Garda Town, Italy

Not only is Garda Town picturesque and charming, but it also give us a double whammy of beauty! Because it is located in a perfect position on Lake Garda, we have beautiful mountains and stunning views across the water. Certainly, there is a photo opportunity everywhere.

Garda Town

Snuggled into a small bay on the lake, Garda is just a short ferry ride from Lazise, Bardolino and Sirmione. We visited for a day, but realized that it would make an excellent home base. From Garda Town you can easily explore the southern or northern lakeside villages. Moreover, please make sure you explore amazing Verona in you are in the lake area! It is only a short 40 minute drive away and absolutely worth the visit.

Garda Town

It is a delight to walk around the narrow cobbled alleys with all the cafe’s, shops and restaurants. You can buy numerous local products and unique clothing at the many shops in Garda Town.

Lake Garda
What a view!

In Garda, you can wander along the long curved promenade and find a beautiful relaxing spot to enjoy some gelato! Honestly, it really is beautiful and you’ll want to have photo shots everywhere!

Garda Town

Although, during the summer season, restaurants and bars along the promenade are a hive of activity, whether it is day or night. Not to mention, this is the place to people watch while enjoying a gorgeous setting.

Garda

Equally important, just about every sport can be had in Garda town, both on and near the Lake. Such as sailing, rafting, swimming and other water sports. On the land there is biking, hiking, climbing and horseback riding. In parts of Lake Garda, you can even find hang-gliding. 

Garda Town Pictures

Here are some pictures of our day in Garda Town! All in all, I would say that it is definitely worth a visit. And remember, it is very close to Gardaland, which has rides, shows an aquarium and much more. It is great place for family fun!

Beautiful scenery
The family in Garda
The Family
Colorful
Garda Town Italy
Lake
Enjoy the beauty and have fun!

Eze, French Riviera

Words are hard to describe the charm!

Eze is perched high up on a mountain top with stunning views of the sea in the French Riviera. It is one of the most beautiful medieval villages I’ve ever visited. There are narrow cobblestone streets that twist and turn among stone houses. The only way to access this village is by foot as there are no roads or cars. You’ll find hot pink bougainvillea, ivy and flowers growing everywhere. Browse or shop in the boutiques, art galleries and jewelry stores along the winding walkways. The twelfth century church dominates one aspect of the unique hilltop village, and is classified as an historical monument. 

Eze French Riviera

In addition, let me say a word about the food here – excellent!!! Really amazing, fresh, delicious French food.  Everything – fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, etc. are all carried up to the restaurants by foot, as  the village is totally pedestrian. Eze is well worth a visit if you are in the French Riviera.

French Riviera

The BEST of EZE……..

Here are some of my favorites in and around Eze.

EZE HOTELS

Chateau de la Chevre d’Or (Castle of the Golden Goat)

Pool and view at Chateau de la Chèvre d'or in Eze, France

Luxury: This is a one of a kind luxury hotel perched on a hilltop in the village of Eze. The views are stunning and the rooms are scattered throughout a portion of the medieval streets. Take in the magnificent scenery as you are in a very special area.
The accommodations, service and staff are amazing, as well as the beauty of the entire property.   In addition, there is a gym and small pool. Please be aware that this is quite an expensive hotel,  however, you will feel like you’re in paradise.

EZE B&B’s

Bastide aux Camelias

B&B Eze Village, Bastide aux Camelias

Village Suite

This B&B owns two properties. The first is a XVI century charming guesthouse in a quiet, relaxing area only a 5 minute drive from Eze Village. It has an amazing sea view, pool and beautiful garden.

 

Next, they have the Village Suite, which is tucked away in Eze Village. I highly recommend the Village Suite for a wonderful experience because you are right in the heart of the medieval village. The rooftop terrace has stunning views of the coast. You really feel like you are walking back in time.
Address: 23 C route de l’Adret,

EZE RESTAURANTS

La Chevre d’Or (The Golden Goat)

Fine Dining: Upscale gourmet restaurant and bar with stunning views and delicious food.  Expensive but worth the splurge. Amazing food that matches the incredible views of the French Riviera. World class food and service. Note – Elegant attire required.
Address:  Rue du Barri, Eze

Le Nid d’Aigle (The Eagles Nest)

