Today we hiked from Fira to Oia. I failed to carry the Garmin, so we estimated based upon Map my Walk that it was about 7 miles. It was as beautiful as promised and seems to be a very popular outing. We were lucky that is was overcast much of the time we were walking, and that it’s mid-October. Summertime hikers need to start by 6 am (still dark at that time now) to avoid the worst of the heat.
Caldera view from Fira
Most of the hike is technically on the inside of a volcano, since Santorini is the largest of a circular set of islands that are the edges of a caldera. You can read a better geologic explanation, along with theories about Atlantis, on this page. This makes for big cliffs and stunning views.
The sunsets in Oia are famous (kinda like Key West), so we had a few hours to wait when we ended the hike. We walked around a bit (up and down some steps on the side of the cliffs) then sat down for Cokes and a crepe version of a turkey and cheese sandwich. More walking, including scouting the location of the bus terminal, followed. Since we had several hours of exercise, we allowed ourselves ice cream too. We’ve been wanting some real books (something we did NOT want while we were on the bike) and Google told us there was a mostly English-language bookshop in Oia and our waiter pointed us in its direction. The shop had two great attractions–used books (which made it possible to stomach the cost of English-language books abroad) and PUPPIES.
While eating an early dinner, we saw some of the donkeys/mules that (controversially) bring cruisers up from the ports (they can also walk up many steps using the donkey trail, or take a cable car in Fira–fortunately the ferry port uses buses) and the beginning of the sunset.
The sunset lived up to expectations. I can’t quite imagine what it must be like in high season, as good viewing spots were quite lively even in October.
We made our way (along with the crowd) to the bus terminal after the “show” (and yes, people clap here too). We declined the opportunity to stand on the first bus to Fira and almost regretted it, since the second bus followed a slow-moving VW beetle almost the whole way with much honking and tailgating on windy, cliff side roads. We made it safely back, though, and celebrated our survival with a little nightcap from our newly-acquired bottle of Metaxa. Cheers!