Santorini is well known for its stunning caldera views, famous blue domed churches and fantastic sunsets. However, there is a hike between two cities that is another must see when visiting the area. Hiking Fira to Oia will give you a spectacular three hour experience you will never forget.
The Fira to Oia hike is approximately 10 kilometers (6+ miles) and will take you between 2.5-3.5 hours at a relaxed pace. We stopped to take plenty of photos and still finished in roughly 3 hours. The hike mostly follows the caldera, but you will find yourself on the main road for a bit now and again.
If you are staying in Oia, this hike can obviously be done in the reverse direction. At the end of your hike you can either choose to hike back or take the bus, which only costs 1.60 euro. And for those visiting Santorini as part of a cruise port stop, the hike is absolutely doable, so long as you have the time available.
We visited Santorini in May, so in order to avoid the afternoon heat we started our hike around 9am. Before we knew it, we had arrived in Firastefani, and Fira town was already in the distance.
The scenery on this hike is absolutely gorgeous, starting from the very beginning. You should definitely plan for extra time to take photos. You won’t be able to help yourself when you start seeing the views. 🙂
The path from Fira to Oia is mostly down hill, but there are still some sections that require you to climb an incline. We were stopped a couple different times by hikers coming from Oia, asking about how much time they had left. Each time those people said it had been mostly up hill on their hike, so good for us starting from Fira! Also, the path itself is well worn, so the footing can be tricky at times. TIP: Wear a good pair of trainers!
After getting through a few towns and villages, you’ll wind through Imerovigli and be on your way to Oia!
Eventually the formal stone path ends, but the path is well traveled and it would be hard to get lost. You will most likely see other hikers passing by too, as the path is becoming more known.
You will also come across signs pretty frequently (see below), which let you know you are on the right track.
Once you get near Oia, you realize the true beauty of the area. It was a beautiful sunny day for us, so we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the town. There are enough shops and restaurants to keep you busy for days! We stopped for a drink and bite to eat and then finished with pistachio gelato while browsing through the numerous local shops.
The hike from Fira to Oia can be made by people of all ages in good health. Bring water and wear plenty of sun screen. And don’t be afraid of the time involved or distance, as the 3 hour journey was enjoyable from the very first step!
Great Big Globe Tip: Consider leaving Fira in the late afternoon and arrive in Oia just in time catch the fabulous sunset.
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Curious to find out how much we spent in Santorini? Read our spending breakdown post!
My wife and I made the journey a few years ago while island hopping several Of the Greek isles. While we found it a bit challenging at certain points what incredible views you get throughout the walk.
Keep on traveling
We have made the hike twice; about ten years apart. The first time was very difficult and, in my opinion, rather dangerous as there were portions of path 10 inches wide on the edge of the cliff. I swore to my wife I would never do it again. The second time was much easier and 100% safe as the path was wider, improved, and no longer death adjacent.
Hi Steve- I had no idea the path has changed that much. Glad to hear you survived both hikes! Hopefully you found the views as wonderful as we did!
Wow, those views are magnificent!
Nice post! We loved Oia and had planned to do the hike to Fira, but instead hung spent our time enjoying the scenery of Oia (and our awesome hotel overlooking the Caldera!). We’ll have to go back and do the hike next time!
I don’t blame you, the hotels in Oia are so awesome! I don’t know if I would leave either!
Looks amazing. Wow. Definitely adding Santorini to my BucketList.
This is a fabulous hike! Probably one of the most scenic in the world, in our view. The views really are breath-taking… We started in Oia (because that’s where we were staying) and ended up in Fira for a late, late lunch. Good walking shoes, hat and water are musts :-).
Hi Janice and George- We agree, this hike so beautiful. Amazing scenery the entire way! Did you find your hike mostly up hill?