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lisasay123

time to hIke Fira to Oia from cruise?

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Hello All,

Santorini seems like it would be so lovely, yet sounds mostly nightmarish.  Will be there 2p-10p in November with NCL Star.  What I want to do is walk from Fira to Oia.  We can get ourselves up to Fira and walk to Oia, which they say is a 2.5 hour walk, plus all the stops for pictures/drinks/snack/etc, so could be 4-5 hours.  Can we rely on a taxi to take us back to port in time?  Any insight would be appreciated! 

Thanks,

Lisa 

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following. 

 

We will also have 7am to 7pm at Santorini. Only want to do the walk between Fira and Oia (whichever direction works) with kids. Really don't like long lines!

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We visited Santorini a few years ago and had a 2-10pm port stay.  I certainly wouldn't call it nightmarish.  It's one of the most beautiful ports I've ever visited and very easy to explore on your own.  Plenty of taxis and public buses are available to transport people between Oia and Fira.  When we visited the wait for the cable car was about 40 minutes; however, that was in October and there were other ships also in port.  

 

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Weather on October November should be nice, how many ships in port is one item, but most important when they arrive and sail.    When we were there seemed to be sequential tendering, there were four ships, so only ours was actively tendering.   

 

The tendering offloading is faster than the cable car so that will be the bottle neck for both arrival and departure as long  you aren't last off the boat probably with that simple plan more than enjoyable with all the wonderful views and temperatures.    Just be aware it is touristy so expect lots of them, LOL

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Hi Lisa

I think you should bear in mind that sunset in November is likely to be around about 5.30pm.  NCL schedule does not seem to allow many daylight hours as you may not get ashore till 3pm however if it arrives early you may be in with a chance.

Sunsets in Oia I believe are overrated and they are much better from Fira itself, or Imerovigli which is on the walk nearer to Fira. Sunsets from Oia are basically into the sea, same as from the ship. From Fira they will include the central volcano or the island Thirassia or both.

 

Don’t get me wrong, Oia is beautiful and should be seen if possible but I would recommend you get there first as soon as you can, you’re fit obviously so to avoid cable car queues from your own ship maybe take the boat and climb the road to Oia then take a taxi or bus back to Imerovigli and walk to Fira from there. You’ll avoid the sunset mob and get better views on the way back to Fira which is where you will need to be eventually. It’s the most spectacular part of the walk as well.

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Hi Jenny

We have just returned in the past week from a cruise on Celebrity Edge which included Santorini and we were also in port from 7am till 7pm.

I have been to Santorini many times and spent many weeks exploring and hiking the island. Since we have started cruising we return on average about every two years so we like to take our time, either don’t get off or do what we always do and take a stroll along the caldera walk as far as Imerovigli, a nice place situated overlooking the Skaros rock and scene of many wedding and fashion shoots. You have plenty of time with a 7 till 7 visit. There were 6 ships in port when we were there,  5 of them arriving at 7am. We waited had a nice relaxing breakfast, coffee etc then checked the lines at the cable car queues from the ship, you can see them,  and went ashore when there were no queues at about 10am.  You should still have plenty of time to do the walk in either direction but as I mentioned earlier the best bits and views are, in my opinion between Imerovigli and Fira and the best sunset shots are from there as well so perhaps go to Oia first and work your way back to Fira, possibly avoiding the sunset crowds and busy traffic.

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Two pictures taken on the caldera walk between Fira and Imerovigli quite near to Fira, one looking over the central volcano the other looking towards Imerovigli and the Skaros rock with Oia seen in the far distance.

 

RX302602ms.jpg

 

 

 

RX600274ms.jpg

Edited by JBare

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On 10/20/2019 at 12:46 PM, JBare said:

Hi Jenny

We have just returned in the past week from a cruise on Celebrity Edge which included Santorini and we were also in port from 7am till 7pm.

I have been to Santorini many times and spent many weeks exploring and hiking the island. Since we have started cruising we return on average about every two years so we like to take our time, either don’t get off or do what we always do and take a stroll along the caldera walk as far as Imerovigli, a nice place situated overlooking the Skaros rock and scene of many wedding and fashion shoots. You have plenty of time with a 7 till 7 visit. There were 6 ships in port when we were there,  5 of them arriving at 7am. We waited had a nice relaxing breakfast, coffee etc then checked the lines at the cable car queues from the ship, you can see them,  and went ashore when there were no queues at about 10am.  You should still have plenty of time to do the walk in either direction but as I mentioned earlier the best bits and views are, in my opinion between Imerovigli and Fira and the best sunset shots are from there as well so perhaps go to Oia first and work your way back to Fira, possibly avoiding the sunset crowds and busy traffic.

