Everything I had read about tackling the walk from Fira to Oia said to leave early. The path has little shade and it takes a few hours. It was probably overkill that I left at about 6am but I knew how slowly I had done Samaria Gorge, constantly stopping to take photos, and I wanted to be able to catch the middayish boat across to Thirassia. I had also read about Skaros rock and was entertaining the idea of detouring to see it as well. Leaving early had the added benefits of no one else on the path other than joggers, and I caught the last of the sunrise glow.
I started at my hotel in Fira, right by the cable car entrance and followed the caldera. The path takes you from Fira, through Firostefani to Imerovigli, past innumerable photogenic churches and doorways, with the spectacular caldera views always over one shoulder. This part of the path is on pretty good residential surfaces.
Continuing the theme of ‘I am my own worst enemy’ I saw the turn off to Skaros rock and took it. It didn’t look too much of a detour and I knew it gave great views back to Imerovigli. What I hadn’t realised was that you can go around to the other side of the rock where there is a small chapel. Several hundred steps later…
The views from the rock were quite incredible and worth the extra walking, not just views of Imerovigli, but views back to Fira, where I had come from and towards Oia, where I was headed.
Those last few steps back up to the main track were hard work! But worth it.
Back to the main walk, after Imerovigli the density of buildings thinned out. The only people I saw were the occasional jogger. Regular church buildings dotted the landscape and the track became a little more uneven. I completed the walk in walking sandals with no troubles though, it wasn’t overly difficult in that regard.
Being up so high and with the buildings thinned out the views were incredible, not just of the caldera but of the entire Island. Great views over to the beach side of the island and the airport.
Just under 3 1/2 hours after I left Fira, Oia came into near view. A bit more rough track walking then back into ‘suburbia’ as the Oia hotels became more dense.
I’ll be quite honest and say I was pretty underwhelmed with Oia initially. I am not the luxury holiday type and this part of Oia was all luxury holiday oriented. It was beautiful but seemed sterile and lacking the character of the older parts of the island. I appreciate that many people want or need that type of holiday and amenity, it just wasn’t appealing to me.
Rescued by churches and shops, the further I wandered into Oia, the more interesting it became and I was finally reassured that the whole walk hadn’t been for nothing. And I found a gum tree!
The deeper into Oia I walked, the more character and charm it had.
I was conscious of the time and I wanted to grab some lunch in Amoudi Bay before catching the boat to Thirassia so I headed to the donkey path down to the bay. The views both up and down from the path were quite beautiful. Well, maybe the donkeys’ butts weren’t the most beautiful!
Amoudi Bay is quite small, pretty much all tavernas and boats, but very picturesque. I figured out where and when I needed to be to catch the boat to Thirassia and sat down for some lunch.
I will make Thirassia a separate post.