Perisa to Kamari Walk on Santorini Island in Greece.
A fairly strenuous but scenic walk on lovely paths which starts off from Perisa and goes up to the Saddle and then back down the other side into Kamari.
This really is a beautiful albeit quite hard Santorini one way walk which is on an often well surfaced but sometimes rubbly path - with excellent views all the time. You do walk along and eventually over the hillside with perhaps 45 degree drops one side on the way to the saddle. Also if you divert to the small church at
Panaghia on the way up there is one place where the drop is nearly straight down for a short distance. Similarly after the saddle on the way down to Kamari there
are several places where there is a perhaps 20 to 30 degree slope down one side - however this path is generally quite wide.
Start the walk from the northern end of Perisa Beach - walk inland on the quiet road almost immediately passing the ruins of the Byzantine church of Aghia
Irini on the right. Follow the road round to the right with the hills now looming high above and also you can see the small church of Panaghia tucked into
a fold in the cliffs high up on the right. This church is only a fairly short diversion from the walk below but is well worth going too.
Not long after passing the Mariana Hotel take a dirt track on the right (this is signposted "Ancient Thira") - then several metres down the track take a path leaving on the right which heads up into the hills. This narrow twisty path climbs quite steeply to reach a path junction - you will see a large white cross
painted on a rock just here.
Do not take the really poor path heading towards the cross, instead continue on the main path a little further on to reach another path junction. Assuming you want to visit Panaghia church (why wouldn't you after all?) go right and again follow the narrow path often steeply up. The
path does flatten a little as it rounds the hillside and just here there are considerable drops down on the right - but you do get magnificent views of Perisa now way below you as well as the coastline. Soon the path ends up at narrow rocky steps - climb up these to reach the lovely little church of Panaghia - there are
a few bench seats here situated under some trees so it's a nice cool spot.
Return back to the previous path junction and now turn right and follow what is a rocky but reasonably wide path which easily climbs up across the hillside to
eventually reach Mesa Vouno saddle. You will find a refreshment van here where you can get cold drinks plus there are a few seats - note this van is usually only open whilst the Ancient Thira site is open i.e. not Mondays and only to 14:30 on other days.
If you wish you can divert up the hill further and take a look at Ancient Thira from here - looking round the site takes around an hour.
To continue the walk take the tarmac road and follow it for two bends and then on it's third bend on the left take a gravely scree path (there is a large
white cross painted on a rock here showing the start point). This path soon becomes a cobbled reasonably wide path and continues slowly down the hillside to reach rock steps. Head on down these quite steep rocky steps - there are quite considerable drops on the right just here but there is a semblance of a handrail.
You start getting a glimpse of Kamari way down below and also Zoodochos Pigi church starts to appear. You soon reach the church - this is a beautiful area to stop off - there are quite a few stone seats situated under trees and a large stone table just inside a cave and also (if the door is still
open/unlocked) you can go right into the cave and splash yourself with the life-giving waters. From the church continue on a really nice cobbled path which zig-zags it's way on down the hillside - this is a well made path and quite wide. Eventually you
reach the outside of Kamari where you just walk on down one of the roads to reach the beach area.
At the time of our holiday there was a boat service which runs from Kamari beach back to Perisa once the main season gets started or failing that you have to get the bus back to Thira and then Perisa. We have described this walk as one way but it can obviously be enjoyed "there and back" or of course walked from Kamari to Perisa as a one-way - the walk does give quite
different views depending on which way round you go - we did this 3 times just because of how much we enjoyed it.
Our Greek Island of Santorini Topics
Via our Resources Page
there is a menu showing more of our travel websites covering holidays and tours of Cyprus and India. Also our many topics about England - walks on national trails and paths, 100s of wild flower photos, items about canals and rivers including The Thames Path.