Inside one of Santorini’s stunning whitewashed houses in the small village of Oia, you will find Atlantis Books, an independent bookstore that has been featured across the globe. From huge write ups in The New York Times and Vanity Fair, to being named the best bookstore in the world by National Geographic last year, this little gem is every book lover’s paradise.
With poetry written on the walls and splattered across the ceiling, to the novels in many languages lined up next to one another, here you will find fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, history, culture, children’s books and author’s work covering every genre you can think of.
The store also features a romantic terrace that has hosted food and film festivals, as well as famous writers reading their pieces, while overlooking the pristine Caldera sunset.
This dream began in the spring of 2002, when American friends Oliver and Craig spent a week on Santorini and noticed there was not even one bookstore on the island, so over a bottle of wine, they decided to open one up. Oliver named it Atlantis Books and the two laughed about how their children would run it someday.
After that, they went to Athens to sort out the paperwork and returned in 2003 with a van full of books that they drove across the continent from Cambridge, England. While they say they didn’t have much of a plan, the locals on the island encouraged their vision, which turned this small little dream into what it is today.
Come 2017 and you’ll find a passionate and dedicated team running the store each summer, along with Craig who is the only one of the original founders still here. The bookstore like all other shops on the island relies heavily on tourism and most of it closes in the off-season, from November to April. However in the slower months, they print their own books in the back of the shop, host bookbinding classes and film screenings and have even started the Caldera Festival.
If you ever visit one of the world’s most popular destinations, you should definitely pop by and check out this little wonder, which is filled with literary magic.
A: Oia, Santorini