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Oia, pretty as a picture could ever be

Oia, pretty as a picture could ever be

OIA IS, without doubt, one of the most beautiful villages I have ever visited. Situated on the northwestern edge of the picturesque island of Santorini in the Cyclades, its properties perch precariously on a sheer cliff, over a hundred metres above the Aegean.

2015-05-24 07.57.21It is May, and the narrow paths, cluttered with small shops, are themselves congested with day-trippers. We roam the complex of whitewashed, cobalt blue-domed churches and utterly charming, traditional Cycladic houses interspersed with the cave houses. There are also splendid properties once built for Venetian sea captains.

2015-05-24 07.49.23The labyrynthine passageways are a pleasure to wander along, some leading to small stone balconies offering stunning views of the village and the cluster of islands hereabouts.

2015-05-24 07.51.06This is a photographer’s dream location, although one would be hard pushed to find a view which has not been captured already and printed on posters or sold as postcards.

2015-05-24 07.47.45Santorini is known for the strong winds which blow across the island, and our visit was to prove no exception. In fact, in Fira, the cultural and commercial centre of Santorini, the seaward side path which leads to the cable car station was taking a particular hammering.

2015-05-24 08.07.21It is possible to reach sea level by walking down 235 steps, or by catching a ride on the back of a mule. Once at the bottom, you find yourself in a small harbour complete with waterfront taverns and restaurants. It does not get much better than this.

  • 2015-05-24 07.40.152015-05-24 08.52.502015-05-24 08.52.322015-05-24 08.51.452015-05-24 08.51.122015-05-24 08.08.592015-05-24 08.03.15Words and images ©Essential Journeys/Michael Cowton

About The Author

Mike Cowton

Michael Cowton, an outdoors writer, editor and photographer with a passion for nature-based travel and wildlife. He is a former editor of EcoTravel, Outdoor Pursuits, Camping, Lakeland Walker and Which Motorcaravan magazines, and national newspaper journalist.

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