Greece / Santorini

Explore Ammoudi Bay, a charming port at the foot of Oia in Santorini.

Get ready to add another must-visit destination to your Santorini itinerary! While the charming village of Oia takes the spotlight, don’t forget to make a stop at the hidden gem of Ammoudi Bay. Nestled beneath the spectacular cliffs of Oia, this little oasis houses a range of shops and enticing seafood restaurants. Everything to satisfy your taste buds and your camera.

Whether you’re looking for a hearty lunch or a refreshing drink at sunset, Ammoudi Bay is the perfect place to take a break after exploring Oia. But before you go, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your visit to this picturesque corner of Santorini.

Ammoudi Bay as seen from Oia

About Ammoudi Bay in Santorini

If you’re traveling to Santorini, you simply can’t miss Ammoudi Bay! Originally used as a fishing and transport center, the influx of visitors to the island has transformed this little gem into a bustling hub of colorful restaurants and buildings.

Nestled beneath the impressive cliffs of red volcanic rock, Ammoudi Bay offers crystal-clear blue waters and picturesque views of the stunning white and blue buildings of Oia. It’s a sight you won’t want to miss!

Despite its undeniable charm, many tourists make the mistake of completely bypassing Ammoudi Bay. Don’t be one of them! Make sure to add this charming port to your itinerary and experience up close the unique beauty of Santorini.

Where is Ammoudi Bay located?

Get ready to set sail to the beautiful Ammoudi Bay! Located on the northwest tip of Santorini, Greece, just below the famous village of Oia. This hidden gem is a must-visit for any traveler exploring this magical island.

The bay is easily accessible, only a 20-minute drive or bus ride from the island’s capital, Fira (Thera). And if you’re coming from Athens or the mainland, Santorini is just 200 km to the southeast, nestled among the Cyclades islands, with neighboring islands Ios and Anafi within reach.

How to access Ammoudi Bay in Santorini?

The descent to Ammoudi Bay in Santorini is a must-do for anyone visiting Oia. Although the stairs may not be immediately visible, they are worth finding. These nearly 300 wide stone steps will take you down to the sparkling waters of the bay, offering stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and the town of Oia.

While the stairs leading down to Ammoudi Bay are not too steep, it’s a good idea to conserve some energy for the return trip. And watch out for donkey droppings! To avoid any mishaps, we recommend wearing sturdy shoes instead of flip-flops.

Take a taxi down

Of course, if hiking isn’t your thing, there are other ways to reach Ammoudi Bay. Taxis regularly run on the road to Oia, costing around 10 euros. That said, be sure to check the price before getting into the vehicle. Ammoudi Bay is a popular stop for many boat excursions, offering a unique perspective on the bay and its surroundings.

Take a Quad down

You can also access Ammoudi Bay by quad, but it’s a bit tricky. There is very little space at the bottom of the cliff, not to mention the potential traffic jams. I recommend parking higher up and descending the stairs or the road on foot. Discover why renting a quad is the best thing to do in Santorini.

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But it’s worth it

Whether you choose to hike or take a taxi, visiting Ammoudi Bay is an absolute must for anyone exploring Santorini. With its breathtaking views, delicious seafood restaurants, and crystal-clear waters, it’s easy to see why Ammoudi Bay is such a beloved place on this beautiful island.

Do NOT take the donkeys to go back up

You will see some locals offering to take you back to Oia on donkey-back. You must absolutely not accept this. These donkeys are subjected to mistreatment and are absolutely not meant to go up and down stone stairs all day. I strongly condemn these practices, which are completely at odds with the values of Âme Bohème.

The donkeys that go down to the bay. You must NEVER take them: they are mistreated.

Dining in Ammoudi Bay – The Restaurants

Get ready to delight your taste buds at the restaurants in Ammoudi Bay, Santorini! This place is known for its freshly caught seafood, and the selection of mouthwatering dishes offered will surely satisfy the cravings of all food enthusiasts.

As you descend the stone steps leading to the harbor, you’ll be greeted by several different restaurants, each with its unique ambiance and menu. One thing they all have in common is the breathtaking ocean view.

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Book well in advance

If you plan to visit during peak hours, it’s a good idea to book a table in advance, especially if you want to secure a spot right by the water.

Let’s take a closer look at the different restaurants in Ammoudi Bay:

Dimitris Taverna

Dimitris Taverna restaurant in Ammoudi Bay

From right to left, the first one is Dimitris Taverna, a family-owned establishment serving fresh seafood since 1981. They take pride in using only the freshest ingredients, and their seafood pasta is a must-try.

