Zoe Aegeas Traditional Houses in Oia, Santorini

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: November 5, 2018

Review of Zoe Aegeas Traditional Houses in Oia, Santorini

Zoe Aegeas Traditional Houses – Charming, family-friendly hotel with breathtaking caldera views and spacious rooms.

Tiny hotel with just four houses, one studio, and a private villa just steps from the Byzantine castle ruins. Houses can accommodate up to six guests comfortably, while the studio is meant for two. All accommodations include a kitchenette. A simple breakfast is provided daily with homemade cakes, bread, and espresso prepared by the owners. Architecture and décor is typical of Santorini: cave-style spaces hand-carved from the rock, white walls with archways, and dark wood antique furnishing. All have a private terrace with panoramic sunset views or the caldera, Thirassia Island, and the volcano. Owned by a Greek couple, expect warm, personal service and care.

Zoe Aegeas – Location

  • Area: Located on a busy footpath in the most famous sunset viewing area in Oia. Surrounded by the best dining and shopping on the island; almost everything you need is within a 5-minute walk.
  • How to Get There: The hotel sits on the side of the caldera along the main footpath to the castle. There are always buses at the ferry port for every ferry arrival, as well as buses departing hourly from the airport (both buses will stop in Fira, where you’ll get a different bus to Oia – the entire trip from port or airport to Oia will take at least an hour). The Oia bus station is only 400 meters away from the hotel (6-minute walk), and easy to find. Taxis are also available from the port or airport, though there are only about 25 taxis serving the whole island, so there is often a wait; schedule ahead to avoid this – or rent a car. A taxi from the airport to Zoe Aegeas will cost roughly €25. A taxi from the ferry port to Zoe Aegeas will cost roughly €30. If renting a car, there are a few free public parking lots within a 5 to 10-minute walk to the hotel, but be patient, as you may need to check a few lots before finding an open space.
  • Handy To: Atlantis Books (2-minutes), Oia Castle (3-minutes), Church of Panagia of Platsani (5-minutes).

Zoe Aegeas – The Basics

  • Ages: All ages are allowed. Most guests are families from all over the world, though they do have 1 studio for couples.
  • Beach: The closest swimming spot (though it is not a proper beach) is at Ammoudi Bay, the port immediately below Oia, 450 meters (9-minute walk) from the hotel. This is a popular spot for swimming and cliff diving; though it’s too rocky and small to do much lounging. Ammoudi Bay is the main port of Oia, and is served by several spectacular seafood restaurants. It’s a steep trek down and back again, but it’s relatively easy to catch a cab at the bottom to bring you back up the hill. (Buy a snack at one of the restaurants and the waiter will be happy to call one for you.)
  • View: Panoramic views of the caldera sunset, Thirassia, and the Volcano from all units.
  • Kitchen: Small kitchenette in the studio, and full kitchens in the apartments and villa, including coffee and tea facilities.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
  • Extras: Basic laptop in all units with Wi-Fi access.
  • When to Book: Zoe Aegeas is open all year long – super rare in Santorini. Reserve at least 3 months in advance (4 months is better) for stays during high season from June through September, and about 2 months in advance for the low and shoulder seasons.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +30 69361 82304
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.zoe-aegeas.gr/

Zoe Aegeas – Amenities

  • Pool: No pool.
  • Spa: No spa.
  • Fitness Center: No gym.
  • For Disabled Guests: Like all caldera hotels, this one is full of stairs, and all the streets leading to it are full of stairs. Not suitable for anyone with mobility issues.
  • For Families: No particular amenities for kids, but most of their units sleep 4 to 6 guests with either 2 bedrooms, or 1 bedroom and a loft.
  • Activities: Kayaking, cooking classes, wine tasting.

Zoe Aegeas – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: No restaurant onsite. This is a self-catering hotel, and all rooms have their own kitchen or kitchenette.
  • Breakfast: Complimentary breakfast served daily. The owner Zak brings his wife’s fresh homemade cakes and bread every morning. It is served in the downstairs lobby, along with fresh espresso.
  • Room Service: No room service.

