Hike Along the Santorini Caldera from Fira to Oia

Details

Distance

6 miles

Route Type

Point-to-Point

Added by Alyssa Ramirez

Beautiful walk along the edge of the Santorini caldera between its two most beautiful towns.

I did this 2 years ago and I still rank it as one of the most beautiful days of my entire life. For pretty much the entire walk, you are looking at incredible views over the caldera of the island of Santorini. You will stop constantly to take pictures and say, "wow" so give yourself plenty of time.

I rank this as beginner/intermediate because while partfs of it are on cobblestoned streets or paved road and therefore very easy, there were a couple parts over slippery gravel that could be a little scary for someone not used to hiking. Also the caldera edge has no railings keeping you from falling down the cliffs and it's frequently very windy up there (30mph winds are normal) so someone not used to hiking may not enjoy this. However if you do like to hike at all, you'll find this easy.

We did this from Fira to Oia and then we took the bus back. You can easily do this in reverse from Oia to Fira or make it an out-and-back. The basic idea is just to find the Fira streets that are closest to the caldera (without walking downhill too far - Santorini is all on top of itself) and then start walking north. There isn't a specific marked trail so you're just following whatever path presents itself and keeps you close to the caldera edge. If you reach a fork, you're pretty much always staying toward the side nearest the ocean. Sometimes there are random signs that say OIA with an arrow. There is one short portion where you have to walk on the road.

It sounds like you'd get lost easily but I have a poor sense of direction and we found our way. It wasn't super crowded when we did it (early May) but there were other people walking along the route. Also the Greek people are extremely nice and hospitable so you could always ask one of them who you pass (you are walking past many homes/villas at parts) if you feel like you're going the wrong way.

Once you leave Fira/Oia proper, you won't come across many options for food, so bring water and snacks with you. We did pass one little food stand right before having to walk on the road.

Parking... Once you get to Santorini, you will see that there don't really seem to be any parking laws. People park wherever they want. We didn't rent a car so I can't speak to it personally but we saw cars parked everywhere.

We timed this so that when we arrived in Oia, we had dinner and then went to the edge of town to watch the sunset. Oia is renowned as one of the best places in the world to catch the sunset, so I'd highly recommend doing this. Get to the edge of town well before sunset, as it fills up early.

Total distance: 6.0 miles, one way

Total time: This took us about 5 hours, but that included frequent stops to take pictures and take in the view. You'll want to savor it.

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Do it all the way or in parts

I agree with the OP that this is one of the memorable walks to do while in Santorini. I also visited Santorini not at the peak of the touristic season (late September) and therefore it was not crowded which led to a very nice experience as you can easily stop wherever you want to enjoy the view and take photos. I don't remember feeling lost or in question about the path we were heading, so I believe that you wont have any issue. However, since it is going to be impossible to visit Santorini and not going to Oia and Fira, you always have the option to hike halfway and back from both places, which can be convenient in terms of logistics.

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