Mule Path, Santorini Island

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  • Mule Path
    by krissyM
  • 588 steps to the top
    588 steps to the top
    by HELEN
  • Mule Path
    by apbeaches
  • JennysTravels's Profile Photo

    Ride a Mule.

    by JennysTravels Written Jun 27, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Off we go!
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    Yup they are everywhere. You see these Mules pulling kegs of beer, toilet paper and people. We took a mule ride to the top of a steep mountain where we had some dinner. They are clumbsy and hug the side of the path, not for the faint of heart or someone with height issues. Cost 4Euro.

    Mind your step! There's is donkey doo on all the paths.

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  • csordila's Profile Photo

    Try a Mule

    by csordila Updated Jul 18, 2009

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    Hitching a ride back up
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    In the old harbour at Skala, directly below Fira, only small cruise ships, yachts, and excursion boats can dock safely. The cruise ships anchor between Fira and the volcano Palea Kameni and the passengers are moved with boats to the port.
    If your ship berths here, you should do a 45-minute scenic uphill walk.
    But if you are not completely out of your mind, since it is about one million steps, head to the village either by cable car which travels up in three minutes or by riding on the back of a mule.

    The locals used mules to carry everything up and down. But today the mules are part of the native charm of the island and can be loads of fun. The highlight of your trip may be to ride them from place to place.
    Our guide from the ship has recomended a mule up and the cable car down; and for those, suffering from acrophobia, only the cable car in both directions with eyes firmly closed!!
    Walking seemed like it would be safer however, be prepared to share the tiny narrow street with the mules.

    The price for both cable car and mule is 5€
    Warning: The stepped way is littered with mule droppings, resulting a bad smells being noticeable during the entire way.

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  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Up & Down The Fira Caldera

    by xuessium Written Dec 10, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    DonkeyUp!
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    "Come On, Mullo!", yelled the gentleman behind me in glee. I suppose illusions of Zorro weren't that far from his head. Everyone was bypassing me on the trail up to Fira from Fira Port - and these stubborn creatures have minds of their own and they simply could not be rushed. (Stubborn as a mule is no misnomer!) Mine has a tendency to stop right the edge of the stairs so should I look down, it was either a fantastic giddy-ish view of the Caldera or a ticket straight down to Splat!-dom.

    It took the master's yell to get my trustee-steed going and suddenly there was a sudden burst of urgency as it started to bypass every mule that had raced past it earlier on. Not that I was not thankful (for the sun was again merciless that afternoon) but it could do well not to sway me so close to the edge, for every turn seemed to teeter me almost off the edge. Not that I have a fear of heights; just the fear of staying in Santorini permanently. Then said, it was a fun (and admittedly touristy) way to explore Santorini.

    Well, what goes up must come down. I took a cablecar ride down. Wasn't anything scary but you are rewarded with great views of the Caldera as you descend. Suddenly there was an explosion of clicks in my car as a family of 5 whom I shared the journey down (presumably from the British Isles) suddenly started taking photos like crazy pressed against the glass windows. I was trying my best to stifle a break out of laughters.

    And for folks against all forms of public transport - hey, there are stairs for you to get down and then get UP the Caldera! Try doing that in the Greek afternoon sun....and I'm sure your recalcitrance will melt away like butter on hot toasts.

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Mule Trail, Steep Steps To Old Port, Fira

    by Mikebb Written Dec 16, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Steps To Old Port
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    We had read about the donkey trail from the Old Port, cruise boat arrival point, to Fira Town but when we actually sighted it we immediately said NO to any suggestion we might walk these steep steps.

    The donkey ride did not appeal at all, we preferred to have a coffee and watch the proceedings. The alternative is to take the Cable Car.

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  • ealgisi's Profile Photo

    Mule ride

    by ealgisi Written Jan 8, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    "Rent" a mule and get the chance to climb up the island on top of it.
    Watch out your legs, the mule will go really close to the side walls and you can get hurted.

    Is absolutely not expensive and it's a nice experience and the fastest way to go up/down the island.

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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Hard job

    by solopes Updated Dec 23, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Santorini - Greece
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    It's a very steep and long pathway from the harbour to the city, and the mules going up and down are a very typical sight. But the dirt, smells and flies didn't invite us.

    We preferred to use the common but effective funicular that runs beside the pathway.

