Santorini’s Incredible Caldera!
This panorama shot from our Hotel is the only way to capture even part of Santorini’s incredible Caldera – the shell of a volcano now filled partly with the Aegean Sea!
Directly in front of our room was Skaros Rock, more on that later – we were in the village of Imerovigli, perched on the top of the volcano’s ridge…here is video:
The tranquil village of Imerovigli is Santorini’s quietest town along the caldera. It is located midway between Fira and Oia on the caldera’s highest point, a thousand feet above sea level, with unobstructed sunset views like this:
During the day, you can see the town of Oia to the right of us:
So of course, we decided to walk there.
Yes, we did. In fact, it’s one of the most popular excursions on the island – an incredibly scenic 6.5 mile trail actually winds along the caldera cliff and through the villages of Fira, Imerovigli and Oia. The entire hike takes between 2 and 5 hours depending on how fast you walk – and we decided to do it!
This is the path as it leaves Imerovigli – beautifully paved….and this is what it looks like as you start out with Oia there on the far left:
Take a moment to note there are a few hills along the way, and they are steeper and longer than they may appear in this shot.
We had been warned to do this hike very early – there are NO shops along the way, and it was going to hit 90+ degrees by noon – so we headed out at 8:30a, with two bottles of water as well.
This gives you an idea of how high you are when you begin – we greased up and wore caps as well…because it got hot in a hurry and there was no shade along the way!
After beginning flat for about a half mile, we gradually began to climb upward, as you can see by the trail on the right – I let Alex lead the way as she is an aggressive Hiker:
the first hill was somewhat steep, but the payoff is a cool church that offers a chance to stop and rest – albeit with no shade!
Here’s a map of the island…you can see the outline of the caldera on the left and near the top you see how it narrows? That’s the thinnest part of the island, at the top of that first steep climb, and when you look to the right, you see the other side of the island spread out below you!
Alex celebrated by doing a pose, with Oia inching close to us…and looking back, this is what Imerovigli and Skaros Rock look like:
At the narrow part of the island, you have to walk along a road for about 50 yards, but signs point you right back to the path – and the steepest part of the climb:
This part of the climb took almost a half hour, and as the temperature climbed, so did we:
At the top of one peak, a classic Greek church awaited us…the story is that they are white with blue trim to match the country’s flag colors…and when the country was occupied, this was a way for them to still showcase their loyalty to their country:
Another thirty minutes straight up to find a moonscape – and another church as well:
However, when we climbed up to the top of this landing, we saw that Oia was sprawled out below us:
You can get a sense of how high we were at this point – but at least it was all downhill from here!
At this point we’d been walking for close to two hours, our water long since gone:
Luckily, this part of the trip goes fast and soon you are in the midst of the town:
As with our town, Oia is built into the side of the Caldera – it was a terrific hike that we’d do again in an instant!
As mentioned, we began in Imerovigli, so the next day we went the other direction for the 2 mile walk to Fira, where we did this:
Yes, I got a “fish pedicure” and it was something else! You can see video of it by clicking on my story here!
We absolutely loved Santorini – so much to see and do, and lots of opportunity to get exercise!
In fact, every morning we woke up to this:
Skaros Rock was the site of non-stop photo shoots like this one – oh, and you can climb it as well!
Click here for the story about how how terrifying it was when we did just that!
Greece was an incredible adventure, especially when we travelled to the southernmost tip of the European continent:
The story of the Temple Of Poseidon is a fascinating one and you can read all about it here:
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