Oia is scenic village in the north west edge of the Santori island within the Cyclades. It extends for almost 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) along the northern edge of the caldera that forms the island of Santorini, at a height of between 70 and 100 metres (230 and 330 ft) above sea level. Immediately to the east is Phinikia (Finikia), and about 500 metres (550 yd) to the north is Tholos. The small fishing village of Ormos Armeni lies below Oia to the south and is reached via steps. There is a ferry connection to Therasia from the harbour village of Ormos Ammoudi; (also spelled Amoudi) to the west. There are 300 steps down to the port from Oia. The small island of Agios Nikolaos lies to the southwest.
It is built on the steep slope of the caldera and the houses and restaurants are built into niches carved into the caldebra on the seaward side. There are narrow passageways and a central square. The sun light hours in this village are much longer than in the Fira town. Its paths are very narrow and hence gets congested during the tourist season.The idyllic surroundings of the town have a complex of white washed blue domed churches and charming, traditional Cycladic houses and cave houses that are carved into the rock face on top of the cliff. It is set in a location which provides excellent views of the sunset over the caldera. To the southwest, the Bay of Armeni, reachable from the town on foot or by mule, was once an important boat-building centre. Small repairs are now done on a single wharf. Excursion boats for trips around the island and ferries to Therasia leave from here. The harbour of Ammoudi on the western side of the town is reached by steep stairs north of Fort Londsa; there are a few tavernas and a pebble beach.
The village is located on top of a hill, at about 150 metres (490 ft) elevation, and known as the “Eagles nest” from where Palia and Nea Kameni volcanoes are seen and also the island of Thirassia. It is situated to the north of the island and Fira is at distance of 11 kilometres (6.8 mi). The main street in the town, in the central square, is the main trekking path which is cobbled, called the “Nikalaou Namikaou”, which goes up the hill winding round the caldebra. The island is reached from Fira which is the transport terminus of the island. Caldera boat cruise options are available from either Oia or Fira.
Santorini, classically Thera, and officially Thira, is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece’s mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. It forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 (28 sq mi) and a 2011 census population of 15,550. The municipality of Santorini includes the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. The total land area is 90.623 km2 (34.990 sq mi).
Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4.3 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides. The main island slopes downward to the Aegean Sea. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon is connected to the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest.
The depth of the caldera, at 400m, makes it possible for all but the largest ships to anchor anywhere in the protected bay; there is also a newly built marina at Vlychada, on the southwestern coast. The island’s principal port is Athinias. The capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. The volcanic rocks present from the prior eruptions feature olivine and have a small presence of hornblende.
It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is chiefly a water-filled caldera. The volcanic arc is approximately 500 km (310 mi) long and 20 to 40 km (12 to 25 mi) wide. The region first became volcanically active around 3–4 million years ago, though volcanism on Thera began around 2 million years ago with the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around the Akrotiri.
Ferry and cruise ship in the caldera.
Bus services depart from Fira to most parts of the island.
Ports: Santorini has two ports: Athinios (Ferry Port) and Skala (Old Port). Cruise ships anchor off Skala and passengers are transferred by local boatmen to shore at Skala where Fira is accessed by cable car, on foot or by donkey. Tour boats depart from Skala for Nea Kameni and other Santorini destinations.
Airport: Santorini is one of the few Cyclades Islands with a major airport, which lies about 6 km (4 mi) southeast of downtown Thera. The main asphalt runway (16L-34R) is 2,125 metres (6,972 feet) in length, and the parallel taxiway was built to runway specification (16R-34L). It can accommodate Boeing 757, Boeing 737, Airbus 320 series, Avro RJ, Fokker 70, and ATR 72 aircraft. Scheduled airlines include the new Olympic Air, Aegean Airlines and Athens Airways, with chartered flights from other airlines during the summer, and with transportation to and from the air terminal available through buses, taxis, hotel car-pickups and rental cars.