On the island of Santorini Oia is even more picturesque than Thira but fortunately not nearly so crowded and we walked along the top of the cliff, along narrow roads and down twisting footpaths, around churches, windmills and a castle and it was so much more leisurely and enjoyable than the capital. The town has stricter rules on development and commerce and has managed to successfully protect itself from the excesses of tourism. It was now extremely hot and as the sun blazed and the rays bounced around the whitewashed streets and houses it made us think of mythos and shade so we found a taverna in a back street and enjoyed a meal at about half of the prices in Thira.
Oia is famous for its sunsets and about an hour before the appointed time, coaches, buses and cars flood into the little town and brings hundreds of people in to see the spectacle. They take up position all along the little streets and the place becomes overcrowded and far too busy so I was glad that we were going in the opposite direction and back to Thira which by now was much quieter as all of the cruise ships had started to leave. Quite by chance we had timed our visit to perfection and here is my visiting Santorini tip; go first to Oia because while Thira boils over with visitors during the day it is empty in Oia and when this town starts to fill up for the sunset go back to Thira which calms down nicely at about this time when the cruisers all leave. You can see the sunset in Thira just as well as Oia and let’s be honest, it is exactly the same sunset anyway!