Moderately Priced:  Delicious fresh food with a beautiful view set on the top of the mountain. Great salads, pizzas and omelettes. Dining is available on the outdoor terrace and the view from the indoor dining room  is fantastic. A terrific regional wine list.
Address: 1 rue du Chateau, Eze

Deli’ 

Deli, Eze Village, France

Casual Dining: This is a great little place for lunch. The food is absolutely delicious. Deli is a small cozy outdoor space in beautiful surroundings. The freshest ingredients are used. The tomatoes were so perfectly ripe and the  cheeses were amazing!!! The salads and foods are so flavorful!   They bake their own bread and use infused olive oils and balsamic. They also sell items in a little olive oil shop. I wish I could go back to eat again! Very kind and friendly staff/ family. You cannot be disappointed!
Address: 5 rue du Chateau, Eze

EZE BEACHES

La Plage d’Eze

Eze Beaches
Eze has one beach located at the bottom of the mountain in Eze-sur-Mer. It is a great beach for swimming. You will find two beach clubs; posh Papaya and casual Anjuna Bay. Both clubs rent beds and umbrellas for about 20 euros. Access the beach from the Eze-sur-Mer train station’s underpass. Make a right and walk along the beach to reach the restaurants/clubs. Enjoy your day in the French sunshine!

THINGS TO DO IN EZE

Le Jardin Exotique d’Eze

Eze French Riviera

These beautiful gardens have species of plants from all around the world. The garden offers spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean as it perched on the highest point of Eze.  Admission is 6 euros.

Tropaeum Alpium (Victory Monument of the Alps)

eve French Riviera

These historical ruins were built in 6 BC in honor of emperor Augustus. It sits at the highest point on the mountain. Take in the breathtaking views of the entire French Riviera and the beauty of the architecture of this amazing historical monument.

Nietzsche Path

Do you like exercise and the great outdoors?  Then this activity is for you! Hike down from Eze Village or up from Eze-sur-Mer (aka Eze-Bord-de-Mer) and enjoy the magnificent scenery.  First of all, get an early start before the sun gets hot. In addition, take water and wear sneakers not flip flops.  Most of the trail is stone and pebbles – you don’t want to slip.  Depending upon your personal pace, this is about a 45-60 minute vertical hike, about 1650 feet, therefore expect a strenuous workout on the way up. Of course, you can always take it slower.

Hiking up the trail, I use the Eze-Bord-de-Mer train station as a landmark. At street level, with your back to the train station, make a right. Continue 5 minutes and on your left you will see a little sign ‘Sentier Nietzsche’. Follow ramp to the left and enjoy a healthy hike up to amazingly beautiful Eze Village.

The hike down from Eze Village gives you full views of the Mediterranean, so have your camera ready!  When you finish the hike down, visit the lovely Eze-sur-Mer beach. Access to the descending trail from Eze village, is located at the bottom of the village (where the car parks are) on the cliffside.  You will see a sign that says ‘EZE/MER – Gare Plage’. Enjoy the amazing scenic beauty on the way down.

Villefranche-sur-Mer

Enjoy a fabulous day of sightseeing, shopping or the beach in this charming French old town.  There is so much to see and do in this fantastic village! Villefranche-sur-Mer  is definitely one of my favorite places on the French Riviera.  Visit my Villefranche-sur-mer blog post to read more about this wonderful, charming town.

Monte Carlo, Monaco 

Casino of Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo, the land of the ultra rich and famous, is a mere 9 minute train ride from Eze. Visit the renowned Casino and if you get lucky, go shopping in the ultra high end stores! If not, enjoy sitting at a cafe in Casino Square and watch the people and exotic cars go by.

NEARBY EVENTS

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. The 2018 Monaco Grand Prix will begin on Thursday, May 24, 2018 and end  on Sunday, May 27, 2018. For tickets and packages, click HERE for the official Formula 1 Monaco site.

Nice Carnival (Carnaval de Nice)

French Riviera

The capital of the French Riviera, Nice, hosts the area’s first winter event. This is  amazing, world famous event attracts millions each year. The weather is mild even in the winter. In 2018, this carnival will be held from  February 17th to March 3rd. Since this carnival spans a two week period, there are numerous festivities. Therefore, join in the fun!

Click HERE to see the Carnival’s official program and prices for grandstand or promenade tickets.

