Europe

Forget the bus from Fira to Oia; hike the distance!

The three of us arrived on the island of Santorini early on Thursday morning September 7th. Our flight from Athens was right on time so we promptly got ourselves a cab to the capital Fira. There are also buses to take you to the center, but those are not frequent at all. The first bus would have been an hour later, and since we were not patient at all, a cab it was! It cost us 20 euros, so devided by the three of us, that was doable.

From Fira to Oia – the most beautiful part of the island – it’s another ten kilometers. Many people take another bus or a cab to make it to the northern part of Santorini, but I of course found another option. There is a hiking trail from Fira to Oia, leading you along some of the most beautiful views of the island. I didn’t need more conviction to put on my hiking boots!

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Hiking ten kilometers of course takes a bit more time than going by public transport. Since the road is going up and down a lot and you’ll want to take pictures every few steps, you’ll need to take out about three to four hour for this hike. Therefor it might be a bit too time consuming if you only have one day on the island. Since we only had to take the flight back the next day, the hike fit our schedule perfectly.

From start to end you can see the end destination in the distance. Don’t let yourself be put off by how far it is because it’s most definitely worth it!

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It’s also advisable to start hiking early in the morning to avoid the heat around noon. There is no shade along the way so in summer it might not be very healthy to hike while the sun is at its highest.

After a quick breakfast in Fira, we began our walk and were immediatelly rewarded with some beautiful views. Wow!

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The first few kilometers you are mostly surrounded by the typical white houses, but once you’re past Imerovigli and Skarros Rock, it’s mostly just rocks, rocky underground and fantastic views. That also means that there are no more opportunities to stock up on water. So before departing make sure you have plenty of water and snacks to make it to Oia.

And then just enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding you as you get closer to Oia. Oh and whatever you do; don’t stop in a little café halfway along the way for a refreshing Frappe. We got lured into that and ended up renaming the drink “Crappé”. I don’t think that needs any more explanation.

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It was after noon by the time we made it to Oia, but it had been so worth our time. After a quick lunch and some relaxation at the pool, we set out to discover Oia some more. And it was absolutely stunning. Exactly what I had expected and so much more. Just allow yourself to get lost in the tiny streets and stumble across the beautiful views.

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We ended the day with a perfect sunset before making our way back to our Airbnb. Since we had had to get up at 4am to catch the flight to Santorini, we were quite tired by 10pm so we quickly sought out our bed.

Of course my sleeping rhytme was already a bit fucked up due to the early flight from Brussels to Athens two days before, so by 7:30am I was already sneaking out of the room to discover Santorini in the morning. And suddenly all the crowds seem to have evaporated. It was so cool to just wander through the small streets on my own. Only a few people were posing around the town to feed their Instagram account, but other than that, the streets were deserted.

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I also made my way down to Amoudy Bay, but since the sun was not in the bay yet, it wasn’t quite as spectacular as I had expected it to be. In the morning, it’s not really worth the nearly 300 steep stairs, but in the late afternoon, in the sunlight, it might be beautiful after all.

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And then it was time to say goodbye to Oia. I felt quite sad to leave this place as I could have easily wandered around a lot longer. But there was just so much more to discover so stay tuned for more on that in the next blogpost!

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