Last Updated on 16th April 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
Set against the backdrop of quintessential Greek architecture and the glittering azure of the sparkling sea, it’s easy to see why the Blue Church Domes of Oia in Santorini feature in pretty much every postcard from Greece. Here’s a quick guide on where to find the blue domes of Santorini (and how to get the best photos of the beautiful architecture once there!)!
Where to find the blue domes of Santorini (Anastasi Church of Oia)
Though the capital of the island of Santorini is actually Fira (a small city in the central western part of the island that’s also known as Thera/ Thira or Θήρα in Greek), the blue domes themselves are located in Oia, a magical hilltop town in Northern Santorini that’s characterised by its trailing bougainvillaea and winding narrow lanes.
Some of the best reasons to visit this area of Greece include the amazing foodie scene to be found there, the stunning architecture, and the wealth of things to do.
From wine tasting to relaxing on volcanic beaches, there’s something for everyone on Santorini. Santorini is even a great destination if you’re planning a honeymoon in Greece. Want more proof? Check out our perfect 3 days in Santorini itinerary.
The blue domes themselves can be found in the form of the Anastasi Church on an unnamed road. This ecclesiastical building has been famous by the blue cupolas that crown the whitewashed walls and can be reached if you turn left down the pathway just before Patisserie Medevio on the road of Nik. Nomikou.
How to take photos of Oia, Greece
When it comes to taking photos of the blue domes of Santorini, you should know that despite what you may have seen on Instagram (and other travel publications), both the blue domes of Santorini, as well as the rooftops surrounding them are strictly private and off limits and so you cannot get up close to them.
Do not cross the barriers and don’t purposefully ignore the ‘private signs’! These are people’s homes and so trespassing is forbidden. Next, as you may well imagine, the area surrounding the blue rooftops can get pretty busy, particularly during sunset- which many claim is the most beautiful time of the day to be in Oia!
This is especially true of peak season (i.e. May through to October), and especially so during school holidays and at weekends. The quietest time in Oia is during the winter and early on the day mid-week.
As such, if you want to capture the best of the domes without the crowds, then you should head to Oia as early in the day as possible (preferably at sunrise so as to capture your photos with the best lighting). If you really want to beat the crowds, consider staying in Oia. Check the best accommodation prices for Oia here.
Fancy photographing a blue dome of Santorini outside of Oia? Well, another of the more photographed locations on the island is that of Imerovigli in Fira. For further information about taking beautiful travel photos, check out my ultimate travel photography gear guide.
Things to do in Oia close to the blue domes
After snapping a picture of the blue domes, it’s not time to leave yet! Instead, there are a number of other things worth doing in Oia, for any kind of budget. Aside from sampling the local cuisine at the ever-so-chic Red Bicycle Restaurant, be sure to pop into the beautiful bookshop of Atlantis Books and scout out the Cycladic windmills on the edge of Oia village.
Finally, if you’re looking for a memorable experience while in Santorini, you might consider taking a sunset cruise like this Small Group Sailing Cruise on a Catamaran. Including a BBQ meal, drinks, towels, and lasting for five hours, there’s WiFi onboard and snorkelling equipment is available. Finally, this Traditional Santorini Sightseeing Bus Tour includes the opportunity to enjoy Oia at sunset.
You will surely not be disappointed should you opt to visit Greece, though there are a number of things to consider while planning your trip, such as the best time of the year to visit and other travel considerations. Check out our guide to the best of Greece tips for more information and inspiration!
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.
Friday 26th of April 2019
Your post is filled with such good tips! I've been planning for a trip to Santorini so this is really good for me to know.
- Laura || afinnontheloose.com