 

Travel Directions

  • Nice to Eze – Take bus 82 about a 30 minute ride.
  • Monte Carlo to Eze – Take bus 112 about a 30 minute ride
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer to Eze – walk to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and take bus 83. About a 15 minute ride. Or you can take the Neitzsche Path and hike up to Eze.

Eze is easily accessible by buses that run regularly.  Most noteworthy, for your return trip, please make sure to check the bus schedules. Once you are in Eze, taxis are hard to find.  Therefore, they  will be an expensive option when you find one.


Bardolino, Italy

One of Lake Garda‘s most popular towns is Bardolino. Located on the Verona side of Lake Garda’s southern point, it has easy access to other surrounding towns. Also, it can make a nice home-base for your lake vacation. Not only is it a delightful, lively village, but it is also the center of wine country since it is surrounded by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves.

Bardolino Lake Garda

We had a beautiful day visiting Bardolino. We started by taking the ferry from beautiful, bustling Sirmione, with a stop in enchanting Lazise and then arriving at the picturesque town of Bardolino.

Lake Garda

One of the first things we noticed, was the tranquil marina filled with colorful motor boats. It definitely made me want to take a picture of the vivid part of daily life here. In addition, long lakeshore promenades add to the charm of village. There are many photo opportunities on the promenade, so definitely take a walk with your camera.

Bardolino’s historic center has a beautiful blend of narrow stone alleys and pretty pastel buildings. The town is fairly compact, therefore it is an easy walk from one end to the other. It is certainly lively with numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. The evening comes alive with several bars and clubs.

Restaurants in Bardolino use the local fish and fresh produce from their crops. In addition Bardolino is famous for it’s namesake red wine, Bardolino and for their Rosé, Chiaretto,

Lake Garda

San Severo is a Romanesque church that has beautiful frescos and is worth a visit. Also visit the church “Santa Maria” in Cisano and the Olive Oil Museum which is on Gardesana state road. 

Things to Do in Bardolino

You can find many things to do and keep busy in this town. First of all land sports include golf and tennis and of course hiking trails. You can even horseback ride, and mountain bike. Secondly there are many water sports available along the lake. Let’s not forget to visit some wineries. You will be able taste the area’s unique vintage, Bardolino DOC.

Bardolino Marina
Bardolino

Lipari Italy

The picturesque island of Lipari is the largest and most popular of the Aeolian Islands. Summer brings crowds of Italians to visit. The charming old town is certainly worth a visit. Moreover, the crystalline turquoise sea attracts vacationers to the pretty beaches. Since this island is located off the northern coast of Sicily, the climate is definitely warm and mild. It certainly makes a great base for visiting the other Aeolian Islands. Most of all, Lipari boasts an exciting Old Town and bustling Marina area.

Lipari town is lively, charming and a perfect area for exploring.  The pretty streets have an array of flowers flowing from balconies. The main walkway is Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Outdoor restaurants, cafes, stores and markets line the corso and surrounding streets. It certainly comes alive at night!  In fact, the old town becomes packed with people strolling the streets. The atmosphere is delightful with live musicians performing everywhere.

Fun Fact:  The father of Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss, was born in Lipari!

Marina Corta

Make sure to go to Marina Corta, which is a short walk from Corso Vittorio Emanuele.  It is a charming harbor filled with colorful fishing boats and the main church. In the morning, fishermen are cleaning their freshly caught fish. Without delay, they will quickly be delivered to markets and restaurants. In the evening, the marina is bustling with numerous restaurants and people everywhere. We fell in love with the locals, who are so friendly and welcoming.

The Best of Lipari Italy

Here are some of my favorites…

Lipari Italy HOTELS  

Grand Hotel Archiduca

Aeolian Islands Hotel Arciduca

I like this charming hotel because of it’s perfect location, within a 5 minute walk of the main pedestrian street and the Marina Corta. Grand Hotel Archiduca boasts a jacuzzi pool, nice rooms and a very good complimentary breakfast. Dining is on the terrace overlooking the pool. In addition, it offers a complimentary shuttle to Coral Beach.
Address: G., Via Giuseppe Franza, Lipari Italy

