A trip to the Greek island of Santorini is not complete until you hike from Fira to Oia. Soak up the sun and enjoy panoramic views of the Mediterranean and volcano caldera on this world-class hike.
THE HIKE: FIRA TO OIA
Distance: 6 miles (9.6km)
Duration: 3 hours (maybe more because you’ll spend a lot of time taking pictures!)
You can hike in either direction but most tourists arrive in Fira (Thera), so it makes sense to hike towards Oia. Known for its sunsets, Oia is the perfect place to end your day and then catch a bus or taxi back to Fira. I have walked this trail in both directions; either way is just as breathtaking.
The hike is easy with only slight elevation changes as you pass through the villages of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia. You should leave early in the morning to avoid the hot sun or leave late in the afternoon with enough time to catch the sunset in Oia.
Since most hikers begin this walk in Fira, these directions detail the walk towards Oia. If walking in reverse, the path is just as simple, if not easier. It is hard to get lost on this hike; just follow the signs and when in doubt, stick to the left if heading towards Oia.
Begin your hike at the cable car station in Fira. Head north on the cobblestone path and follow the signs towards Oia. The route is straightforward as you head down the path and take in the views.
As you make your way out of Fira, the path will head uphill towards the town of Firostefani. The path will level off here.
From Firostefani you will continue on to the town of Imerovigli. Skaros Rock will jut out into the water on the left as you approach. As you pass through Imerovigli you can choose to hike down to Skaros Rock—be aware there are many steps and this will add at least 30 minutes to your hike.
The path continues through Imerovigli towards Oia. As you leave town, be sure to fill up your water bottle as Imerovigli is the last village until Oia. You will continue to enjoy views of the Caldera along the path and Oia will be visible off in the distance.
Continuing north, the path is actually a small road and then becomes gravel for a bit before returning to a paved path again. Eventually you will come to a fork in the road. The path on the right will look like the obvious choice as it winds away from the caldera. This is the easiest route but the views aren’t as exciting. The path to the left leads to the church of Ekklisia Profitis Ilias and continues toward Oia with more views of the caldera. This path is not well maintained and much steeper. Whichever path you choose, they meet up again on the other side of the large hill.
Beginning at the San Antonio Hotel, the trail joins the road. You will walk along the road a short distance until you reach a snack shop. The path forks off to the left of the road at the snack shop and continues toward Oia.
The path will climb up a large hill. From here you can catch some spectacular views of Oia down below. It is a short and relatively easy descent to Oia.
As you enter Oia, you will rejoin the road for a short time. It will be quite obvious that you’ve made it! From here, I suggest wandering the streets of Oia; the town is easy to navigate.
If your legs are still in good shape, take the stairs down to Ammoudi Bay for some fresh fish or a local swimming spot. To experience the famous Oia sunset, head to the ruins of Agios Nikolaos Castle. It’s nearly impossible to miss the castle ruins, just look for the tourists. Be sure to get there early as it becomes crowded at sunset.
BEFORE YOU GO
Be sure to bring enough water and sunscreen. It is very hot in summer.
Do not bring strollers; there are many steps.
Pay attention to bus schedules for your return trip. Taxis are also an option, however, in the busy summer they can be hard to come by. Have a plan on how you will get back to your starting point. Worst case scenario you can always walk back, although the path is not lit at night.
Guided tours are offered by Santorini Walking Tours.
From apparel to prints, grab some awesome trail merch at the A Stray Life Shop!
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