I found my way back at the main bus station and sat down in the waiting area which was really just a few random benches with a tarp covering it. I managed to get there about 15 minutes early and the bus ended up showing up about 10 minutes later then it was supposed to. I wish that I hadn’t spent a solid 35 minutes waiting for the bus but it was definitely obvious that the bus runs on its own schedule. There isn’t really anything excessively complicated to riding the bus in Santorini. There is someone collecting money, you pay them and they’ll give you a ticket then you stand around and wait for the bus to actually show up. What was surprising to me was that the standard bus for Santorini are charter buses. I say that this was surprising because I’ve never seen charter buses as public transportation. And that being said, it is something to keep in mind because if there are a lot of other tours going on, don’t get confused about which bus you’re supposed to actually get on. The group that I was standing in started to migrate toward an actual tour bus at one point and I was definitely confused until an older gentlemen started yelling at us in Greek.
I boarded the bus and we started the drive toward Oia. Oia is pronounced ee-yah, and the road there is full of ridiculous turns. I am actually so glad that I decided not to try to walk all the way up to Oia because I would have definitely given up. At one point, between Fira and Oia, the cities all just disappear and it’s just mountains, and rocky terrain. We had about 3 stops between the two cities and eventually ended up at the main bus terminal, aka a square that was the main bus stop and we got off the bus and started wandering.
Oia is actually the most famous city on the island, mainly because it has the most photographed spots. When you think of Santorini or look at photos, there are two major things that people think of. They think of the blue dome church and the sunset spot that overlooks a windmill. I decided that I wanted to make sure I saw the blue dome church and then make it back to Fira for sunset so the time table would only keep me in Oia for about 2 hours.
To be honest, there are blue dome churches all around Santorini so if you don’t want to deal with a bunch of tourists then you probably don’t need to see the main one in Oia. That being said, if you are looking for it, I wish I could provide you all the turn by turn directions to get there but, I can’t even pretend to tell you that I know how to get there. I tried Google mapping how to get there but unfortunately, Google maps really doesn’t help there. It can give you a pretty decent idea about which direction you should go but that’s about it. I followed my starred location and then ended up frantically running around Oia which included repeatedly backtracking trying to find a new turn I had missed in an attempt to get to the blue domes.
From what I could tell, Oia was under construction and some of the better spots to be able to see the domes were under construction because I kept running into dead ends and donkeys. I’m hoping that’s the reason I couldn’t get to the main lookout points to see the domes. I did eventually find some spots where I could see it from a distance and from the side. I was hoping to get almost a perfect leveled view but I couldn’t find that exact spot.
After I accomplished my goal of finally finding that church, it was time to really just focus on what I was seeing in this new town.