Lipari Italy RESTAURANTS

Ristorante Filippino

Lipari Ristorante Filippino

Fresh seafood served from local fishermen’s catch of the day to your table.  Enjoy Aeolian specialties of fresh regional seafood daily – many of which are served with delicious pasta. Very limited English is spoken, but the service was exceptional. Da Filippino also boasts an excellent wine menu.  We enjoyed a delicious Corvo, Glicine 2016. Enjoy your evening dining indoors or outside on a lovely terrace. Ristorante da Filippino is located in the panoramic Piazza del Municipio.
Address:  Piazza Guiseppi Mazzini

La Piazzetta 

Very nice location set in a quaint square right off the main pedestrian street. La Piazzetta has delicious Italian food. In addition there is very nice ambiance with vine draped outdoor seating. Due to the popularity of this restaurant, you should book early. It becomes extremely crowded after 9:30.  Moderately priced. 
Address:
Piazza d’Austria Salvatore Luigi, Lipari, Italy

NIGHTLIFE in LIPARI ITALY

Café La Precchia/Cocktail Bar 

Cafe la Precchia Aeolian Islands

Located in the middle of Corso Vittorio Emanuel. This is definitely the place to be for late night music, cocktails or vino. Furthermore, it’s a prime place to people watch.  In fact, the area is literally filled with hundreds of people! Most of all, make new friends here, as the Italians are so welcoming!
Address:  Vittorio Emanuele 180 Lipari, Italy

Il Giardino di Lipari

Lipari Il Giardino

Tucked away on a narrow side street is this hidden gem.  Il Giardino di Lipari has live music, great cocktails, and good local food & wine. Furthermore there is a pretty outdoor garden with great ambiance. 
Address:   Via Nuova, Lipari

LIPARY ITALY BEACHES

Beaches on the island of Lipari cater to every taste; crowded or deserted, white or dark sand. It is one of the most enchanting natural Unesco heritage areas in the world. Click here to read more.

White Beach

THINGS TO DO

By all means, visit the other Aeolian Islands. Excursions leave daily from Marina Corta. Liberty Lines has easy and convenient ferry service.  Especially from Lipari Italy to all the other beautiful Aeolian Islands.

Museo Archeologico Regionale Eoliano

Museum

Lipari’s archaeological museum boasts one of Europe’s finest collections of ancient finds.
Address:
Via Castella 2, Lipari

Lipari Italy Cattedrale di San Bartolomeo

Lipari Cathedral St. Bartolomew

This beautiful church is the oldest and largest in Lipari.  It honors Lipari’s patron Saint Bartholomew.  It’s treasured relic are the thumbs of St. Bartholomew.

 EVENTS

St. Bartholomew, Patron Saint. August 21-24th 

The most important event on the Aeolian Islands takes place in Lipari Town.   During this four-day holiday, the piazza of Marina Corta holds wonderful concerts.  In addition, there  are open markets selling local foods and unique gift items. In conclusion, The St. Bartholomew celebration ends on August 24th with a procession and exciting fireworks.

Bread and Wine Festival, November 

Bread and Wine Festival

Due to covid19, this will event will resume in 2021.

This festival consists of three full days. It includes tastings of delicious local and home-made products. Wine, bread and roasted meat flavors invade the square. In addition, you can learn about the harvesting grapes. Meanwhile, watch or join in traditional race competitions! For example, donkey races and even a land-digging speed race. All in all, dances and other entertainment make this a fun festival.

Lipari Italy TRAVEL DIRECTIONS

Lipari is easily accessible by ferry or hydrofoil.  With this is mind, the Sicilian towns of Milazzo and Messina are the closest ferry stations.  The best departure point is Milazzo. Milazzo has almost hourly daily ferries.  On the other hand, Messina has a limited amount of daily ferries to Lipari.  The cost is approximately 20 EUR per person.  They do accept credit cards.


Villefranche sur Mer

Villafranche sur Mer

Certainly one of the most charming villages on the French Riviera  – actually it’s my favorite!

Villefranche sur Mer is positioned on a beautiful bay between Monaco and Nice.  Alongside its attractive harbor are cafes, restaurants and boats bobbing in the Mediterranean. If you are looking for a classic old town village with class and beauty, this is for you. This charming old town winds its way up narrow cobblestone streets with colorful buildings. Moreover, flowers, plants and ivy adorn the walkways, balconies and buildings.  There are boutiques and cafes scattered all around. This town is a feast for your eyes and joy for your soul.                                                                                                                                       Villefranche sur MerMoreover, the restaurants here are incredibly delicious!  I have been lucky enough to travel here 5 times and each and every visit just outdoes the last with the amazing food – just superb! Villefranche is a wonderful summer vacation spot, sometimes more busy than others due to cruise ships visit.

