Hidden among the bylanes of Oia, Atlantis Books is a true gem. The bookstore was founded by two Oxford students in 2004. Walzer and Oliver, while on a trip to Santorini in 2002, ran out of books to read. They set out in search of a bookstore on the island, only to be disappointed. It was then, on a drunken night, that the duo decided to open their own bookstore on the island. Two years later, with a bit of help from friends around the world, they opened Atlantis Books.
What I loved about this bookstore is its homely feel; it’s not like your run-of-the-mill bookshop. If you get the feeling that you just stepped into someone’s home as you enter this store, it’s because it is! There’s a little bunker at the back where people actually live!
The one thing that immediately catches your eye as you enter Atlantis Books is the innumerable literary quotes scribbled on all walls AND the ceiling. A whiff of the place immediately lets you know that the people who founded it put their souls into it.
Naturally, Atlantis Books has been listed on top in National Geographic’s list of the world’s most interesting bookstores, Tripadvisor, and the Guardian’s list of top 10 bookstores.
To get to Atlantis Books, get off at the Oia bus stop and start walking with the crowd towards the Church of Panagia. A curious mix of little shops dots this path. Keep your eyes open as Atlantis Books is easy to miss; it’s situated on the basement level of an oldish looking property. Also, not a lot of people throng to this place, unlike the more popular sites, like the Anastasi Church, so it’s easy to get swept away by the crowds and miss this hidden gem.