Sunset Ammoudi by Paraskevas

Next, Sunset Ammoudi by Paraskevas, which offers a more upscale culinary experience. Here, you can savor traditional Greek cuisine with a modern twist while enjoying the stunning view of the bay.

Cool Cave

Cool Cave is a perfect spot for a mid-day break, serving delicious ice cream and coffee to help you cool down from the hot Santorini sun.

Katina Fish Tavern

Katina Fish Tavern is a charming family restaurant with a daily changing menu based on the catch of the day. They also offer vegetarian dishes for those who prefer not to eat seafood.

Ammoudi Fish Tavern

Ammoudi Fish Tavern, the most well-known restaurant in Ammoudi Bay

Finally, Ammoudi Fish Tavern is the ideal place to taste the catch of the day, which is brought in daily by local fishermen. This cozy spot is known for its friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere. That said, I didn’t find their dishes to be very good or particularly unique.

Admiring a sunset from Ammoudi Bay in Santorini

The sunset in Santorini is a spectacle that attracts travelers from all over. However, with crowds flocking to Oia Castle, finding a peaceful spot to watch the sun dip below the horizon can be a challenge. Fortunately, Ammoudi Bay offers a serene alternative.

At the end of the day, the cliffs of the Caldera light up in soft pastel shades of pink, purple, and gold, casting a dreamy glow over the calm waters of the Aegean Sea. And what better way to experience this breathtaking scene than from a rustic seaside taverna while sipping on a margarita and soaking in the ambiance.

For a truly unique sunset adventure, embark on a catamaran. And watch the sun set over the tranquil waters of Ammoudi Bay. Enjoy a sunset swim, savor delicious food and drinks, and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

So, why join the crowds at Oia Castle when you can enjoy a more peaceful and memorable sunset experience in Ammoudi Bay?

Swimming in Ammoudi Bay in Santorini

Looking for a refreshing swim in Santorini? While the island isn’t famous for its beaches, Ammoudi Bay offers a unique swimming experience. Walk leisurely past the restaurants of Ammoudi Bay on the left and follow the path that winds along the cliff. As you walk, you’ll spot the picturesque Saint Nicholas Island just off the shore.

On a hot summer day, Saint Nicholas Island is a popular spot for swimmers looking to cool off in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not swim to the island and try cliff jumping? It’s an exciting way to experience the island’s beauty from a different perspective.

Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and plenty of water to stay hydrated. And for those who prefer to stay on solid ground, you’ll find plenty of shaded spots along the shore. Ideal for relaxing and enjoying the view.

The best time to visit Ammoudi Bay in Santorini

Looking for a quieter and more enjoyable experience in Ammoudi Bay, Santorini? In that case, it’s best to avoid the high season and plan your visit during the shoulder months. Learn about the weather and the best times to visit Santorini.

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Visiting Ammoudi Bay during Santorini’s shoulder season

During the summer, Ammoudi Bay is teeming with tourists who come to witness the stunning sunsets and savor fresh seafood in the charming bay restaurants. However, a visit during the shoulder season (late April to early June or mid-September to October) can make a significant difference in your experience.

The weather is still warm, and the sea is welcoming, but the crowds are more manageable, making it much easier to explore the bay at your own pace. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with locals and learn more about their way of life.

Another bonus of visiting during the shoulder season is the cost. Accommodation, food, and drink prices are generally lower, allowing you to make the most of your budget.

By choosing the shoulder season, you’ll not only enjoy a more relaxed experience but also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of tourism on the island, while extending the tourist season for the locals.

Enjoying the shoulder season for a quieter time

The best time of day to explore Ammoudi Bay in Santorini

Are you looking for the best time of day to visit Ammoudi Bay in Santorini? Look no further than sunset! It’s the moment when the bay truly shines, with warm waters, picturesque tavernas, and a vibrant atmosphere. The play of light that accompanies the sunset only adds to the magic of this unique and secluded oasis, with breathtaking views of Thirasia and the majestic caldera rising above.

But if you have other plans for sunset, don’t worry. There’s still plenty to do during the day in Ammoudi Bay. Take a dip in the sea to cool off from the heat, with the nearby swimming spot being one of the most beautiful and popular on the island. It’s also an excellent opportunity to get a sense of the island’s vastness and to discover the unique beauty of Ammoudi Bay during daylight.

Whether you visit at sunset or during the day, Ammoudi Bay is a must-visit destination in Santorini. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the magic for yourself!

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Article mis à jours le 5 February 2024 par Pierre Bouyer

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