From Fira to Oia

Before I set foot on the lovely island of Santorini, I had it all planned out with my wild imagination. It was going to be like in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants crossed over with The Lizzie McGuire Movie, minus both the men. I was going to zoom across the island on motor scooter for an insanely cheap price (25€. This figure is one of the only things I researched before flying over from Athens), the wind would be blowing through my hair, a sweet relief from the blazing sun.

As you know, (my) plans never go the way I imagine.

The hostel manager drove me from the airport to where I was staying that night. “If you rent a moped,” he informed me after I told him my plans, “you’re going to get blown right off the cliffs.” I stuck out my lower jaw, determined to prove him wrong even as the winds rocked the car.

Well, what on earth was I going to do now? My one plan had been thrown (blown away by the wind?) out of the window! He seemed to understand my concern. I’m not sure how he could’ve since most travelers probably had more than one idea of what to do on the volcanic island. I think I was so convinced that because the island was so small, about 200km across the croissant-shape, that I’d be able to scope them out instantly (because that’s how traveling works).

“You know, there’s a gorgeous 2-hour hike from Fira to Oia that you could do. It’s not that hard,” he said. I nodded pensively, mostly because I didn’t know what that meant. What was Fira and what was Oia? I know, putting my traveling money to good use.

As I hastily did my research that night, I learned that Fira was the largest town on the island. Oia is what I saw when I googled “Santorini.” It’s always sunset there, according to Google. The hike covered just less than half of the island and ran along the caldera, or volcanic coastline.

I looked down at the growing bulge that was my stomach. Yeah, a hike would be a good alternative to touring the island.

Santorini, hike, FIra, Oia

Santorini, hike, FIra, Oia

IMG_5989 Santorini, hike, FIra, Oia

Santorini, hike, FIra, Oia

DCIM109GOPRO

As I was hiking along, I kept accidentally wandering into hotels and their pools! It kinda made me wish that I splurged for a view and an experience like this, but it would’ve been completely wasted on the spring temperate season. I would’ve, however, splurged for a hostel closer to Fira than where I actually stayed.

Santorini, hike, FIra, Oia IMG_6010 DCIM109GOPRO

Santorini, hike, FIra, Oia IMG_6048

I’m going to tell you right now that it did not take 2 hours. It took about 4 hours at a leisurely, photographer’s walk. Even so, the views on this hike were AMAZING, if you couldn’t see for yourself. So much so that I was completely taken with the views for 3 hours, leaving me only one hour of “MAN, are we there yet??” But even the photos fail at convey the awe that I felt hiking the edge of the island the whole time. I imagine it would’ve been a lot more crowded during the summer months, so I’m grateful that I went during a time when all guidebooks warn you not to go.

The wind, however, I was not a big fan of. There were moments were I felt like I was about to get blown off the cliff and had me running for shelter in lower grounds.

That day, I stayed for the sunset. Not the traditional one that crops up on Google, but the kind where you’re worried you’re going to miss the last bus to Fira and stay awkwardly in between the heart of Oia and the bus station. Thing is, I shouldn’t have been so worried since I met people on the bus who were able to see the sunset on the edge of Oia. It’s just that the 40€ taxi put me off a bit.

In case you were wondering how far the hike was and what it looks like on a map, here’s what I did on Google Maps:

I stayed at a hostel in Perissa. Yikes, I know.

And, because you can only take so many photos of loose gravel, I’ve documented the journey on video as well. There’s an awful lot of shots with me in it… I guess I was all about using the GoPro as a selfie cam (the stick just makes you wanna!) when I was traveling than actually using it to document things. Silly me.

When I was looking for the long-lost videos from my Eurotrip (did that even happen?), I was scared for a moment that all I had were selfies. And then you guys would’ve all hated me and my absorbed self. But here’s it is with only 99% me!

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  • http://theladyerrant.com/ Elle

    Ah, that looks gorgeous! I definitely need to go there. That wind sounds awful though. Did you hike alone? I’ve never managed to do that successfully because I either get lost, am afraid I’ll get lost, or turn back due to my fear of heights/bugs.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      YES! You should :) I did hike alone… but it really didn’t occur to me that was what I was doing until halfway through the hike when I tripped on a rock. I was like I CAN DIE HERE AND NO ONE WOULD KNOW WHERE I AM. But with the lost thing, there’s a very clear path around the island and I figured the worst I could do was turn around and retrace my steps.

      • http://theladyerrant.com/ Elle

        Haha, I had one of those moments on this mountain in China when I was trying to find the courage to walk on the glass path (never found either). Definitely weird!

        • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

          Ah, I’ve heard about that path! It would be kinda terrifying, haha. But if it’s a tourist hot spot, the more people on there, the scarier it is!

  • http://www.adelanteblog.com/ Courtney @ Adelante

    I seriously love the way you write! I was giggling through this whole post. I was just in Santorini in July, so your photos are making me super nostalgic for Greece. They’re also making me wish I had done this hike… which probably would have taken me 4 hours+ as well. At least you got to experience the magic of Santorini in a unique way!!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Haha thanks so much Courtney, that actually makes me really happy :) I know, the beauty of that island just gets me! Next time, you’ll get to do it.. and then you’ll know the struggle

  • http://www.thriftygypsytravels.com Katrina Elisabet

    Love it! We’ll be in Santorini in May and hoping for no breeze and lots of sun!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Ah!! It’s going to be amazing! Can’t wait for the photos and to hear about it :)