When you come to Santorini, it’s easy to spend the majority of your time relaxing on the beach, eating great food and enjoying the nightlife. But don’t leave without taking the time to truly see the island. Yes, you can hire a quad and zoom around, but it’s nice to take some time to appreciate the beauty of the landscape and the stunning caldera views.You won’t be disappointed by the views on the three hour, Fira to Oia Santorini hike.
You’ll follow an ancient trail connecting Fira, the capital and Oia, the most picturesque Santorini town. You’ll start just next to the Hotel Atlantis in Fira, walk north from the square and follow the signs. If in doubt, keep walking up, not down. You’ll see Skaros Rock in the distance, walk towards that.
Fira to Imerovigli…
There’s a steep climb to Firostefani village, then the path becomes easier again. You’ll see Skaros Rock and Oia in the distance. If you’ve forgotten supplies, you can pick them up in Firostefani. When you reach the Blue Note restaurant and bar, turn left for caldera views and a great view of the luxury hotels (if you go right you’ll end up walking through the town). You’ll see the Church of Anastasi where you’ll get a great view. You can walk out to Skaros Rock, but bear in mind you’ll add at least thirty minutes to your hike (be prepared for lots of steps too).
Take the path to the right and continue through Imerovigli, here you’ll see many luxury hotels such as Kapari and Sophia Suites. You’ll soon see Oia in the distance (it’ll take about an hour to arrive there from this point). You’ll pass some more hotels (Cavo Tagoo, Rocabella, Santorini Princess), and you’ll find Cafe Monopati next to the Pantheon Villas, if you need refreshments or a little rest.
Imerovigli to Oia…
You’ll soon come across the stunning Ekklisia Profits Ilias Church, just before the church near the San Antonio hotel there are two paths, the left path is the caldera path which has a better view but is trickier than the path on the right, which is a better quality path but less scenic. If you descend on the caldera side you’ll see the sprawling Aenaon Villas. Five minutes from the San Antonio hotel you’ll find the snack shop. There’s no path and you’ll need to walk on the road. It’s usually safe as drivers are aware of walkers. Then you’ll rejoin the path and see the island of Thirassia to the left of Oia.
As you walk into Oia you’ll pass lots of nice apartments with private pools. Give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve just walked 10km! Well done! Meteor Cafe is a good place to stop for refreshments and to have a rest. Then enjoy the rest of your day in beautiful Oia; buy gifts, eat delicious food and marvel at the artwork and stunning scenery! And don’t forget to enjoy the sunset!
*We can start the tour at Cavo Tagoo if you are disembarking from a cruise ship. You can hike from Fira until just after Imerovigli (around one third of the hike which takes 45 minutes) and then join our tour.
- The best time to do the hike is in the spring when the flowers of the island are blooming and the weather is pleasant.
- If you’re hiking in summer, start early (it gets hot by 11am). Avoid doing this hike in July/August.
- Take plenty of water with you and some snacks (most of the trail is off the beaten track).
- Wear trainers or walking shoes as some parts of the hike are rocky.