Zoe Aegeas – Rooms

  • Room Types: Honeymoon Studio • Apartment for 2 to 4 guests • Apartment for 3 to 6 guests • Zoe Private Villa
  • Smoking Rooms: The Zoe Aegeas does not allow smoking in any of the rooms. It is allowed on the private terraces, and in outdoor common areas.
  • Best Room: The Zoe Private Villa is the best unit onsite. Located on the other side of the footpath, just a little further down into the caldera, it offers more privacy than the units in the main hotel. Spread over 3 floors, the villa has a large living area, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and 3 verandas.
  • For Families: All apartments and the villa are suitable for families, except for the honeymoon studio. The villa and the larger apartments feature 2 separate bedrooms, while the smaller apartment has 1 bedroom and a loft. All of these have full kitchens with coffee and tea facilities, 1 bathroom with a shower, and at least 1 private terrace. Apartments and villas are spacious, from 50 to 90 sqm.

Zoe Aegeas – Local Transport

  • Walking: The hotel is located in the western part of Oia, walking distance to the area’s best restaurants, shopping, and sights. Ammoudi Bay is accessible via a steep and winding path, easy to descend the 450 meters down, but arduous going back up; many people taxi back to the top. This is the pedestrian heart of Oia, and all needs can be met within a 5-minute walk.
  • Bus: The Oia Bus Terminal is only 400 meters away, and serves all of the major villages and beaches on the island, often with a change in Fira. Tickets are bought on board and range from €1.80 to €2.50 per person in the daytime, depending on the route. Night buses (12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) run less frequently and cost a little more, from €2.30 to €3.10. Buses can get very crowded, especially during the high season, so much so that they often fill to capacity and are unable to take on more passengers. There are only 23 public buses serving the island.
  • Taxis: The nearest taxi stand is at Stathmos Taxi, about 400 meters east near the Oia Bus Terminal, but there is often a wait as there are only 25 taxis serving the entire island (including guests from about 1,000 hotels, villas, and Airbnbs). Book in advance to avoid the wait, plus you can choose a closer pickup point (near the post office is great). There will be a small surcharge for advanced reservations and for carrying luggage, usually just a couple of Euros. The average rate from Oia to Fira is €15, and from Oia to the airport runs about €25.
  • Scooters/Motorcycles: Just don’t, unless you’re Evel Knievel! Scooters are the main mode of transportation for the locals, but if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, it can be very dangerous. The roads here are zigzagging, hilly, narrow, and have sheer drop offs with no guardrails and no street lights in most areas. Lots of dirt roads and potholes.
  • ATVs: This is a super popular mode of transportation with tourists, but the locals absolutely hate them. They move too slowly, and hold up traffic in an area where getting around is already a hassle. ATVs with smaller motors have been banned from the roads, and a full ban is expected to pass soon.

Zoe Aegeas – What’s Nearby?

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Lotza: Simple, honest Greek comfort food with stunning caldera views. 2-minute walk.
  • Roka: Authentic, Santorinian menu with solid dishes, especially the meatballs and octopus. 4-minute walk.
  • Candouni: Cozy, family-owned restaurant with live, Greek music and absolutely delicious food. 5-minute walk.
  • PitoGyros: Hands-down, the best gyros in Oia. Seating is limited. 7-minute walk.
  • Ammoudi Bay Restaurants: Each of these waterfront restaurants is phenomenal, offering the freshest fish on the island. The steep 9-minute walk down takes longer coming back up, but your waiter will be happy to call you a cab.
  • Melitini: 100% Greek menu, using local Santorinian, Cycladic, and Greek ingredients only. 10-minute walk.
  • Anemomilos Restaurant: Located next to the hotel of the same name; refreshingly local vibe, not touristy at all. Great food, friendly atmosphere. 16-minute walk.

