Christmas in Oia Santorini…

I know that Santorini was the last thing on your minds on Christmas morning…especially if you have young kids that start circling the presents under the tree like vultures over the savannah. But in case you were wondering… below is what our special Xmas sunrise looked like!

and below is what my neighbourhood looked like an hour later…

you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that “none”
of these houses have any people in them right now.

I guess my little part of the world is a bit different to where most of you live. Christmas is normally a time of frantic shopping, dinners & drinks with friends, traffic jams and lots of street noise. In Oia… well, in Oia things are a little different at Christmas time. Oia goes into complete lock-down around mid-December. Even the so-called locals pack their bags/cars and leave. Quite a few of you wrote to me asking what the place actually looks like during this period…what do I see when I walk around. Well… you asked for it, so here is what I saw today during a brief walk around my tiny village:

All images are copyright

this is Meteor cafe…less ornaments, less people, less tables .

So as you can see I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that the village is in complete lock-down. Behind each of these gorgeous doors there are shops, bars, boutiques and galleries… and there will be again around March when they will open for Easter. But for now… each doorway presents you with a heavy lock, which is shop-owner’s code for “you had your holiday during the summer months…now it’s my turn”. Can’t blame them for that !

It will be a new year the next time we meet here my friends… and in the immortal words of John Lennon “let’s hope it’s a good one”. Second thoughts… John was a bit of a whimp. Let’s MAKE it a good one… hope doesn’t come into it!

Stay safe and have a silent toast to Oia Santorini at midnight…I’ll hear you ;-)

PS: the next time I post something the blog will look quite different. It’s taken a while to plan and it’s far from finished, but the new interface is long overdue and will make it a lot easier to navigate & hopefully enjoy the blog, for everyone that visits. I could’ve given this to someone to do, but interface design has been a pet hobby for many years so I decided to do it myself. I want to see how far I can stretch the capabilities of the platform (as opposed to dot org which is more suitable for customisation) without any real coding changes. It will be interesting to get your feedback when it’s all done.

Enjoy your NYE wherever you are !


26 responses to “Christmas in Oia Santorini…

  1. You weren’t kidding when you said lockdown! Would love to visit in the winter to enjoy the stark differences between a week spent in July vs. January. No matter the season, the homes tossed like sugar cubes cascading down the sides of the caldera stir my soul.

    Make it a GREAT New Year!


  2. The dead bolts reign supreme, yes, can’t blame everyone for wanting a little down time after a hectic summer season. To be there to enjoy that beautiful sunset would be worth giving up a few flakes of snow. And those beautiful doors, I love them, we painted our house last summer in a light smoky brown (to conform with the neighborhood), but I insisted the front door be painted blue, it looks fantastic.

    Have a Happy Near Year to you and your family.

  3. A toast to you and Oia… cheers!

  4. I love Oia sunrise as much as sunsets and it is the reason I found your site and how glad I am that I did.I love the way the houses become pink tinged and the quiet around as everyone else is sleeping and missing the beauty.
    Wishing you a Happy New Year good health and happiness.

  5. These views of Santorini are so unusual… I can imagine the sense of tranquillity, calm and silence that you can feel there. Very fascinating winter views. Happy New Year!

  6. I, for one, needed to know there is stillness /peace somewhere in this world at this time .

    All good wishes for an enchanting New Year .. . I look forward to continuing my peaks into your lovely world –


  7. Cheers to you this New Years! Thank you yet again for this amazing blog of yours… I am going to have to whip out a thesaurus to find new ways of saying beautiful and breathtaking… Amanda

  8. Thank you to all of you for visiting and especially for commenting… hope you have a memorable NYE and an even better 2010. Thank you for all your wishes… look forward to seeing you all back next year !
    Kisses from Oia xxx

  9. Caro Michael,

    The winter sun kissing your little village. So pretty! A door fetichist, you mede my day. Even bolted – beautiful! Waiting for your new “face” and the turn of the year… ti auguro un buon anno! So happy I found your Oia cronicles this year. Looking forward to the next! Bacione, Ingrid in Umbria

    • Will drink a toast to you and your lovely Umbria at midnight Ingrid…. will feed your fetich for doors even more next year. It’s amazing how many people (including myself) have a thing for beautiful old doors… and there are almost as many to photograph here as there are in Italy…. love taking photos of doors in Rome. have a great NYE and stay safe…xxx

  10. Happy New Year Michael…xv

  11. My first question was, where do they go? Will you have anywhere to celebrate? Guess the sunrise is celebration enough. I could look at doors all day long.

    • they go all over the world Donna… Asia and Sth America being popular. They chase summer elsewhere since they miss out by working all summer here. As for us celebrating…lol… we have the world’s greatest natural amphitheatre in front of our door… watching fireworks over the caldera is quite special. You don’t need a million to celebrate with… & here we have this gorgeous village all to ourselves ;-)

  12. Oh Michael,
    How I love doors! And what a beautiful sunrise! A fabulous New Years to you!
    Wishing you a fantastic 2010!

    • thank you Ms K… we will do more doors in the new year… have a great NYE and stay safe. Sending you a wave and best wishes from Oia !!!

  13. Happy, happy New Year my dear friend Michael. It was so lovely (and fun!) getting to know you this year. Let’s have many more waves from the cave to the prarie in the New year.

    Much love to you,

  14. Happy New Year Michael! Yes Let’s MAKE it one of Peace, Justice and Goodwill towards All Life! May yours bring you a great new interface, (though I cannot imagine your blog being more beautiful!), stellar health, wealth and continued joy in your paradise Oia. I feel so grateful for having discovered your portal into the special glow of light, colors and architecture there on your island. Speaking of portals your photographs show an alluring array of doorways, each unique and quite beautiful. The locks too vary and I love imagining all the life those doors open and close to. Each one a story linked to the other while also standing alone. “All the world’s a stage…” (Shakespeare was no wimp at all.)”… all the men and women merely players … they have their exits and their entrances.” Your camera shows little action now and I wonder how you like it… I should enjoy having my muse more to myself. Lovely post Michael… always thought provoking! Now one of those empty houses might like a caring winter guest. There’s another essay contest! Warm Regards and Best Wishes! Carol

  15. I look forward to seeing your “new look” Much happiness to you in 2010, and enjoy the peace and quiet surrounding you…in preparation for the crowds to come! I love all of the huge locks, they are so cool…

  16. Happy New Year Michael!

    Today I’ve decide to come out of lurkdom to thank you for sharing your life (as well as your thoughts on life) with those of us in cyber-space. (Yes, I am one of those procrastinators who didn’t “get around to writing my essay”. I guess I thought my words would not be enough.)

    I’ve been enchanted with Oia since I visited this past May while on a Mediterrean cruise. The blue of the sea, the sky, the roof tops! The white sparkling like snow crystals! The doors! The windows! The ironwork! The boeurgonvilla (sp?)! It was all breathtaking. I came home and began searching the web for anything about life in Santorini and discovered your site. Your writing and photos feed my soul. Thank you!

    Happy, HAPPY New Year to you and your family.


    • thank you for your wishes Tracy and i’m so glad you decided to “out” yourself… it’s so much better to know who is reading my posts and to get feedback…. that’s what makes it worthwhile. Wishing you a vintage year and hope you keep “visiting” Oia through the blog ;-)

  17. Happy New Year! Your blog was a lovely discovery of 2009. Like Tracy, I discovered it after doing a web search for Santorini after an enchanting few days there in May. I look forward to seeing more photos this year. And I am excited about my return visit this May! Best wishes from Eastern Canada.

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