Santorini (Greek name Thira) was still a busy place in October, and we preferred the much smaller numbers of people in Naxos, Paros and even Crete. But something the other islands didn’t have were the spectacular views from the cliffs across much of the island.
Santorini is an island that has a few distinct parts. Fira is the largest town and popular for views. The town of Imerovigli has the highest cliffs on the island although it’s a quiet place. Oia is a smaller but pretty town where everyone goes for the sunsets, and the east side of the island is flatter and has beaches such as Kamari and Perissa. It’s too small and crowded to rent a car but many travellers rent scooters. We mostly walked and used buses on a few occasions.
We stayed in the town of Fira and decided to walk from the town to Skaros Rock, which was located below the nearby town of Imerovigli. The trip involved going along the cliff side from town to town where we could see the views of the harbour, caldera and beyond as we walked.
Getting through Fira took time because were are so many viewpoints where we could stop and admire the view. There are also lots of shops and restaurants around to distract us!
Finally, it was time to head down to Skaros Rock. The rock is far below the cliffs, about half way down to the water.
At one time there was an entire settlement on the side of Skaros Rock and even had a fortress as well. For a variety of reasons the settlement began to fail (pirates and conquest) but earthquakes starting in 1650 caused part of the settlement to collapse into the sea. Earthquakes and volcanic activity continued for the next few hundred years until the town was completely abandoned in favour of nearby Fira.
At this point we had a choice, go around the rock to the right and try to climb up the rock, or take a path to the left and go down to the monastery far below. We took the monastery trail.