    The guides (?) failed in all circumstances in this island, we had to manage ourselves to move around, but without difficulties.

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  • MaureenVT's Profile Photo

    Mule Path - Great views, Good Workout

    by MaureenVT Written Sep 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On my trip to Santorini, I had to participate in the infamous Mule Path. Years ago, I had taken the Mule up, but this time, I wanted to try a different approach. We opted to walk from our hotel, to the top of the village. We then paid a small charge, around $4 to take the Gondola down the mountain. The views were absolutley spectacular...and when we got to the bottom, we walked around the dock area.

    We then opted to WALK...or you may call it "hike" up the mountain. I advise you to wear tennis shoes. This was a great experience, as you get a great workout, and are able to stop off at any time and take pictures of the different views. We were walking/climbing at a rapid pace, and made it to the top in about 30 minutes or so. I highly reccommend the experience....though look out for the herds of donkeys!!!

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  • BurgerQueen's Profile Photo

    If you are brave enough...

    by BurgerQueen Updated Feb 19, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The mule path
    1 more image

    Fira is connected to its port by means of a mule path. Going down to the port is obviously easy (even if you have to be very carful not to trample on mule leftovers), but when it's time to go back to the city, maybe after a long boat trip, it becomes quite hard!
    You can thus pay for a lift on a mule to the old men waiting for tourists at the port, bearing in mind that every man ownes a number of mules, and will not climb the path untill all the mules have a passenger, and will not care if you are in trouble with your mule!
    Optionally, an efficient cableway is available for the same purpose:-)

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  • HELEN's Profile Photo

    Ride the Donkeys

    by HELEN Written Jun 20, 2008

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    There are 3 way to get up and down from Fira to the old port - walk 588 steps, ride the cable car or ride a donkey. You can ride the cable car anywhere, but where else can you ride a donkey like a cab? If you decide to walk, keep in mind that you'll be sharing the same path as the donkeys, so beware of the poop! We walked the 588 stair on the way down and then rode a donkey on the way up. Riding a donkey was a little bit scare but an the same time exciting, I definitely recommend it. It costs 4 EUR to ride the cable car, and 5 EUR (you can always bargain) to ride a donkey.

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  • marybellone's Profile Photo

    Daring Donkeys

    by marybellone Written Dec 28, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    There is a smaller port that takes you to the village of Thira. There are two ways to get up this side of the island-walk or ride a donkey. It's pretty steep and long, so the best choice is teh donkey. It is aslo a fun experience. They only cost a few euros and it is worth the experience.

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    The Path to the Harbor

    by Tom_Fields Written Feb 11, 2010

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    It's a long way down....
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    From Fira, one can hike, ride a mule, or ride the cable car down to the harbor. It's a long way down. I hiked it, since I really needed the exercise. Anyway, the harbor is a picturesque Mediterranean port. It's a pleasant trip. If you walk, do keep an eye out for mule droppings.

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  • krissyM's Profile Photo

    Ride a Donkey

    by krissyM Written May 5, 2009

    You can ride a donkey up (or down) the caldera from the main port for 5 euro each way. FYI it is a long trip either way at 483 steps. My legs were shaking by the time I reached the bottom.

    The entire path is caked in donkey dung, so if you're going to walk make the trip as fast as possible. It stinks!!

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  • XBlanka's Profile Photo

    Donkey stairs

    by XBlanka Written Jul 6, 2007
    Tens of donkeys [Fira, Sept-2007]
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    It's very nice but in the hot weather also very exhausting walk downstairs to the port and upstairs back to the Fira. But we had a lot of fun. You can also rent a donkey to take you down and up, but we love animals and we found this tourist attraction a bit stupid.

    It's good to do this walk early in the morning when the sunshine isn't that strong.

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  • AndyRG's Profile Photo

    ...mules

    by AndyRG Written May 9, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I believe it would be better to leave them taking some relaxation, don't you think so? Anyway, the footway (long steps) looks distant but after a short walk you arrive in the small port...

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  • cfuentesm's Profile Photo

    Mule Riding

    by cfuentesm Written Oct 21, 2005
    Mule riding in Santorini
    2 more images

    It's easy to get to the top. The problem is getting down. A mule will help you, as long as you are not scared of heights and of getting your elbows and knees all scrapped along the way.

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