 

This is wonderful! Thank you so much! 

 

I just checked. On our arrival day, there will be three ships docking at 7am (including ours). The next batch will arrive around 10am and 2pm. I really want to see (some of) the iconic views, but I am conscious that my little children cannot walk for more than 2 miles in a stretch (maybe 1 miles in a hot humid day). The walk from dock to Imerovigli is 7 miles.

 

I am thinking of a few possibilities:

 

1. Take a speedboat from the tender dock to Oia. Spend some time in Oia, and then take the same boat back to our cruise, skipping Fira altogether.

 

2. Take a taxi to Imerovigli, and then walk back to Fira and then take cable car back to dock (hopefully) before the crowd.

 

3. Rent a car at the tender dock and drive around.

 

What do you think? Anyway to avoid the crowd and make the trip more enjoyable will be great. We don't have to do everything.

 

 

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On 11/14/2019 at 6:35 PM, jennyumaa said:

 The walk from dock to Imerovigli is 7 miles.

 

Hi, I think you may have used the wrong port to calculate your distances, 7 miles would be the distance I believe from Athinios port to Imerovigli thats the new ferry port.  Cruise ship tenders with excursions take you there sometimes but most DIY tenders take you to Santorini port at the base of the cable car in Fira.  From the top of the cable car the walk to Imerovigli is less than 2 miles and the photo of the blue domed church I posted is about a 15 min walk if that from the top cable car station in Fira.

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19 minutes ago, JBare said:

 

Hi, I think you may have used the wrong port to calculate your distances, 7 miles would be the distance I believe from Athinios port to Imerovigli thats the new ferry port.  Cruise ship tenders with excursions take you there sometimes but most DIY tenders take you to Santorini port at the base of the cable car in Fira.  From the top of the cable car the walk to Imerovigli is less than 2 miles and the photo of the blue domed church I posted is about a 15 min walk if that from the top cable car station in Fira.

 

Thank you so much for the clarification! So there is no escape from the cable car? I keep hearing about the long lines, especially when we have three ships docking at the same time. If the line is not a problem, I'll be happy to get up there, spend a few hours enjoying the view, and then come back to the ship. 

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My suggestion would be to take a boat from the tender pier area of Fira directly to Oia.  Walk through Oia, enjoy an early morning coffee and snack, and then hike back to Fira.  Make sure to allow lots of time (at least 3 hours) and be sure to wear comfy hiking shoes and carry some water.

 

Hank

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On 10/20/2019 at 8:31 PM, JBare said:

 you’re fit obviously so to avoid cable car queues from your own ship maybe take the boat and climb the road to Oia then take a taxi or bus back to Imerovigli and walk to Fira from there.

How much time will the boat ride take? Half an hour? Less? And one more question. How difficult/long is this climb?  I hope we are fit enough for it…. But it’s always better to know such things in advance. Thank you! Jess

 

 

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On 10/14/2019 at 4:24 AM, lisasay123 said:

  What I want to do is walk from Fira to Oia. 

 

If such a walk with all the stops will take up to 5 hours is it still worth it? We will also have a 7 till 7 visit. I'm trying to understand what will be better for us to walk around and use  taxis or to rent a car for the whole day.

Thank you. Jess

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4 hours ago, CrazyJess said:

How much time will the boat ride take? Half an hour? Less? And one more question. How difficult/long is this climb?  I hope we are fit enough for it…. But it’s always better to know such things in advance. Thank you! Jess

 

 

 

 

4 hours ago, CrazyJess said:

 

If such a walk with all the stops will take up to 5 hours is it still worth it? We will also have a 7 till 7 visit. I'm trying to understand what will be better for us to walk around and use  taxis or to rent a car for the whole day.

 

Thank you. Jess

 

We will try to give you some help and hope some others jump-in with their options.  If you are planning on spending your day at Oia and Fira then renting a car (which you would likely do at Fira) makes little sense.  However, if you want to explore the island (there is a lot more then just the two towns of Oia and Fira) then a rental car makes a lot of sense.  With a rental car you can certainly drive over to Oia and also see much more of the island heading out to places like Akritori, Red Beach, a winery, etc.  Just keep in mind that to rent a car you would first need to tender into the island and then take the cable car (or a donkey) up to Fira...where you would then walk to the far side of town where most of the rental car dealers have their offices.  It is wise to reserve a rental car before your trip although it is often possible to find a rental car by simply walking into one of the rental car offices.

