A Picturesque Day in Santorini, Greece

Jill Weinlein

After a volcanic eruption in Santorini, the island in Greece was left with a dramatic change of shape. The large cauldron-like form has villages of whitewashed houses built along the ridge overlooking the caldera and other Greek islands.

Arrive by airplane or boat to Santorini. Boats anchor at Ormos, the Old Port located at the bottom of the Caldera cliffs. The harbor has a few taverns and small shops and three different ways to get up to the top of the picturesque village of Fira. Visitors can walk on over 600 stone steps along an uphill serpentine path or pay to ride a mule up to the top. The quickest option is to ride a three minute cable car to walk along the edge of the caldera. 

The main town of Fira is the most visited area on the island. Visitors walk along "Jewelry Street" where a lot of weddings take place because of the views. It’s a vibrant and busy area filled with breathtaking infinity pools, whitewashed hotels, and open air, ocean view restaurants. The narrow streets are crowded with people from all over the world browsing through unique shops.

Near the town square are Fira to Oia directional signs for those seeking a memorable Greek adventure. The 7 mile pilgrimage to the charming village of Oia along paved and dirt paths offers explorers upclose views of domed blue roof churches, luxury hotels, bright white homed and extraordinary volcano and coastline views. The walk takes about three to four hours for an average fitness walker.

Following the cobblestone path along the caldera to Firostefani is a 15 minute walk. The name of this old village means "Crown of Fira" and is a suburb of the main city. It's dotted with traditional houses, narrow paths and dramatic collapsed volcano vistas. From here the trail gets a little rough when you reach the quaint Monastery of Saint Nicolas, which contains Byzantine icons. Initially it was built in Skaros in the 1600s and later was transferred to this area in the early 1800s. Continue on for another 15 minutes to the highest point along the volcano edge to the town of Imerovigil, the path offers photo opportunities at every turn.  

Starting northwards from Imerovigli to Oia the hiking path passes by a couple churches, before entering a wilder section of walking over the Santorini caldera. Since it's uphill and very exposed, there is another mule owner offering his mules to ride to the top for a small fee.

Continue down one more slope to the small village of Finikia, before reaching Oia. It's beautiful houses and restaurants are built into niches carved into the caldera. Since the paths are narrow, they are congested with people admiring traditional Cycladic houses.

Stop for lunch at Petrosia restaurant, before walking to the pinnacle point, Fort Londsa. There is a worn historic castle that serves as a lookout point, offering a complete 360-degree view. Along the metal fence are padlocks with bows and love message hanging, and nearby is a picturesque old windmill. Stores, art galleries and kiosks in this area offer a range of handicrafts, jewelry, art and souvenirs.

For those who don't want to walk another 7 miles back to Fira, there is bus and taxi service to take explorers back to Fira. Restaurants owners will happily call a cab for you.

Santorini is one of the most unique and beautiful Greek Islands that will wow all of your senses.

Jill Weinlein

Mules in Santorini are a fun way to see the sights.

Jill Weinlein

The 7 mile walk from Fira to Oia offers views at every turn.

Jill Weinlein

Beautiful blue dome churches are perched along the cliffs of Santorini.

Jill Weinlein

The paved, rocky and dirt pathways along the edge of the caldera are part of the pilgrimage from Fira to Oia.

Jill Weinlein

After a major volcanic eruption, the island of Santorini changed forever.

Jill Weinlein

Everywhere you look are luxury hotels and restaurants offering million dollar views.

Jill Weinlein

At the pinnacle point of Oia, there are love padlocks hanging on metal fence overlooking the ocean.

Jill Weinlein

Los Angeles based Jill Weinlein covers travel, food and lifestyle destinations for multiple newspapers, magazines and websites. Her areas of expertise include, luxury travel, culinary reviews, cruising and family travel destinations. Born in Los Angeles, Jill studied Communications and Theatre Arts at UCLA. She has a a Dine and Travel blog - and she writes a weekly restaur...(Read More)

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