Santorini in a Hike

How to see Santorini? Take the scenic 10k hike from Fira to Oia.

Here is the map of the Hike with all the worthy stop points.

  • Start early if it’s a hot day.
  • Have plenty of water  There are no more than 2 snack shops on the way.

Start the hike in Fira, by the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral along the Caldera. You will pass by all the cafes, restaurants and little shops. Keep going up. The view gets better and better.

View Fira

You will pass by the Three Bells of Fira before arriving at the first village, Firostefani.

Firostefani

Next village is Imerovigli. Make sure to explore the small alleys, they all lead to the blue Caldera view. Make a stop at the Anastasia Church.

You can add a side trip by going to the Skaros Rock , it will add about an hour to your hike.

From there, keep hiking up, You will walk along the Caldera passing by the resorts like Cavoo. There will be no snack shops or any restaurant for a while. You will pass by beautiful churches like the Ekklisia Profilis Ilias on top of the hill. After that long stretch, you will finally get to a snack shop. Time to refuel.

You will then have to go up a hill; if there is a donkey, take it. It will save you some sweat. At the top of the hill, there is the Church of Panagia.

You can finally see Oia on the horizon. Oia is a smaller town than Fira but very charming. Explore the alleys and art galleries. Stop at the unique bookshop called Atlantis.

End the day at Amoudi Bay where everybody gathers to watch the sunset.

Oia sunset

Take the bus to get back to Fira at night.

 

 

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Pinnacles National Park

The Pinnacles National Park, home of the condor, was born some 23 million years ago when volcanoes erupted. The remains of it is a unique landscape through which you can hike; rare talus caves and towering rock spires.

Leave you can at the campground and take the shuttle to the main trailhead,  The Bear Glutch Trailhead. The Condor Gulch to High Peaks Loop allows you to walk through the heart of the Pinnacles rock formations, particularly along the Steep and Narrow section of the High Peaks trail. On the way back add the Balconies Cave trail to see the lake and the caves.

From the West end of the park, you can use the Chaparral trail to see the amazing Balconies Caves. Flashlight required and be ready to truly emerge in a cave. I really thought I’m going on an expedition.  You can loop it back to the parking lot on continuing the trail to the high peaks.

 

 

 

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree for a weekend

If you want to get away from the city, Joshua Tree is the perfect getaway if you live in SoCal. The park, located in the Mojave Desert not too far from Palm Springs, is a great retreat location in Fall and Spring until Mid May. It does get too hot during summer time.

You can camp inside of the park as they offer many camping grounds or stay at a cabin or at the Joshua Tree Inn, in Yucca Valley,  1 mile away from the park. The closer to the park, the better you will be able to admire the sunset and the stars at night. The best way to finding cabins is to go to Airbnb, they offer so many great choices but they best cabins sell out very fast.

I entered the park from Yucca Valley. Make sure to stop at the visitor’s center to collect your national park stamp and take a map of the park.

Start your day early, maybe around 9am with the most strenuous hike. Ryan Mountain is a great 3 miles hike that allows you, once at the 5,458-foot summit, to have a beautiful view if the vast park.  You can then discover the park with different short trails. The Arch Rock trail, the Skull Rock trail, the Barker Dam Trail and the Chella Cactus Garden will allow you to discover a different aspect of the park. Make sure to stop at the Key’s View, also called inspiration point, from where you can see the San Andreas Fault, Mt. San Jacinto and Coachella Valley. The Park is also known for its rock climbing spots like Hidden Valley Trail.

The Park is vast so you might explore the Hidden Valley to Skull Rock side in one day and the Cottonwood Spring side of the park the next day.

Los Angeles National Forest

Los Angeles national Forest from Pasadena to Inland Empire.

Switzer Falls in Altadena – From 3 to 7 miles

If you only go to the Waterfall it’s pretty easy and it’s about 3 miles. You can also take the Bear Canyon trail that will take you to the campground and make the hike longer. The Hike is not difficult but given that you are hiking by a river, you always have to jump on rocks and go from one side of the river to the other side.

 

Eaton Canyon – 3 miles

This is a very easy 3 mile hike to Eaton Canyon Waterfall. No steep hill

 

 

Santa Monica Mountains

The Santa Monica Mountains are on the West Side of Los Angeles, from The Valley to Santa Monica and all the way to Thousands Oaks.

Hondo Canyon by Topanga – 7.6 miles

It has a lot of shades so it’s a perfect hike on hot days. It has some steep sections and you can extend the hike all the way to the ocean .

Hollywood Sign Trail – 7 miles

There are many ways to get behind the sign. I like to park at the Griffith Observatory and go from there.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overview – Culver City

If you need some serious stairs workout, this is the place to go. You will need to do the stairs about 3 times  to get a very good workout out of it.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overview Stairs
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overview Stairs

Westridge Canyonback Trail – 5.3 miles

You can start it from the Valley, Encino to go towards Brentwood or you can start in Brentwood. It’s a very smooth and pretty easy hike.

Eagle Rock from  the Topanga Canyon State Park or from Reseda

There are many ways, from easy to hard, to get that ultimate point.The hard way from an entrance on the back street of PCH and it end up being 10 miles hike or the easier way from Reseda to the hub junction to the rock that is about 7.5 miles.

Paradise Falls, Teepee Trail and Mesa Trail in Thousand Oaks

Depends on how you are combining all the trails, you can hike from 3 to 7 miles.The park entrance makes you think you are in the Midwest and The waterfall is one of the most beautiful one is LA.

Solstice Canyon – from  3 to 6 miles

If you are going to the waterfall only, it’s a very easy hike and there are a lot of shades. If you want to hike more, take the Sostomo Trail that will take you to the ocean and back.

Fryman and the RainForest – around 4 miles

Fryman loop is a 3 mile loop that is good for trail running. The Rainforest starts off the road by Laurel Canyon and takes you all the way to Mulholland view point .