Located along the beautiful cliffs of Santorini’s famous caldera is a unique hiking path that boasts the most stunning views of the volcano and surrounding islands. If you enjoy tranquility and prefer to experience the magic of the island in less densely populated tourist areas, and you need an excuse to burn off those extra calories from overdosing on the local Moussaka and lamb chops, then you’re sure to love the benefits of this lesser known island insider secret.
The hiking trail is easy to find and the views are spectacular!
The path begins just behind Perivolas Market on the main street in Oia (there’s only one road, so you won’t get lost). There’s a wooden hand-painted sign that says “Walking Path to Fira.” Jump on that path and head up the marble steps towards the island’s bustling capital.
The trail will turn from marble steps, to cobblestones, to the red volcanic rocks and sand that Santorini is known for, so be sure to wear proper closed-toed shoes. Hiking boots are preferred, as the path is quite steep in parts, but mostly it’s a fairly easy to moderate hike.
The best months to go are from April to June and September to November, as the climate can be quite hot in July and August. The path is well traveled and there are a couple of cafés along the way if you need to stop for coffee, water, or a snack. Stop at the first one along the main road and indulge in a honey nut cake and some fresh orange juice. There is also Ouzo, Greece’s famed anise flavored aperitif, available if you’re feeling more adventurous.
Plenty of opportunities to show off your photography skills
The path from Oia to Fira presents a rare opportunity to see the island from a unique view. The hike is best done during the early morning hours or in the evening before sunset. The sweeping views of the caldera and the height of the trail will give you one of the best views of the sunsets on the island, without feeling the need to vie for a spot with hundreds of other tourists.
Along the way, you’ll find monasteries and churches tucked into the sides of the mountains, giving you a perfect opportunity to test out your selfie taking skills. There aren’t many people on the path at one time so if you enjoy quiet and the magic of Mother Nature, this hike is perfect for you.
The traditional villages and churches are a sight to behold!
As soon as you cross the ridge, the first village you’ll arrive in is called Imerovigli. It’s a small quiet village with shops, bakeries, and white washed hotels clinging to the sides of the cliff. Here you can stop for a light lunch or coffee for the remaining kilometer to go.
Next, you’ll pass Firostefani, a traditional village next to your destination of Fira. Once you arrive in Fira, you’ll be met with cobblestone and marble streets where you’ll find every type of shop you’ll need on your travels. The streets are lined with jewelry, clothing, and art stores, and so much more. Make sure to bring a fair amount of money (EUR) with you, as you won’t be able to resist the classic Greek designs.
Fira is also where you will find the central bus station that can get you to anywhere you want to go on the island. Including back to Oia, if you can’t imagine traversing the cliffs back to your home base. Bus fare for one person is 2.50 EUR (roughly 3 USD).
Take on this picturesque hike!
Make sure to bring plenty of water, toilet paper (just in case), and a hand towel. The hike is six miles one way (approximately three and a half hours) and you’re sure to get a proper work out. Above all, enjoy the stunning views and the opportunity to see a truly spectacular view of one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
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