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Greece » Cyclades Islands » Santorini Island » Santorini Villages » OIA VILLAGE
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Oia, Santorini Greece

Situated 11 klm far from Fira, at the northwest edge of the island, Oia shares the same landscape as Fira. Built at the rim of a steep cliff, it views the caldera, the nearby island of Thirasia, but also almost the whole island.
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About 500 people live permanently in the village, rather few if compared with its population by the end of the 19th century. In that period of time Oia was a prosperous town of about 9000 people. Prosperity came from the sea, as most of the residents were marines, or ship owners; this development had abruptly stopped by the destructive earthquake of 1956. Many people had then left the village which revived again in the 70's. Today Oia offers full facilities to the visitors, many of the old traditional houses and churches have been restored, and apart from lodging, restaurants and cafes, it has a cultural center, a few art galleries and a maritime museum established in 1951.

Some windmills discarsed around give to the village a typical Cycladic colour.
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One of the most famous attractions in Oia is its view and the sunset, said to be the best in the Aegean. Walking accross the narrow street leading to the town with the sea at one side and the high volcanic cliffs at the other, is an experience you shouldn' t miss. And as the sun sets, crowds of people are gathered at the square overlooking the sea. From there they watch the sun falling slowly and disappearing into the sea, painting the landscape in yellow, red and purple. Whoever has seen the sunset from Oia, considers it an unforgettable spectacle.

At the foot of the town two small beaches, Ammoudi at the North and Armeni at the South offer to the visitor a magnificent natural environment and the freshness of a swim. The only problem is that access to the beaches is possible only on foot via the countless steps (214 for Ammoudi and 286 for Armeni) leading there. Walking this way in the hot summer days is not very comfortable indeed!
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Two local feasts ("panighyri") take place in the village; one in honor of Aghios Georgios (St. George), on April 23th (or on Monday following the Easter) and the other on August 23th in honour of Kyra Panaghia ("Our Holy Dame").

Access to Oia is possible by public buses, which run regularly all year round and every half an hour in summer. Taxis, touristic buses and rented cars are also available.
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