Part 1 — BEACH
In contrast to the sheer of the west, the east slides gently into the sea. Here is home to the beaches — coarse brown, sprinkled with umbrellas and bodies of every hue, slowly turning darker as the day goes by. Down here is as touristy as it gets, and smuggling budgies is a thriving trade. Overt your gaze, and bury your snout instead in mojitos and grilled octopus by the fistful. And when the smell of frying tentacles and tourists gets too much — an awkward dance across scorching stone will have you suspended in the Aegean — not a care in the world.
Part 2 — Sail
Few things in life surpass the gentle pitch and roll of a vessel bourne on a warm sea breeze — if you’ve the stomach for the sea, that is. We hope you have, because the sight of the caldera from the inside out, is truly a sight to behold. Float the mouth of this beautiful monster — between broken teeth jut from a saliverous maw. All you need do is head to the harbour, hop a boat, and hoist anchor. Then, wave brief farewell to cliffs swarmed with lardy cruise ship patrons, huffing stairs to capture sunset before devouring entire towns of all-you-can-consume buffets.
PART 3 — WALK
It’s easy to overlook the land when every view faces the sea, but there’s plenty of path here to explore by foot. If you’re pressed for time between a hectic schedule of sun, submersions and a steady diet of seafood — we recommend the walk to the rock at Imerovigli. It's short, easily accessible, and almost always empty. The last few meters is a heart-pounding scramble, but the sight from the summit is proof that views are better earnt that bought. The aspect westwards means you’ll have front row seats as the sun takes its curtain call — the entire caldera laid out golden, and completely unobstructed by selfie sticks.
PART 4 — JUMP
When Oia finally overwhelms — flee the madness and take the long stairs down and down. When you finally reach the sea, do what any sane person would do — hurl yourself into it. Just follow the sound of splashing to find the jump rock… and jump. But, if the plunge only whets your appetite for adventure — we drop this knowledge: Exchange euros for a couple of inflatable flotation devices, and several garbage bags. Like Leo in The Beach — wrap any precious cargo in the bags, put the bags on the flotation, and pull the flotation across to the small island you see from the shore. Then, make camp on your own private kingdom, casting smug glances back to shore at the unprepared. You’re welcome.