Sea-wakened, proud, you lifted up your stone breast. Speckled with the south wind’s inspiration, for pain to inscribe its very heart there. For hope to inscribe its very heart there.
These were the words through which the great Greek poet Odysseus Elytis expressed his feelings for Oia in his poem “Ode to Santorini”. The traditional village of Oia –a listed monument– unfolds along the volcanic rocks, it is the jewel of Santorini!
Oia lies at the northernmost part of the island, 11 km northwest of Fira, at an altitude of about 121 meters. The residential complex of Oia was the first one in Greece to be listed as an architectural monument (in 1976 by EOT/ Hellenic Tourism Organization) it was integrated into the Programme for the Development of Traditional Hamlets. Oia is divided into two sections by a central road (Nomikos Street): one faces the Caldera and the cliff and it is where the yposkafa residences are, while the other contains “conventional residences”, the so-called kapetanospita (Captains’ Homes). The yposkafa are carved in the volcanic rocks and used to be where ship crew members lived. On the other hand, kapetanospita used to be ship owners’ homes; in other words, they belonged to middle-class members. The morphology of yposkafa was determined by local materials and the use they were put to.
Today Oia Community includes: Oia, Finikia, Tholo, Armeni (small bay), Ammoudi (small port), Mavri Petra (Paradisos), Koloumpo and the islet of Thira.