 

As to the boat over to Oia, I would estimate its about a 15 min boat ride.  But there is no way to estimate how long you will be waiting for the boat to depart from Fira since they tend to wait until they have lots of passengers.  When we took the boat last month we only had to wait about 10 min...but if your timing is bad this could easily be a 30 min wait.  Once at the dock below Oia, a very fit person could probably hike up the steep hill in about 15 min.  But the boat ride does include a shuttle bus up to town.

 

Hank

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Hi Hank! Thank you so much for the detailed post. I think we will rent a car. I certainly want to explore the island. When you say take the cable car or a donkey up to Fira do you mean a real donkey???? Wow! I've never ridden a donkey in my life! It will be a great experience! Jess

 

 

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We were on the Edge in October and were in port 7-7. We were first ones off the ship and took cable car up to Fira and caught a cab to Oia (25 euro). We were in Oia by 7:30am. We explored Oia for a little while and left there about 9:30 to hike all the way back to the ship. The hike from Oia back to Fira took about 3 hours. If we had to do it again, we would begin in the same fashion but take a cab from Oia to Imerovigli and then hike down to the ship from there. There was not a ton to see on the stretch from Oia to Imerovigli and you have to be in somewhat decent shape as there is much elevation change. The major scenic areas are in Oia and then the stretch from Imerovigli to Fira

Edited by tbenson81

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16 hours ago, tbenson81 said:

We were on the Edge in October and were in port 7-7. We were first ones off the ship and took cable car up to Fira and caught a cab to Oia (25 euro). We were in Oia by 7:30am. We explored Oia for a little while and left there about 9:30 to hike all the way back to the ship. The hike from Oia back to Fira took about 3 hours. If we had to do it again, we would begin in the same fashion but take a cab from Oia to Imerovigli and then hike down to the ship from there. There was not a ton to see on the stretch from Oia to Imerovigli and you have to be in somewhat decent shape as there is much elevation change. The major scenic areas are in Oia and then the stretch from Imerovigli to Fira

 

Is it easy to get a cab? I heard there are only a small number of cabs on the island. Your plan sounds perfect. (We'll be there in the summer, so I expect more competition for cable car or cab).

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We found a cab in less than a minute near the bus stop as there were several. There is also a bus that runs to Oia every 15-30 minutes or so but the earliest one on the day were were there wasn't scheduled until 830am. The ferry that runs from the tender dock to Oia also wasnt running yet. Instead of waiting around for an hour, we wanted to get to Oia as quickly as possible. I dont think you will have any trouble finding a cab. Both Fira and Oia were very pleasant at this time and we had Oia basically to ourselves. The stores werent even open yet. By the time we got back to Fira after lunch, it was a mob scene. There were people shoulder to shoulder. We ended up walking down the donkey path because the cable car line looked pretty long. This really wasnt that bad either and only took about 15-20 minutes. Definitely go early because it will be much more enjoyable especially if there are multiple ships in that day.

Edited by tbenson81

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On 12/5/2019 at 9:49 AM, tbenson81 said:

We found a cab in less than a minute near the bus stop as there were several. There is also a bus that runs to Oia every 15-30 minutes or so but the earliest one on the day were were there wasn't scheduled until 830am. The ferry that runs from the tender dock to Oia also wasnt running yet. Instead of waiting around for an hour, we wanted to get to Oia as quickly as possible. I dont think you will have any trouble finding a cab. Both Fira and Oia were very pleasant at this time and we had Oia basically to ourselves. The stores werent even open yet. By the time we got back to Fira after lunch, it was a mob scene. There were people shoulder to shoulder. We ended up walking down the donkey path because the cable car line looked pretty long. This really wasnt that bad either and only took about 15-20 minutes. Definitely go early because it will be much more enjoyable especially if there are multiple ships in that day.

 

We'll try to get off as early as possible, but I suspect a lot of people are thinking of the same thing, leading to an early crowd.

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We did the same thing as Tbenson and surprisingly there were not many early risers at all. There were less than 10 people waiting for the first tender at 7am.

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