Oia is the most famous and picturesque village in Santorini. The village is located on top of a massive steep cliff, and offers a spectacular view of the Aegean Sea. The cruise ship dropped anchor close to Santorini therefore, a tender boat was required to reach the island. From the cruise ship’s deck, Santorini’s traditional white cubic houses located on top of the cliff gave the illusion of fresh snow against the volcanic landscape. We only had a few hours to spend in Santorini thus, an organized shore excursion offered by the cruise ship was the most convenient way to discover the highlights of Oia.
The Way to Oia
A tender boat took us from the cruise ship to Santorini’s shores. Once on land, we enjoyed a scenic drive all the way to the top of the cliff. Despite the arid landscape, vineyards are located on Santorini, and the wine industry flourishes particularly during the summer months, when visitors come to the island on vacation. On the way to Oia, we visited the largest winery called Santos Wine located in Pyrgos. We had the opportunity to try the “Vinsanto” which is Santorini’s traditional desert wine and sample a few appetizers. My favorite part of this stop was the location of the winery; it offered a spectacular view of Santorini and the Aegean Sea.
The Village of Oia
The village of Oia looks like a postcard with its traditional sugar cube whitewashed homes, lush fuchsia bougainvillea flowers, large bright verandas, narrow streets, and blue domed churches. The arid landscape clashes with all those lively colors, and makes this area of the island even more special. We walked through the narrow alleys to find picture perfect spots and discovered numerous art galleries, shops, and restaurants.
Back to the Cruise Ship
To get back to the cruise ship, we made a stop in Fira which is the capital of Santorini. It is also the location of the old port where the tender boat back to the cruise ship was waiting in a designated area. There were two ways to get down to sea level from Fira, located at the top of the cliff. Instead of taking the cable cars, we decided to walk down over 500 stairs in the scorching sun along the donkeys. It was definitely worth it and gave us the opportunity to enjoy one last time the view of the island and the gorgeous shimmering blue water of the Aegean Sea.
After my short visit in Santorini and its most picturesque village called Oia. I can now understand why this place is a popular summer destination. Despite my short stay, I had a memorable time, and I will carry with me the memories of a place where man-made structures enhanced the beauty of nature. My hope is that this post gave you an idea of what to expect on an organized shore excursion and that you will consider visiting this part of the world.
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