About Amoudi Bay
Amoudi Bay stands 300 steps below the city of Oia on the northwest part of the town and is a virtual tourist magnet though it was originally meant to be just a fishing village. The picturesque settings of the bay with gorgeous volcanic red cliffs flanking it on 3 sides and a profusion of whitewashed houses catapulted it to fame. The ethereal beauty of this reclusive bay is one of the reasons why it attracts hundreds of photographers.
The exceptional seafood served here attracts foodies while swimmers and sunbathers are attracted by the relaxing environment and luxurious Greek sand and sun. The Amoudi Bay is so pretty that umpteen sailing tours use it as their staging point. It is used as the theme in millions of wallpapers and picture postcards. Santorini may be a paradise on earth but the Amoudi Bay is the prettiest part of that paradise.
Activities & Amenities
Ammoudi Bay is more of a relaxation zone than an activity hub. Once you step inside you will anyway be overawed by the scenery and the brilliant colour of the Aegean Sea that laps up to your feet and probably will just want to stare.
The little moon-shaped bay is dotted with umpteen seafood waterfront eateries and a few curio and craft shops. It will take you 15 minutes maximum to go around all the shops… the Bay is really that tiny. The best thing about this place is that life moves really slowly over here and you will see tourists chilling out with their Greek wine/ coffee and sitting out there on the waterfront for a really long time.
Cliff diving is arguably the most popular activity here. Whether you take the steps or the road to reach Amoudi Bay, you need to walk past a line of restaurants (to the left) and follow a small footpath that goes around the bend. Walk on for 15 minutes and you will reach the cliff jumping spot. If you jump from the main island side it’s only a 10 feet jump into the clear Mediterranean waters so it’s basically a safe experience.
Other adventurous souls can swim out for about 5 minutes from the bay and reach another jumping point that offers 20 feet jumps. This little rocky island (island of Saint Nicholas) that’s very popular amongst tourists can be seen clearly from the main Amoudi Bay. The jumping platform here is a church that sits to the left of the island around the back… swimmers will find thick ropes to help them access the path. The jumping platforms have become quite rough with time and wearing reef walkers i.e. rubber and nylon mesh shoes are highly recommended.
Incidentally, the Kamari beach is a great cliff jumping hotspot too. For the record, the girls in the popular movie ‘Second Sisterhood of Travelling Pants’ jumped off the cliffs at Amoudi Bay.
Swimming and sunbathing are very popular here. It’s a treat to submerge yourself in those pure Mediterranean waters and then lie down on the rock beds soaking up the sun… a gorgeous Greek tan is on the cards!! Keep walking 5 minutes to the left and there is a place which is beautifully suited to swimming and sunbathing.
On Amoudi Bay, you will notice tourists ordering Greek wine to complement the food and local beer too but trying out the coffee can be an interesting choice. Greek coffee is sweet and thick and very similar to Turkish coffee and obviously very different from typical Starbuck blends.
Having a meal at Amoudi Bay is on the priority list of almost everybody. There are around 7 to 10 restaurants on the bay and almost all of them are waterfront places that offer amazing views of the setting sun. Check the sunset timings and book a table at least half an hour before… be aware of the huge rush that comes in around sunset.
One of the best restaurants to dine here is the Ammoudi Fish Tavern… you can even book online from their website and there is a 10 euro booking fee that gets deducted from the total bill. Typically meals start off with super crunchy Greek toast, olive oil and olives and include interesting local dishes like Emily’s salad (smoked salmon, spinach, katiki cheese, sunflower seeds, raisins, arugula, tomato, capers) and mastelo cheese appetizers.
Greek-style risotto with mussels, squid and shrimp and the famous fried calamari and fried anchovies are other must-try items while dining on the Amoudi Bay. If you aren’t game for grilled lobsters then you can try less adventurous grills (cod, sea bass, sea bream, sole, and grouper and even crab legs). There are other specialities like Dakos (an appetizer made with soaked and dried bread and topped with cheese, capers, feta cheese, tomatoes and olives). Sunset Taverna and Taverna Katina are also good places to savour a meal.
Be prepared to see a lot of seafood hung out for display. This is a fisherman’s hotspot and much of what is served is caught fresh that day. You will see shrimp, lobster, sea fish in various colours and shapes and large octopuses. Grilled octopus is really a popular dish here and all restaurants on the Amoudi Bay will serve it.
The views from Amoudi Bay are beautiful at all points of time but in the light of the setting sun everything appears super stunning… bathed in a golden glow. If you visit the Amoudi Bay on more than one occasion then its recommended to have a sunset meal there once and an afternoon meal once; the Bay is swathed in a different kind of beauty each time.
Following the afternoon meal, you can go up to Oia town and sit on the terrace of any random little restaurant and catch the sunset view. Remember that Oia is at a higher elevation than Amoudi so the views spread out wider.
If you are a fan of the ‘Sisterhood of Travelling Pants’ then you could do the whole trail demonstrated there. Eat at the Sunset Taverna and swim over to the island before diving into the warm water. It has become a trend to shoot videos that encompass all these activities and then upload them on social media!!
Amoudi Bay is basically a very small fishing village. The entire economy thrives on seafood there, so if you don’t eat seafood or are averse to the smell of it, chilling out here will be a little difficult for you. There are a couple of local shops selling artisanal products and fresh produce though.
How To Reach
As mentioned before Amoudi Bay stands right below the Oia town. The shorter but tougher way is to climb down the odd 300 steps that connect the Oia town to Amoudi Bay. It’s not that difficult to get down but going back up will make you breathless. The steps are laden by donkey manure so it’s difficult manoeuvring them in the dark.
In the opposite direction to the steps there is a smooth though much longer road that’s not steep and easy to walk on. If you are coming by car then drive down this road (takes 15 minutes to reach the car park from the heart of Oia) and park as close as possible to the bottom of the road near the car park. Parking is not abundant though and it fills up pretty quickly after which people park their cars along the road leading down to the wharf.
If you are taking a taxi back then the restaurant at Amoudi Bay you choose to dine in will call a taxi for you. Another option is to take donkey rides up and down the stairs but that’s not a very comfortable option especially for the uninitiated. Animal lovers will not like the idea of the seemingly malnourished donkeys carrying not so skinny people up and down the steep steps in the hot Greek sun.
ATV lovers will love to use the ATV (there is a separate parking lot) to come down the road. Sometimes there are water taxis available to take passengers from Amoudi Bay to Fira but that’s not a regular service.
Cruises depart from Amoudi Bay to the Volcano Islands and Catamarans run to the exotic beaches of the South (Red Beach, White Beach, and Lovers Beach).
Ammoudi Bay is 18 km away from the Kamari airport and 21 km away from the Athinios port. Santorini’s capital Fira is 13 km away from here.
About 300 meters away from the Ammoudi Bay on Pilarhorn Street there is a splendid cave-like shop called Mnemosyne gallery. It stocks the most incredible collection of fine photography and handmade jewellery. The jewellery is exquisite and reasonably priced.
Walk a little further and you will reach the ruins of the Byzantine castle… another top attraction of Oia. The ruins aren’t particularly well maintained but there’s a lot of history behind them and they offer a splendid view. Many travellers find it rewarding to explore Amoudi Bay and then go up to Oia town that’s perched high up on the cliff to catch the sunset. Some tourists also like hiking to the Katharos beach for a swim and sunbath… the volcanic walls and pristine waters of the Aegean Sea is always a breath-taking combination.