Read More

Lazise, Italy

Lazise Italy is a charming lakeside village on Lake Garda’s southeast shore with an old town dating back to the 12th century. Not only is it a picturesque, pristine village, but it also has an upscale, impressive vibe. In fact, the lakefront promenade was designed in an exceptionally elegant fashion. Furthermore, you will be happy to discover a wide range of shops and restaurants sprinkled in the charming alleys of town. To be sure, I found it to be one of my favorite southern villages on Lake Garda.

Lazise Harbor
The picturesque harbor promenade.

The first thing to stand out when visiting Lazise, is it’s alluring 9th century medieval castle, Castello Scaliger di Lazise. Moreover, at the center of the village lies Lazise’s attractive busy harbor. Here, the ferries and boats glide frequently alongside the shore. In addition, Vittorio Emanuele Square is a delightful grand piazza containing a beautiful Romanesque church.

Lazise Lake Garda
Lazise with a view of Castello Scaligero di Lazise on the left

The lakeside promenade is bustling with people enjoying the wonderful view or enjoying the many bars, restaurants, cafes and gelato shops.

All things considered, yes, it’s worth the visit! In fact, Lazise is only a 30 minute drive from Verona and a short ferry ride from Sirmione.

Lazise Photo Tour

Lovely little areas to discover

Photos always help me with getting to know a destination. Here is a photo tour of my time in Lazise…..

Vittorio Emanuele Square
Lazise Village
A delightful and attractive old town to browse, shop and find a quaint cafe
Such a enchanting harbor and promenade! Just beautiful!
Lazise
Cute little buildings everywhere!

By and large, Lazise Italy is one of the most important villages on Lake Garda. Especially because of its natural beauty, a white sandy beach, and several water and land sport options. In addition, it is in close proximity to Gardaland and Canevaworld parks – both great for families with children.


Taormina Italy

Perched upon a cliff above the shimmering sea, adorned with a backdrop of majestic mountains, Taormina Italy, is the sparkling jewel of Sicily. The natural beauty is definitely a feast for your eyes. In the first place, you will admire spectacular panoramic views of the sea. Secondly, you will also have a stunning view of famous Mount Etna idly smoking in the distance.
Taormina TravelIn addition, Taormina boasts a magnificent town center.  Taormina’s main gathering place, Piazza IX April, has amazing views of the sea below.  It is in the center of town and a great place to eat, drink, listen to music and people watch.

 Piazza Aprile

The ancient city of Taormina is completely walkable and attractive.  For instance, flowers tumbling down balconies of pretty buildings and flowering oleander trees, just skyrocket the level of charm.  Furthermore, narrow cobblestone streets with cute little shops set the stage for delight!  It really is that good! The main pedestrian street, Corso Umberto, is simply charming.  In addition, there are two main gathering places, Piazza Aprile and Piazza Duomo.

Taormina Travel

Piazza Duomo

You will enjoy excellent restaurants and cafes to visit. Soak up the lively atmosphere of magnificent Taormina Italy. It is filled with people strolling along cobblestone streets listening to musicians singing all the Italian classics. You will enjoy browsing and shopping in the numerous luxury and local stores.

Read the Best of Taormina

Taormina Sicily

Picture perfect views!

For a bit of history, don’t miss the impressive and famous Greek Amphitheater. Meanwhile, don’t forget to visit the beautiful beaches. Ride the Funicular (cable car) down to the picturesque bay and beaches of Taormina Mare. All the beach clubs have delicious restaurants and also rent beds, towels and umbrellas.
Shopping All things considered; Taormina Sicily should be on the top of your list when you visit Italy

The Best of Taormina Sicily……..

HOTELS IN TAORMINA
Taormina Hotels

Taormina has fantastic world class hotels, luxury boutique hotels and wonderful B&B’s. Some have pools and most have stunning views.  Go to my TAORMINA HOTEL GUIDE for great hotel suggestions.

