A Daredevils Guide to Hiking & Cliff Jumping In Santorini
I can only lay on a beach so long before getting antsy. After days with our toes in the black sands of Kamari Beach, eating flaky filo-pies, it was time to get our blood pumping and adrenaline racing. Time for a 7-mile hike from Fira to Oia, and an exhilarating cliff jump!
Excuse me for sounding like an ad: “don’t try this at home“… on second thought, DO try this!
The hike to Oia is breathtaking, along the edge of the island around the caldera. Jumping or not, it’s worth the excursion. Decide at the end if you have the nerve to take the leap.
Start in Fira. From the bus station, take a right. Walk towards the church with breathtaking views of the caldera and your final destination. Start by following signs to the cable car, then take the high road rather than descending to the port below. This will lead you all the way to Oia.
Follow the road towards Imerovigli village.The hike begins on cobblestone roads lined with villas, hotels, restaurants, shops and (many) tourists… It’s a great place to grab a gyro, which I recommend if you’re hungry. You’re on your way out of civilization!
Follow the caldera to Prophet Ilias. This church is on the slimmest part of the island and is accessible by car if you prefer to skip the trek through town. This marks the start of the more beautiful, less crowded part of the hike!
Climb Mavro Vouno! From the church, walk downhill to reach an asphalt road. Continue 300 meters to pick-up the trail. At this point, summon some strength for an uphill hike to the top of Mavro Vouno (Black Mountain), gazing over your shoulder to view Imerovigli.
Enjoy STUNNING views from Psilos Stavros Church. At the top of Mavro Vouno sits a small, white church - marking the highest point on the north end of the island.
Stroll downhill towards Oia. When you arrive in town, keep walking until you are close to the island’s end. You’ll see signs leading to a 214-step descent to Amoudi Bay.
Walk through restaurants on Amoudi Bay. At the bottom of the winding, rocky pathway, take a left through the seafood restaurants. When you reach the black rocks, don’t turn back! You’re almost there! Climb over stones until you see the jumping point – a tiny, steep island just a short swim away.
Time to swim, climb and jump! Dive into blue waters and swim to the left of the island, around the back. Here you’ll find a rope to climb towards the church sitting on the edge of the cliff… your jumping point.
Now… to jump, or not to jump?
I assure you that the water is deep. You are safe to jump, dive and flip to your heart’s content, but make sure to launch yourself far enough. You only need to be brave for the first seconds…
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. LIVE!
article by Andrea Leblang