Santorini is widely known mostly for the enchanting town of Oia, the astounding views of the caldera and the volcano, the captivating beaches, and the diffuse idyllic atmosphere. Well, now it’s time to learn that Santorini is much more than that. Besides the remarkable historical tradition, the exquisite varieties of wines, the delicious local agricultural products, and the generous hospitality of the locals, Santorini is home to several beautiful villages of great interest. One of them is named Finikia village (F97R+4M Oia), located on the northwest side of the island and will indisputably be your hideaway to heavenly soul-comforting holidays in Santorini should you decide to be accommodated there. Why? We easily stood out five reasons to do so!
Remarkable architectural beauty
Finikia is an authentic neighborhood of Oia, dating back to the early medieval settlements of Santorini when it was the hometown of all the farmers who worked hard in the fields and the surrounding vineyards. Their building skills combined with the support of the wealthy ship-owners, led them to build, by digging the volcanic soil, creative, large, deep, and impressive underground structures for the preservation of the wines. They named these constructions Canaves and until today, Canaves are an integral architectural hallmark of the village.
Today, while entering the village of Finikia, you will be impressed by a high gateway which is made out of dark volcanic stones in the form of an archway as well as by pastel-colored houses traditional buildings with low doors, rounded roofs, and archways which are given the feeling that the everyday life of the village has been kept unchanged over the years.
While strolling around the steep cobbled alleys of the village, you will notice that the main street of Finikia crosses a ravine, an area that is known as Potamos (meaning river) by the locals, whereas following some steps on its right, located the charming church of St Matrona, the most famous attraction of Finikia! The church was built in 1859, features a striking bell tower, and a tall palm tree that enhances its yard is its hallmark from which the village took its name since Finikia in Greek means palm tree!
We are certain that you have heard a lot about the famous island of Santorini and frequently for its dreamy town of Oia. What we assume that you don’t know is that Oia can satisfy all the travelers’ tastes! Αs a matter of fact, for those of you who wish to avoid the fuzz and buzz of the center of Oia, Finikia village located at the beginning of Oia, will be an ideal place to spend your holidays.
It is just a breath away from the world-famous caldera and the main crowded market of Oia, still hidden in one of the most unspoiled areas of Santorini! This small village, with only about 50 permanent residents, located only 1 km away from Oia, is a favorable settlement for those of you who prefer spending your vacation in a quiet and tranquil place, cherishing serene moments with your beloved ones and distancing from the fast-evolving modern lifestyle. The main street that leads from Oia to Finikia is a flat road surface, easily walkable -approximately 7-10 minutes walking- thus you shall not miss enjoying the perks of Oia’s center.
If you prefer moving around in a car (not advised though), it is less than 3 minutes driving whereas a free parking lot lies at the entrance of Finikia Village. As you can only walk inside Finikia village, wandering around will probably be a chance to encounter a few donkeys marveling around the narrow alleys. You shall also discover the flora of Santorini with its characteristic plants such as prickly pear trees fencing the residents’ estates, blooming geraniums, and sweet-smelling jasmine flourishing in the locals’ yards, bougainvilleas, wild caper, thyme, and many more. Connecting with nature is the feeling you shall receive.
Value for money accommodation
Spending a few days at Santorini’s most prestigious locations such as Oia might be an expensive hobby for some people. For those who cherish luxury vacation and enjoy only value for money accommodation opportunities, Finikia probably has some options for you. In the village’s elegant narrow streets you shall discover petit boutique hotels and bed and breakfast properties that are great value for money in comparison with those located in the central town of Oia!
Staying in Finikia has its perks; you will stay in a charming, quaint, and authentic Greek settlement while enjoying the advantages of staying very close to Oia’s center, where you can find a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants and enjoy more vibrant moments.
Additionally, Finikia’s visitors can enjoy magnificent views of the sunset as well as direct sea views of the northeast coast, like the beaches of Baxedes and Paradisos, and the vineyards spreading towards the shore! Who said that the caldera view is the only worth-seeing view on this island?
To conclude, less or more luxury, always neat and hospitable, the accommodation alternatives in Finikia can meet every budget and taste. Among others, the Elysian Santorini, a bouquet of quietly impressive, meticulously designed suites can offer the visitors the same, with Oia’s hotels, luxury aesthetics, and facilities -such as private heated pools and hot tubs- with less costly prices and the equal high-quality services.
Αuthentic Greek flavors and interesting restaurants to visit
The unspoiled traditional settlement of Finikia remains until today, a fertile area in which are being grown plenty of local products such as the grapes that give Vinsanto (naturally sweet white wine from sun-dried grapes), the only tomato, fava beans, and all the agricultural wares that flourish in the soils of Santorini. Thus, as it is predictable, at Finikia you will be impressed by traditional taverns with local dishes and fresh products as well as by more modern restaurants proving that tradition can be maintained and utilized to create inspirational dishes!
In the latter category, the ‘Lefkes Santorini‘ restaurant (F97V+5C Finikia) rightfully holds the lead, as it combines with the most artful way, the creative authentic Greek with Mediterranean cuisine through its interesting menu. Don’t leave Finikia without having -at least- one meal there! ‘Krinaki’ and ‘Santorini mou’ taverns located nearby may be great alternative options to the rest of your evenings unless you decide to visit one of the many restaurants in Oia.
The feast of Panagia Matrona church
In a country that loves celebration and dancing, it was almost unquestionable a fascinating feast someday in the year! If you are a party lover too, don’t look further than Finikia! Every year on October the 20th, Finikia hosts an impressing open-air celebration to honor its main church, Panagia Matrona. The celebration begins at 19:00 when Saint Matrona’s bells sound all over the village. From the previous day, residents decorate Saint Matrona’s church along with the village’s alleys with palm leaves, festive colorful flags, rosemary, and rose geraniums!
All the generous locals actively involve in the preparations making foods to share such as codfish with fresh onions, olive oil, and boiled potatoes, ‘gamopilafo rice’ (rice combined with various types of meat such as goat, lamb, veal, chicken, and occasionally pork) as well as meat dishes cooked in wood-fired ovens. When the clock shows 21:00 the musicians begin to performing Greek music, with traditional musical instruments, and the celebration just starts! People of all ages from all around the island visit Finikia, are dancing, laughing, drinking, and eating all night long until the early morning hours of the next day, where the procession of Saint Matrona’s icon takes place and the celebration ends. If you are on the island on that day, don’t even think to miss this feast! You will never forget it!
Useful tips and extras
- If you navigate yourself to Finikia through Google Maps, search for “Finikia Parking” (F97R+4M Oia) and it will escort you directly to the official entrance of the village.
- If you have already booked your accommodation at the village, make sure you have contacted the hotel prior to your arrival in order for a representative of the hotel to wait for you at the parking lot and assist you with your belongings (if bellboy services) since at Finikia no cars or moto are allowed.
- There are two bus stops for Finikia should you visit with public transportation. The one closer to the public parking area of Finikia village is almost opposite to ‘Santorini mou’ tavern. It’s better to advise the driver to drop you off at the right spot to avoid wanking in the sun.
- You can find a small market store at the entrance of Finikia where you can get a variety of goods without leaving the village.
- Attention! In Finikia as well as in the entire island tap water is not drinkable.