RESTAURANTS IN TAORMINA
Taormina Restaurants

Italy is known for its delicious cuisine and the amazing food in Sicily is one of the reasons why!  There are so many regional specialties and delicious fresh ingredients, not to mention the wine. Go to my Taormina Restaurant Guide for some great suggestions.

NIGHTLIFE IN TAORMINA

Daiquiri Lounge

The town is energized and alive at night.  You will find a vast choice of things to do and places to go.  Dancing, cocktails, music or just getting gelato.  Check out my guide to Taormina Nightlife.

TAORMINA BEACHES
Isola Bella

THINGS TO DO in TAORMINA

Chiesa di San Giuseppe

Chiesa di San Giuseppe

To me, the Church of San Giuseppe is one of the most splendid.  It was built in the 17th century in grand Baroque style and dedicated to Saint Joseph.  Its beauty dominates the main square of the town, Piazza IX Aprile.

Get ready for an Italian adventure listed on my Things to Do in Taormina post!


Greek Theatre Taormina

The Ancient Greek Theatre Taormina is the most significant and popular monument to visit. It is an incredibly beautiful place and a treasure of antiquity. Italians call it Teatro Greco and it is also known as the Greek-Roman Theatre. Not only does it have artistic and historical value, but the scenery itself is stunning.Greek Theatre Taormina

The Greek Theatre is the second largest classical theatre in Sicily. Building began on the Greek Theatre during the 1st century BC, during the Greek era. Afterwards, the Romans reconstructed and enlarged it in the 2nd century AD. The orchestra is in the center and then, set around the orchestra is the auditorium or cunei.  It holds at least 10,000 spectators!  Hunting shows, or venation’s, were very popular in the 3rd century AD.  At that time, Gladiators and wild beasts took center stage. The theatre itself is a testimony to the wealth and prosperity enjoyed by Taormina between the 1st and 3rd century AD.Greek Theatre Taormina Sicily

Getting to the The Greek

Teatro Greco is within walking distance from everywhere in upper Taormina. It is located directly off the main pedestrian walkway, Corso Umberto.  It is by the Porta Messina Arch of Corso Umberto. Walk past beautiful Hotel Timeo and you will find the entrance.
Address:  Via del Teatro Greco, Taormina Sicily

Greek Theatre Taormina EventsGreek Theatre Taormina Events

Furthermore, Teatro Greco is the most spectacular ancient venue in the world! Not only is it food for the historian’s soul, but it is also a concert venue for culture and music lovers!  Since the 1950’s it has become a modern entertainment venue.  Shows range from Sting and Brian Wilson to classic operas and the delicious sounds of Il Volo.  Various performances include concerts, operas, theatre productions, and symphonies. Make it an unforgettable night in Taormina -see a show at the Ancient Greek Theatre Taormina.  Click here for upcoming events and to purchase tickets.
TaorminaTaormina


Oia Santorini

OIA Santorini is Paradise in the Greek Islands

When you visit the village of Oia Santorini, it seems like you stepped into a fantasy.

First of all, Oia Greece is one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever traveled to. It is known for it’s devastatingly gorgeous views, amazing sunsets and sloping cliffs. A volcanic eruption thousands of years ago gave Santorini its distinctive crescent shape, sheer cliffs and shimmering bay called the Caldera. It has entranced visitors and locals alike ever since. Oia is perched high upon a soaring cliff making views of the infinite blue Aegean sea sensational and endless. Furthermore, the charming, iconic whitewashed homes, labyrinth of narrow streets and blue domes truly magnify its beauty. Oia is beyond doubt, a feast for your eyes!Oia Santorini

Oia Santorini is busy with tourists strolling the streets visiting the multitude of shops, cafes, restaurants, and art galleries. In addition, it is a hot spot for honeymooners and long-time couples alike. Most of all, the beautiful village of Oia has hypnotic vistas, jaw-dropping views and colorful sunsets into the sea that you will remember for a lifetime. When you visit Greece, and the Greek Islands don’t miss out on visiting Oia Greece.

Oia Sunset                   

Oia Santorini Sunset
The magnificent sunset-watching hour is a major event in Oia Santorini.  Crowds gather on the terraces, walls steps and main pedestrian street at the tip of the cliff in order to see this beautiful event!  All the cobblestone streets are clogged!  There is actually a spectator look-out area by the Byzantine Castle, but go early in order to get a good seat!  Better yet, grab a spot in a restaurant or cafe and take in the spectacle with some delicious Greek wine.  Opa!

