Friday, October 19, 2012


Oia, known for its magical sunset is where I stayed in Santorini.  The town itself was a lot smaller than I imagined.  Think small town, small and of course white washed buildings.  Santorini hasn't been a secret for years and because of this the entire town is pretty much a tourist trap.  Still, tons of tourists still come for the picturesque buildings, windmills and a sunset so amazing people clap for it.

White washed buildings of Oia

The Old Castle at Oia, the BEST place to get pictures of the sunset.

The Old Castle in Oia is without a doubt the best place to get pictures of the sunset.  You'll need to get here early because it gets very crowded by dusk.  Come sunset every inch of the castle is covered in tourists and across the way hoards of tourists who have made reservations overflow the nearby cafes for a view.  Some people even stand on the rooftop for the sunset.  And yes, it's all for the sunset shown in the picture at the top of this entry.  When the sunset is over people start clapping.  Yes, that's either a bit cheesy or the sunset is that amazing -- I'll let you be the judge of that yourself.

The Old Castle offers an amazing view of the sun setting into the ocean and the picturesque white washed buildings and windmills along the cliff's edge.

Hoards of tourists line the Old Castle, cafes, balconies and roof tops for the legendary Oia sunset.

Tourists clap for the sunset in Oia, Santorini.

You can also take the steps by the Old Castle down to the bottom.  There area few restaurants there, but the main ones were Sunset and Katina.  They are largely the same though sunset has a slightly better sunset.  I went to Katina (on the recommendation of my hotel) and cannot give them my recommendation.  The food is insanely overpriced, we're talking like over $100 for fish.  I'm sorry but that is completely unreasonable.  To make things worse not only is the food overpriced but extremely mediocre; there's nothing special about the food from appetizers, main courses, and dessert.  Case in point the baklava we had for dessert was soggy and so sugary it burned your throat going down.  To an ignorant tourist it would seem fine, but we had done our homework and so we knew it was crap being passed off to people that didn't know any better.  I looked at the Sunset menu afterwards and the prices and items on the menu were basically identical; though I didn't eat there I suspect it to be the same as Katina quality-wise.

Walk down (and back up when you're done) these steps to get to the bottom.  There are two restaurants and a small "beach" there.  Beware the donkeys and what they leave behind on the way down.

The restaurants at the bottom of the steps.

 Oia at the top, restaurants at the bottom.

 Sunset from Katina.

The blue domes of Oia, classic blue and white.

Nearly all of Oia is a tourist trap and while that can work your nerves a bit the stunning backdrop will leave you with pictures and memories for a lifetime.  Oia can easily be seen in a day.  Get there early to avoid the blistering afternoon sun.  Explore, get lost amongst white-washed steps and take pictures galore.  Eat off the main walk way if you want to save a little and rest the afternoon away in a cafe.  Before dusk work your way to the Old Castle for a spot for the sunset and see what all the fuss is about. Don't forget to eat some of those famous Santorini Tomatoes and Eggplant while you're at it.

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