Leaping from the cliffs of Santorini

Amongst all the things you plan to do when set out to travel anywhere, including sight seeing, trying cuisines, meeting up with the locals, etcetera, there has to be one thing that you have never done before. When we decided to go to Greece, my sister and I had one thing we just had to check off our bucket list – cliff jumping.

During our stay in the Oia Village of Santorini, we learnt that cliff jumping takes place in the Amoudi Bay. So on a sunny September afternoon, we decide to walk the 200 steps that led to the bay glistening in the daylight. We wore our swim suits, took a couple of towels, stuffed a water bottle into our backpacks and headed out. We were pleasantly surprised in the company of donkeys as many chose to ride on them all the way down.

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The bay is tucked away underneath Oia, away from the hustle-bustle, a beautiful bay, with boats that just happily hop along with the waves. We crossed two restaurants right at the coastline and planned to stop there for a meal on our way back. The colours of the water seemed to change with every fleeting glimpse. Sometimes pristine emerald, sometimes aqua-marine blue, sometimes sea salt white. 


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Getting to the bay was only half the battle. From here on, it was a walk of about twenty minutes to reach the pristine waters from where you could swim. It was a rough and rocky path along. If you ever plan to go, be sure you wear very comfortable and sturdy shoes. Once we got there, we saw a few other travellers, just lazying around in the sunshine, getting the bronzed tan they had traveled all this way for.

As most of you would know, the Greco islands were born
out of a massive volcanic eruption in the middle of the Aegean Sea. So, the coastline is dotted with mini islands made of rocks. Being the efficient planners we thought we were, we figured that we would have to swim for about 50 odd meters to reach the island. Then, climb the lava rocks to the point from were we could dive into the sea. The cliff was cut to make a platform from where we could see people splashing into the water.

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And so it began. We entered the water and started to swim to the cliffs. This was my first time in the sea and I had really underestimated the saltiness of the water. Spurting the salt water out our mouths every few seconds, we reached the bottom of the cliff. Rock by rock, we began our ascent. Because we were bare feet, we grazed our skin a couple of times, but that didn’t deter our spirit. Sometime during the climb, my sister said that she was getting tired. Scared, I was too. But I told her to just stay focused and follow me. The path that we had chosen wasn’t the easiest. The rocks were solidified lava. They were pointy and sharp. They stuck into our soles and palms. It felt like walking on a bed of nails. And if we slipped, it would’ve resulted it nothing but broken bones.

And before we knew it, we were up there! Exhaustion from the climb didn’t stop us from doing a mini dance of celebration. Now came the time of the courageous plunge. I walked up to the edge to see the water from above. It looked like a great deal of height. About 25 feet. I was scared and excited at the same time. Maintaining the endurance and determination I had displayed so far, I decided to go first. A huge breath in. A huge breath out. I ran towards the water. And stopped. I couldn’t do it. It was like, as if I had experienced a bout of acrophobia.

As I stood there frozen, my sister said, “I’ll go”. So there she was. With a small run up, she jumped with her eyes closed splashed straight into the water. I was dumb founded. Like a worrying mother, I ran over to the the cliff edge to see if she was okay. I was all smiles to see that she was all smiles. Now, it was my turn. There was no shying away. There was no escaping. There wasn’t another way. I had to jump. I gave the long horizon ahead a short look and with clinched fists and tightly shut eyes, I dashed. I found myself next to a giggling sister, as I struggled to catch breath and cope with the pumping adrenalin.

We had done it! With no safety gear, no guide, two bare footed souls, climbed 35 feet up a rocky cliff and jumped! The salt stung our bruises but we didn’t care. There was nothing like swimming in Amoudi Bay and looking up at the view of Oia.

An hour later, we found ourselves sitting at the Sunset Taverna. None of us spoke much that evening. As the sun went down into the sea, we shared a refreshing Greek salad and a smile.


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View more photos from the trip here.

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