Nightlife in Oia Santorini

The restaurant and cafe scene is tremendously busy in Oia, but for clubs and dancing, you would have to visit Fira. Using public buses is a convenient and inexpensive way to get around, with many departure times. For schedules, check Santorini Public Buses.
Cost: Oia to Fira is EUR 1.80  (EUR 2.30 after midnight) and takes about 25 minutes.

Things to Do in Oia Santorini

Amoudi Bay

Three hundred steps down from the village of Oia Santorini is the charming, quiet port of Amoudi. Here you will find several traditional tavernas that serve fresh caught fish and octopus.  Looking up, you will see the picturesque whitewashed houses of Oia in the distance with red cliffs all around you.  The water is crystal clear and sparkling blue.  You can walk along the bay on the big rocks or take a refreshing swim. Remember to take your camera because you will get some great shots on the steps and by the water.  Believe it or not, walking down gives your legs a workout because the steps are a few strides deep and slanted downward. Consequently walking up is a vigorous hike.  Wear good shoes/sneakers.  Alternatively, you can take a taxi or bus.
Fun Fact:  The movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, was filmed at Amoudi Bay in Oia Santorini Greece.

 Byzantine Castle Ruins

Formerly a 15th-century castle, today you will find ruins of a tower here.  Notably, the best panoramic views of Santorini are seen from these ruins. The view from the citadel boasts picturesque whitewashed buildings, a windmill, and the azure sea beneath spectacular cliffs. A photographers dream!  Also this is the best spot to see Oia’s spectacular sunset.

Catamaran Excursion on the Sunset Oia

Oia Santorini Sunset Oia Catamaran

Sunset Oia 74′ Catamaran

Enjoy a morning or sunset cruise on a 74′ catamaran!  It is a wonderful way to see the beautiful vista of the red cliffs and villages perched above. Included is a delicious BBQ, beer, wine and soft drinks.  You can sun on the catamaran’s trampoline or sit in comfortable lounge seats.  It stops at the Red beach and White beach for swimming and snorkeling. In addition, it stops at the Hot Springs for swimming and a mud bath. The morning cruise time is 9:30-2:30. You can also take an afternoon cruise to see the  spectacular sunset.  A memorable, wonderful day is in store for you!  Departures are from Amoudi Bay in Oia.

The Best of Oia Santorini……….

OIA HOTELS

Note: Check out Santorini Greece Hotels for hotels in other areas of Santorini.

Oia Santorini RESTAURANTS

Jump to Santorini Restaurants  for great food in other villages.

OIA BEACHES

There are several lovely beaches in Oia, some of which are accessible by climbing steps. Although it may be a bit of a strenuous activity, it is definitely worth it. These are the beaches of Armeni, Ammoudi, Baxedes, Katharos and Koloumbos.

Katharos Beach, Oia Santorini

Oia Santorini Katharos Beach

This is a very quiet and beautiful small beach with black sand and pebbles.  From Oia, Katharos Beach is only a 15 minute walk down the cliff steps and on a path.  On the way down, there is a cute cafe where you can get a nice lunch.  There are no facilities, therefore, bring your towels.

Jump to Santorini Beaches for beaches in other villages

Kamari Beach, Santorini
Kamari Beach

A fun suggestion is to rent an ATV or scooter for a 35 minute ride to a very popular beach resort, Kamari Beach.  Karmari Beach is a totally different vibe that Oia.  Kamari’s long  sandy beach is crowded with plenty of sun worshippers.  Oh, did I mention that the sand is black?  Furthermore, the beach is lined with a multitude of cafe’s, restaurants, boutiques, stores and tourists. Public bus to Kamari Beach (Santorini Public Buses) takes about 45 minutes with a change in Fira.

Travel Directions to Oia Santorini

From Athens

By Ferry:  A high speed ferry from Athens to Santorini is about a 5 hour trip. On some ferries you can sit out on the decks and get an awesome view of the cliffs and caldera when entering the port of Fira, Santorini.   The SeaJets Ferries or the Blue Star Ferries leave from the popular Athens port of Piraeus, typically about 7am in the morning arriving about 12 noon.

