When I did the Santorini hike from Fira to OIA for the first time in May, I fell in love with Santorini. The gorgeous views, the blue/white houses, and the strong black mountain are astounding. What a beauty indeed! I delayed this hike for quite a few days, but I knew I had to complete it before I depart from Santorini. The day before my journey, I wake up very early to experience this adventure all by myself. I love hiking, so I knew I would enjoy it.
As exhausted as I was at the end of this trip, I am so glad I spent exploring a few gems along the path. The hike left me wanting to come back and explore even more. But for now, let us explore it together!
The route is 13 km and you will need 3-5 hours depending on how many stops and how many photos you will take. Oh yes, you have to take lots of photos. Most of the time you will be walking beside the caldera.
Relax and enjoy the Hike!
Santorini Hike (Hike Fira To Oia)
- Distance: 13 km from Fira center to OIA
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Time: 3-5 Hours one way. From OIA back to Fira you can take the bus
- The map above shows to go round from Finikia to OIA. Do not do this. Keep straight up to OIA.
I started from Karterados Village which is just 20 mins walk from Fira center.
To Hike Santorini, the starting point is from the square Hotel Atlantis. First of all, you’ll see Skaros Rock in the distance, walk towards that. Follow the cobblestone paths, head up through the town of Fira where you can have beautiful views.
The trail is marked well by wooden signs pointing towards Oia and possible detours. The markings are scarce on the first section through Firostefani and Imerovigli where the direction is clear. After that, they mark every crossroad that could be confusing.
Head towards the Teleferik signs. On the right side of the Telerik walk a little bit on the small street. From there you will experience a magnificent view of Fira! The colors, the calmness, the breeze. Everything was golden at that time.
Firostefani – Hike Santorini
You will continue ahead and you keep walking until you reach the exhibition center of Petros nomikos. The street called Nomikou follows the rim of caldera climbing up slightly towards the first of Fira’s “suburbs”, Firostefani.
You will reach the church of three bells in Firostefani. This traditional white blue church with a blue dome is one of the most photographed sights in Santorini and cannot be missed. From here also you will have magnificent views.
Next, you will reach the church of Anastasi Church up to Scaros rock.
A lot of people omit the detour to Skaros Rock altogether in order to make the hike easier and shorter. And it makes sense, but if you decide to go down to the rock, count 1 more hour both ways. It looks near but it’s not.
Fira to Imerovigli
Coming up again, keep your way on the small street beside the church Saint Ioannis. Keep going until you reach Saint profits Hlias – Imerovigli.
This section between Imerovigli and Oia is definitely the wildest but my favorite!
At the church of Profitis Ilias just outside of Imerovigli, turn left and climb up. Once you reach the church have a rest to admire the amazing views.
For many including me, the most beautiful part of the hike starts here. Once reaching the San Antonio hotel and a small cantina (closed during Winter and Spring), you will see the sign towards OIA. You go down until you reach the main road that goes to Pori. Continue to the main road for 300 meters. You will see the small path that goes up again.
From here hike to the black mountain. The hike can be quite challenging and slippery. Walk slowly and do not rush. Take your time to admire the view or even do a mini-meditation.
On the top, you will reach the church of Stavrou.
Keep walking down towards OIA. From here the descent is pretty easy and straightforward.
While in Oia do not miss the famous church of Ekklisia Panagia Platsani and some of the beautiful view spots over the caldera. If you still want more exercise, walk down 300 steps to the small port of Ammoudi where you can watch the fishing boats.
Going back to Fira you can take the local bus back to your hotel or even a taxi.
Best Santorini Hike Gear
- Sunscreen: As you will be walking 10kms and spending approximately 4 hours hiking Santorini it can be very hot! Protect your skin with sunscreen.
- Hiking Boots/Shoes: Wear comfortable sports shoes. You will need to climb cliffs and in some areas, the route is quite challenging,
- Water: Do not forget the water. During the hike, you will find 2 vendors that sell drinks and food but during May were closed.
- Sunglasses: Most of the time it will be very sunny.
- Snacks: The best snacks are nuts, energy balls or bars, and fruits. Just carry a few of them, do not overdo it.
- Camera: Absolutely necessary to capture great moments.
- Day Pack: To put all your belongings.
- Comfortable hiking pants: You can wear leggings, hiking pants or shorts.
- Sports Bra: For women.
- Tripod: This is an optional item, but it is excellent for getting the perfect sunrise photos.
Hike Santorini Tips
- Check the route on the google map. There are 2 routes. One besides Caldera and one on the other side of the island, which is the main road,
- Start the hike early in the morning. As early as possible. I started at 5:30 am,
- Carry water with you. During the hike, you will find 2 vendors that sell drinks and food but during May were closed,
- Do not forget your hat. Around 8 am it starts to get very hot,
- Wear comfortable sports shoes. You will need to climb cliffs and in some areas, the route is quite challenging,
- Do not carry too many things. Just water, camera, sunscreen, hat, and money,
- Follow the signs,
- If you get lost just open your Google map and re-check,
- I would advise you to have as many stops as possible and enjoy the scenery. You will be amazed,
- Do not walk very near the cliff. It can be quite dangerous,
- Enjoy your hike!
Where to stay in Santorini
The most popular areas to stay in Santorini are Fire, Oira, Firostefani, and Imerovigli. But you can equally find beautiful areas out of these crowded areas. Two of my favorite areas are Kraterados just 10 minutes drive from Fira and Akrotiri just 25 minutes away from Fira.
If you are looking for Vegan food in Santorini please see below a well-detailed food guide.
For the best things to do in Santorini here –> 15 best things to do in Santorini – Live your myth in Greece.