If sunsets in Santorini didn’t astound you then hiking Caldera rim will certainly do. Hiking from Thera to Oia became my favorite activity in Santorini by far. I am so used to traveling alone, having Steven around in this trip was overwhelming for me. We both needed break from each other and do our own things. While I set out for my hike his plan was to soak in sun by the hotel pool.
Packed few energy bars, water, sunscreen, sun hat and lots of excitement. It is a little over 12 kms from Thera bus station to the sunset point in Oia and took me 4 hours to finish at a slow pace.
Follow the signs to Oia which will take you through villages along the edge of the Caldera rim. Once you pass through the market area of Thera trail gets less crowded.
As I started my day late I was ready for food already. Stopped at WHY-NOT Souvlaki and recharged with required carbs and heat beater for the long hike ahead.
After an hour on the trail, while crossing Imerovigli you will see the church of Aghios Georgios, It is good spot to stop and enjoy the view of the volcano.
Newly built hotels stand by the trail adding beauty to the hike. It was very hot in the sun at 3 pm I decided to stop under one of the palm trees and take a nap. Back on the trail after a short break, At the end of the hotel line is the church of Aghios Antonios. Follow the sign to Oia on the left of the church towards the cliff. From this point on way is rough and heavy winds on the side of the cliff makes it tough to stay on the path. At the end of this path you will reach a road, follow the road for 10 mins and you will see a juice stand on left. I stopped for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and gathered all my energy for the final accent and the most beautiful part of the hike, climbing the famous Black Mountain (Mavro Vouno.)
After crossing Thera village most of the trail was deserted. At one point on this final accent, I felt like giving up and blamed myself for not being in shape. As couple from Germany were going in the opposite direction and I asked the lady to take my picture saying “I might die on this trail so can you take my last picture” (Well it was not that bad but I was kidding) Her husband came running towards me and hugged me said “My hug will give you the energy to finish this trail and you will not die” haha
Not long after the hug from a complete stranger I made it to the top. From here the view of Oia is just breathtaking. I can say this will be the best spot to watch the sunset. A small church of Stavros at the top makes it even more interesting to click pictures.
From here on it is all downhill and the trail starts getting crowded. Within an hour I made to the center of Oia village. Already people started settling down to watch the mesmerizing sunset Oia has to offer. I walking looking like a hobo by being under the sun for 4 hours and walking in the dirt. Restaurants in the village get booked up in advance for sunset time wish I knew that beforehand. Found an empty spot on the wall where thousands of people just sat waiting for the sun to go down.
After the sunset took a bus back to the hotel. Bus transportation in Santorini is easy to use, similar to how we have in India. A ticket From Oia to Thera is around 2 euros. While I was gone Steven made new friends from New Zealand/Australia/Canada and was out drinking.
For me, all I needed for the night was a Hot shower, food, and comfortable bed.