Once arriving at the Port in Fira, you can get to you destination in Oia Santorini by:

  • Hotel Transfer
  • Private Transfer
  • Taxi
  • Bus:  Take a bus from Fira Port up to Fira town.  Then transfer to a bus from Fira to Oia (30 minutes).  You can pay when you board the bus.
  • Boat:  There are speedboat transfers to Amoudi Port and then take a bus up to Oia village

By Air:  Flights are a much faster option.  From Athens Airport (ATH) into Fira, Santorini (JTR), the flight time is only 45 minutes. Check flights with RyanAir, Olympic/Aegean and Sky Express.

  • Hotel Transfer
  • Private Transfer
  • Rent a Car:  Car rentals are available at the airport.  At the entrance of Oia village is a car park where you can leave your vehicle.
  • Bus:  From Airport to Fira and then a change of bus from Fira to Oia Santorini

SANTORINI FESTIVALS and EVENTS

Santorini Jazz Festival – Kamari

If you love jazz music, the Santorini Jazz Festival will entertain you with famous Greek and international performers.  This three-day summer festival takes place in July,  and attracts a big crowd of jazz music fans.  It is held in the beach town of Kamari.

Aegean Regatta

Aegean Regatta

August 18-26, 2018.  Do you like boats and the gorgeous blue sea?  Did you ever dream of sailing in a regatta? This is the biggest international open sea sailing race in Greece.  The regatta begins in the small, quaint island of Skyros and competitors will make stops at other islands before finishing in Sammos.  This exciting event covers 190 nautical miles.  Check out AegeanRegatta for more information or to register for your experience of a lifetime!

Megaro Gyzi Festival

This annual festival takes place during the month of August and features a series of concerts and art exhibitions.  The iconic Gyzi Mansion in Fira hosts this festival.  For more information, go to gyzimegaron.gr.

Ifestia Festival

The Ifestia Festival (Greek Volcano festival) This festival takes place in August and is all about the history of Santorini’s volcanic eruption.  There are concerts, performances, fireworks and many other happenings at this festival.

International Music Festival – Fira

The International Music Festival welcomes artists from the international music scene to perform at the Nomikos Conference Centre in Fira . This two-week festival takes place during the first few weeks in September. Source: www.greeka.com


Santorini Festivals and Events

Greece has an abundance of culture and history.  There are so many exciting events happening in Santorini.  Try to coordinate your vacation in order to attend your favorite!

Santorini Jazz Festival – Kamari

Are you a jazz lover? The Santorini Jazz Festival will certainly entertain you.  Savor the sounds of    jazz, fusion, funk and be-bop. Enjoy performances by an assortment of famous Greek and international  musicians.  This is a three-day summer event. It takes place every July at the open-air cinema in the resort town of Kamari Beach. The festival attracts a huge crowd of jazz music fans from all over the world.

Aegean Regatta

August 21-27, 2022.  Do you like boats and the gorgeous blue sea?  Did you ever dream of sailing in a regatta? This is the biggest international open sea sailing race in Greece.  The regatta begins in the small, quaint island of Skyro. Competitors will make stops at other islands before finishing in Sammos.  This exciting event covers 190 nautical miles.  Check out AegeanRegatta for more information.  You can even register to sail for your experience of a lifetime!

Megaro Gyzi Festival – Fira

This annual festival takes place during the month of August. It features a series of concerts and delightful art exhibitions.  The iconic Gyzi Mansion in Fira hosts this wonderful event.  For more information this and other events, go to gyzimegaron.gr 

Ifestia Festival

September 15, 2022. The Ifestia Festival is the Greek Volcano festival. It takes place every September throughout Santorini. This major event is entirely centered around the history of Santorini’s volcanic eruption. The festival commemorates the eruption that forever changed Santorini’s landscape. There are concerts, performances, fireworks and many other experiences happening during the Ifestia Festival.

International Music Festival – Fira

The International Music Festival will celebrate it’s 40th year in 2022.  It welcomes artists from the international music scene, such as pianists, violinists, guitarists, etc.  Performances are held at the Nomikos Conference Centre, Fira. The festival is a two-week event.  It takes place during the first few weeks in September. For program information check out: SantoriniMusicFestival.