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Sublime and Tiny Amoudi Bay below Oia, Santorini

If the Greek sea god, Poseidon, was to take a lunch break, tiny Amoudi Bay is where he’d have a seafood lunch! On the Greek island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea is the northern village of Oia, perched high on the red cliffs. 300 wide-cut steps lead down from Oia to the tiny jeweled-colored fishing port of Amoudi (or Ammoudi) Bay. 

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The Old Port of Santorini

Old Port of Santorini
Old Port of Santorini

The absolutely charming port of Amoudi Bay is where you will board or alight many of the sailing cruises that take you to the volcano and around the caldera.

It is also where tenders put ashore from cruise ships It can become very crowded each time a tender comes ashore. The main bottleneck is the queue for the cable car that hugs the red volcanic cliff face and travels to the stunning village of Fira far above.

But none of that matters because Amoudi Bay is a tiny slice of paradise!

How to get to Amoudi Bay

Amoudi Bay
Amoudi Bay

Steps, taxi, or donkey

Though about 1km away via a long and winding road, getting to Amoudi Bay from the town of Oia is as simple as walking down the approximately three hundred rock-hewn stairs to the beach below.

And while this might seem like a bit of a hike, it’s well worth the effort. With its white sugarcube houses nestled among the volcanic red rocks, the village of Oia as it clings to the cliffs makes for an extraordinary journey to Amoudi Bay.

That said, taxis (or donkeys – but it is not advisable) run from the town if you don’t relish the idea of walking back up the hill.

Sunset at Amoudi Bay

While Oia might be filled with architectural and historical attractions, Amoudi Bay is best known for its natural charm.

Positioned on the northwestern tip of Santorini, Amoudi Bay’s waters are a brilliant blue, making for a great place to explore, swim or simply bask in the glory of it all.

 Amoudi Bay at sunset
Amoudi Bay at sunset

Many travelers will tell you that the best time of day to visit Amoudi Bay is dusk when the golden glow of the setting sun creates a scene of pure magic.

Given its position at the western tip of Santorini, the sunset at Amoudi Bay is considered one of the island’s best vantage points, and a selfie here should be on every visitor’s checklist.

Sailing and Boat Hire at Amoudi Bay

A number of boats and sailing vessels also run out of Amoudi Bay on tours both short and long.

wooden boat sailing santorini
Wooden Boat sailing Santorini

There’s also a wide variety of catamaran tours where you can watch Amoudi Bay’s famous sunset in style (with wine and canapes no less). I have watched the sunset from boats coming into Amoudi Bay and I can promise you that it’s magical and very romantic.

If you’re in a rush there are also smaller private boats for hire, that can be chartered at your direction and at your leisure.

Cliff Jumping at Amoudi

Cliff Jumping at Amoudi
Cliff Jumping at Amoudi

The crystal-clear waters around the bay, particularly around the small island of Saint Nicholas, are a great place for the popular activity of cliff jumping.

On hot summer days, there are dozens of people cliff jumping.

The Small Island of Saint Nicholas

From the bay itself, it is just a few minutes to swim out to Saint Nicholas. The small, rocky island is about five to ten meters high, with deep water all around, making it relatively safe for jumpers. There is a designated point marked for jumping.

The Small Island of Saint Nicholas
The Small Island of Saint Nicholas

That said, don’t give this a go unless you’re a strong swimmer, and think about checking your insurance cover first! If you’re not game to take the plunge, Saint Nicholas is also home to its little church, an ancient little chapel painstakingly built into the rock.

Scuba diving classes are held between the island and the rocky beach.

Amoudi Bay’s Restaurants

A restaurant in Amoudi Bay
A restaurant in Amoudi Bay

Apart from the area’s natural delights, Amoudi Bay has its fair share of authentic and straight-to-the-plate dining, dining that is unsurprisingly focused on the maritime.

Walking the narrow path around the rim of the bay you’ll likely see a few freshly caught octopuses hanging up in the sun.

Along with the catch of the day, these are put to the table at a number of seafood restaurants and quaint tavernas that crowd the little bay, offering visitors an authentic taste of Cycladic cuisine. Here are just two.

Amoudi Fish Tavern

With a deck that juts right out into the bay, it shouldn’t shock you to learn that fish is the star attraction of the Amoudi Fish Tavern. 

Salmon, cod, sea bream, bass, and grouper are all served here and cooked to perfection by local chefs.

Amoudi Fish Tavern
Amoudi Fish Tavern

On the lighter side, there are signature meals like Emily’s Salad, a light snack that features katiki cheese (made from a blend of sheep and goat milk), and capers that grow wild along the Amoudi Bay shoreline.

And there’s also the dakos, a delicious Cretan appetizer that sees dried bread covered with tomatoes, olives, capers, and crumbled feta cheese. 

Taverna Kantina

Trip Anthropologist

Situated right down on the water is the Taverna Katina, a humble little restaurant that serves the bounty of the sea while the waves of the Aegean all but lap at your feet. Staff often recommend the grouper but make sure you try the fried octopus, alongside oceanic delights such as shrimp, crab legs, mussels, lobsters, and squid.

In fact, Taverna Katina is known for having some of the best calamari on the island, marinated with olive oil and oregano and barbecue grilled to perfection.

Accommodation at Amoudi Bay

Amoudi Bay is situated a little outside the touristy hustle and bustle of Oia, but close enough that it’s only a quick foray into the action. Luckily there are a number of spots right near the bay itself for travelers willing to spend both very little and a whole lot.

Though the area around Amoudi Bay has a large number of hotels and villas, here are two of the best on the cliffs of the bay itself.

Amoudi Villas

Amoudi Villas
Amoudi Villas

A modest hotel offering a small selection of suites, Amoudi Villas has the advantage of being the only hotel in the area that offers beautiful views of the caldera down onto the bay and across the crescent of Santorini.

Built in a traditional cave house style, it’s just a few meters walk down the stairs into the bay and the restaurants and tavernas around it.

There are family houses and two-bedroom suites as well as lovely sea view rooms.

Hyperion Oia Suites

Trip Anthropologist

A little away from Amoudi Villas lies the far more luxurious and expensive Hyperion Oia Suites, named after the famous son of Ouranos the Titan.

Comprising two key villas with their own outdoor pools and jacuzzis, the Hyperion Oia Suites are the ultimate in luxury, giving visitors divine views out over the Aegean in both privacy and comfort.

Other Accommodation in Oia and Santorini

There are many more wonderful places to stay in Santorini and in Oia.

Traditional cave hotels are built into the volcanic cliffs and there are wonderful hotels where the rooms or suites have their own private swimming pools.

For a general guide on the best accommodation in the main villages of Santorini, read Where to Stay in Santorini.