The first day in Fira definitely got into the island mode after a gorgeous sunset and dinner overlooking the Caldera.
We decided to head to the Three Bells of Fira which is part of the iconic church that is often used in pictures.
This walk is beautiful and starts through the shops of Fira and starts on a gradual slope upwards and soon the slope becomes steeper. There aren’t too many directions and everybody is generally walking up the slope in the direction of a different Fira church that comes in practically the first 10 minutes.
On the back side of the church there is a boutique shop that is supposedly very popular called “The cave” — we stopped here for about 10 minutes and soaked in the atmosphere. There are directions on the church wall to head to the 3 bells of Fira.
We quickly moved on. The rest of the walk is on the edge of the cliffs with gorgeous views of the Caldera and the villages Firastefani and Imerovigli.
There were lots of tourists and lots of nice places to take pictures on the way to the bells.
We finally reached the bells, took our fair share of pictures and walked back.
The total round trip for the walk is about 2–3 hours, you can do it much faster but why would you :-)?
Heading to Oia
After the trip, we were all stoked up to head to Oia. The drive from Fira to Oia is about 45 minutes and goes through the mountains and all going up. There is very limited parking in Oia and after some back and forth with the hotel, we finally found the Post office where we parked our car. The post office is the meeting point where the porters from the hotel pick you up and take you to the hotel. I will skip the walk to the hotel and the hotel itself for the next blog.
We spent most the afternoon cooped in the hotel room because of the bright sun and heat. We did walk around Oia for about an hour or so. It is a very small town and about an hour and you get the end to end picture of the town.
The Oia sunset experience is why people head to Oia and the best spot is on the top of Byzantine ruins. What they don’t tell you is the amount of people on the top of the ruins and people start queuing about 3 hours before the sunset — which in the heat of Oia is a bit crazy.
I skipped the ruins because I was standing on the top of our hotel roof which is part of the charming view from the ruins — so I definitely missed the view on the first day. However, we ended up making good friends with a few people from around the world. The topic starter was the crazy traffic on the ruins :-).
There were too many clouds and the sunset experience was a bit underwhelming to be honest.
Nevertheless the location was unbeatable!