Therefore it is always a good policy to be well prepared when visiting a destination like Santorini, otherwise your fate tends to be drawn towards expensive shops or buying unnecessary kitsch souvenirs.
Unless mobility is an issue, I tend to shy away from shipping line shore excursions. While convenient, they are relatively expensive and somewhat unimaginative in content. So this time I was determined to make best use of my time in the most iconic of Greek Islands.
Most of the thousands of cruise line passengers are deposited in Fira so on this occasion I was determined to steer away from the crowds.
Our group thought we would challenge ourselves to a nice walk from Fira (the island’s capital) to Oia (the locals pronounce it as “Eya”) on the northernmost tip. Having been on the cruise for about a week, we felt it high time to burn a few calories while taking in the breathtaking Island views along the way.
It turned out to be one of the best walks I have ever done!
This moderate, undulating, mainly clifftop walk is around 12kms and rewards participants with fabulous views of the caldera (lagoon), as well as churches, jaw-droppingly beautiful hotels along the alleys, streets and cliff faces of ancient Fira, Imerovigli and Oia.
Set aside around 3.5 hours to get to Oia where you can enjoy well-earned drinks and a satisfying lunch at one of the towns many great restaurants. Camera, hat, sunscreen and water are of course major prerequisites.
Take the 45 minute bus back to Fira (EUR1.80) and you are back in plenty of time to reboard the ship, put your feet up and reflect on a fabulous day!