Here’s a look from the bottom – it took about twenty minutes to walk down – note it’s direct sunlight and was 90 degrees when we did it – and that was after the almost three hour walk to town!
In the port of the bay are numerous restaurants serving seafood and fresh fish caught that morning by local fishermen!
Grilled octopus is a delicacy here, and we were told that Ammoudi Fish Tavern did it the best so it was time for lunch!
We had the table right on the restaurant’s edge overlooking the bay – a terrific view of the hike we just finished!
We began with their traditional Greek salad, which has tomato, cucumber, olives, onion, green peppers, feta cheese, capers, caper leaves, oregano, vinegar drops and olive oil.
Cue the Specialty Of The House!
Everyone has the Octopus, so we did as well!
Sun-dried grilled Octopus was next, dried with olive oil, fresh lemon wedges at the ready
Now, as for the main course – they had some freshly caught fish that Alex perused, and the Water recommended a very special catch…but we can’t remember which one it was!
Scorpion Fish or Goldblotch Grouper. Anyone recognize him by his head?
No matter: after you choose it, they grill it then expertly plate the dish with some fresh vegetables and a drizzle of Greek olive oil…incredibly flavorful and fresh!
Here’s a bit of that presentation:
They brought us a traditional Greek dessert that is a specialty of the restaurant: their Loukoumades, fried balls of sweet dough drizzled with honey and small scoops of vanilla ice cream!
What a great meal! Now comes the hard part: the one lane road to the harbor is so clogged with traffic that a cab couldn’t come get us, so, not wanting to ride a donkey – we hiked all the way back up!
If you’ve been following along on our Greek adventure, you know that this isn’t the only hiking adventure we went on:
Skaros Rock was right outside our room…it was not only used as a backdrop for incredible photo shoots like this one, but you can climb it too! So we did1
See that terrifying ordeal here:
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If you enjoy these moments, please share on social media – and get ready for more Greek adventures….let me know if you’ve been!