Best Nearby Bars and Breweries

Best Nearby Cafes

  • Vitrin Café Creperie: One of the best breakfasts on the island, plus AMAZING sunset views if you arrive early enough to snag a table. 2-minute walk.
  • Meteor: Excellent coffee and breakfast with sweeping caldera views, though a little on the pricey side. 2-minute walk.
  • Passaggio: The best coffee in Santorini, solid breakfast, killer cocktails, and pretty okay sunset views from the balcony, just a little back from the caldera. 12-minute walk.

Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

  • Mini Market: There is a small market up the hill northwest of Vitrin Cafe. 3-minute walk.
  • Proton Supermarket: Small market, but usually has the best prices. This is where most locals shop in the area. 6-minute walk.
  • Elliniki Diatrofi Supermarket: Great selection of local cheeses, wine, liquor, fresh produce, and staples. Open until after midnight, sometimes as late as 2:00 a.m. 7-minute walk.

Zoe Aegeas – The Hotel

The hotel's exterior is distinctive, and it is located on the main footpath.

Zoe is located on the main footpath leading to Oia Castle. Its yellow and red exterior and fun art is easy to spot.

The hotel's reception is cozy and also the place for breakfast in the mornings.

The reception area is an atrium, open to the sun and partially shaded, with unique wall art and a traditional Greek garden with lots of plants in clay pots. This is where the breakfast is set up each morning.

The entrance of 2 of the apartments is next to the garden.

Next to the garden are the entrances to two of the apartments.

Behind the reception the main stairs lead to the balcony, studio, apartment and viewpoint.

The stairs on the right lead up to the shared terrace, Honeymoon Studio, another apartment, and the viewpoint at the top.

The shared balcony has plenty of seating and some shade.

The shared balcony up the stairs, with an umbrella and plenty of seating. On the left side of the photo you can just barely see the footpath.

You can see the main path and the Zoe Private Villa veranda from the balcony.

Looking down from the balcony, you can see the main path and the upper veranda of the Zoe Private Villa on the other side…

The view to the east is of the caldera, church, Skaros Rock, and multiple villages.

…and of course, the caldera view! Facing east, there is an old church (not on the map). The stairway in front of it leads to Steps to Art, the metalworking and sand jewelry gallery and workshop. The buildings on the left are part of Oia. On the right in the distance, you can see Skaros Rock, with the villages of Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Fira.

The view to the west is of the Oia Castle ruins, Thirassia Island, and both volcanoes.

Facing west, you can see the Oia Castle ruins only 140 meters away, already filled with people well before sunset. Part of Thirassia Island is visible on the right, with the old and new volcanoes to the left.

Almost the entire castle ruins can be seen clearly from the upstairs viewpoint.

The castle, zoomed in, photographed from the upstairs viewpoint.

The stairs to the viewpoint terrace lead to the Honeymoon Studio first.

From the balcony, follow the stairs up to get to the Honeymoon Studio (you can just see its balcony on the top left here) and the upstairs viewpoint.

The balcony is cosy and offers fantastic caldera views.

The Honeymoon Studio’s balcony…

The bedroom opens onto a small balcony with fantastic views of the caldera.

…and seen from inside the room.

The Honeymoon Studio for 2 has a traditional cave-style design.

The Honeymoon Studio is the only room for two in the hotel. Dug out of the rock with hand-tools, its architecture and décor typifies what you’ll find throughout Zoe Aegeas in the larger units.

The Honeymoon Studio features a small kitchenette.

It has a small kitchenette, while the others have a full kitchen.

The studio has a small cave-style bathroom.

The cave-style bathroom has a traditional-style built-in sink and vanity…

The studio has a traditional and small cave shower.

…as well as a cave shower.

The main stairs lead to the third apartment's patio before going further up.

Continuing up the exterior steps, you’ll pass the third apartment’s patio…

The main stairs lead to the viewpoint terrace on the top.

…before reaching the viewpoint terrace…

The viewpoint terrace has a small lounging area.

…with a lounging area…

The viewpoint terrace offers the best caldera views.

…and stunning caldera views to the other villages and volcanoes.

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