Although blue-domed churches are present in many Cyclades islands in Greece, the specific ones you were searching for are in the town of Oia on the island of Santorini. It was definitely on my list to visit this landmark during my trip to Greece.
How do I get to the three blue domes in Oia?
This post is meant to help those who have had trouble finding the perfect spot to take a photo of several blue-domed buildings in Oia, Santorini. While locating individual blue domes on the island is easy using Google Maps, capturing the perfect shot of multiple domes in Oia can be a challenge. However, I will provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you find the domes and get that perfect shot.
Oia is a small town situated on a hillside of an island that was shaped by a volcano. The town’s layout is exceptional and crowded, with narrow streets that resemble more walkways containing numerous steps. Additionally, due to the street’s design, you might encounter some donkeys while walking around since cars cannot pass through these roads.
Navigating the town can be challenging since many streets are unidentified or unmarked, and some buildings lack precise addresses. Although exploring can be an enjoyable experience, searching for the domes to photograph can be difficult and frustrating.
To get the classic postcard shot of the blue domes of Santorini, follow these steps. If you’re staying in Oia, you can simply walk to the best spot to see the iconic blue domes. However, if you’re staying in Fira or elsewhere, you may need to drive to Oia first. In the center of Oia, plenty of parking is available along the streets and in free parking lots. But keep in mind that during the summer season and at sunset, parking spots can fill up quickly.
Reach Oia and aim for the Church of Panagia Akathistos Hymn, which can be located on Google Maps. You can also search for the Oia Central Plaza. The Church of Panagia Akathistos Hymn is situated in the Oia Central Plaza and won’t be one of the domes as pictured. Nevertheless, it is still worth taking pictures here due to its stunning beauty.
Stand facing away from the sea with the church behind you. Go towards the “Nik. Nomikou” street and take a right turn. Keep walking for about 1 minute or 200 feet or 60 meters. You will easily spot a big and gorgeous blue-domed church on your left. This particular church is not included in the photo we are going to capture.
After passing the church, take a left turn onto a narrow pathway that will lead you to a door. You can take either a left or right turn from this door to access the finest views of Oia’s blue domes. I personally preferred the view from the right.
Where are the three blue domes in Santorini?
Get to Oia, and locate either the Church of Panagia Akathistos Hymn or Oia Central Plaza. Face the sea and walk right on Nik. Nomikou for around 200 feet. Once you spot the big church with a blue dome and three bells, turn left and keep walking until you see the church’s courtyard on your left. Follow the path on your left until you reach a brown door, then turn right. From there, you can enjoy the view!
Although people usually talk about three blue domes, there are more blue domed churches in Oia and in Santorini in general.
When is the best time to visit the blue domes of Oia?
I suggest taking pictures during both sunrise and sunset to capture different lighting and moods. While mid-morning is an ideal time to capture shots of the domes themselves, taking selfies during that time may not be the best idea because the sun will be directly in your eyes.
I recommend choosing either spring or fall as the best time of year to visit Santorini. It gets extremely crowded in the summer, and you may end up sharing photo spots with many other tourists. Despite a bit of effort required to find good spots, capturing amazing photos will make your trip to Santorini truly enjoyable. Have a pleasant journey! I hope these directions help you find the blue domes of Santorini so that you can get the perfect photo.
Traveling to 🇬🇷 Greece soon?
I recommend these travel resources for Greece that I personally use:
🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Greece. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Greece, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.
🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.
🚙 Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer from the airport and beetween destinations with Welcome Pickups. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.
🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Greece, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Greece. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.
📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.
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