The Ultimate Santorini Hike: Fira to Oia

If you’re new to the Well Caffeinated Traveller you may not know this about me: I love to hike! Give me the great outdoors, a good pair of shoes, plenty of water and I’m good for a day of explorations on foot. But when I first decided to visit Santorini, hiking was the last thing on my mind. I chose to visit Santorini for the gorgeous whitewashed houses, blue churches and stunning sweeping views. Sure, I thought, I’ll do some hiking up and down the many, many stairs that link these houses up and down the seaside cliffs, but little did I know that the ultimate hike was waiting for me in this gorgeous locale.

After a bit of research I was thrilled to learn that you could actually hike from Fira to Oia. What better way to explore this stunning island than on foot? The hike is about 10 km or 6.2 miles one way and takes between 2 to 4 hours, depending on how fast you walk and how many times you stop. Knowing myself and how many photos I was likely to take along the way, I figured my hike would come in closer to the maximum 4 hours. I also wanted to give myself some time to explore Fira in the morning and Oia before the famous sunset, so I planned my entire day around this epic hike.

Santorini-48.jpgStarting off in the beautiful town of Fira, the modern capital of Santorini, you’ll find a lively, bustling town with colorful souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes. It’s located almost directly across from the caldera, so the views from here are spectacular. Once you’ve filled your soul with fantastic scenes and filled your belly with a nice, hearty breakfast, you’re ready to set off on your hike. The path is easy to find. Just head to the edge of town overlooking the water and start walking right.

Santorini-45The path is generally well marked and easy to follow, although you will have to walk up quite a few stairs and some steep inclines on your way to Firostefani. But trust me, it’s worth every step! And don’t forget to look back from time to time. Not only are the views amazing, but you’ll be amazed to see how far you’ve already come!

Santorini-52Firastefani is the pinnacle of the hike. An old village just north of Fira, Firostefani literally means ‘Crown of Fira.’ And what a crown it is! From this point, you will be surrounded by views of whitewashed buildings clinging to bright green cliffs that seem to melt into crystal clear blue waters. It is here that you’ll realize this must be what is so often referred to as heaven on earth!

Santorini-5Make sure you grab some extra water and fill your stomach here, because this is the last chance you’ll have for a while.

Santorini-11Once you’re past Firastefani, the road and it’s surroundings become a little more sparse. You’re surrounded by mostly private homes and stretches of nature. But the views are no less spectacular!

Santorini-19About halfway through the hike, and after climbing a giant mountain, you’ll emerge victorious on the highest spot of the island. As you’re catching your breath, take a look around you. From this vantage point, you’ll enjoy a striking view of the entire island, from the patchwork plains below to the hilltop village of Oia. After you’ve admired the view, stop for a few minutes to explore the beautiful blue and white church before continuing on the path to Oia.

Santorini-20Finally, with Oia in your sights, continue on the path to even more amazing views. The path gets a bit rocky from here at times and you’ll also have to walk along the road at times so beware of cars. But eventually you’ll come to what might just be the most picturesque church I’ve ever seen.

Santorini-27While the church is beautiful, the sight of Oia in the distance is even more striking – especially since you’ve now been walking for almost 4 hours! So after a thorough exploration around this cute little church, carry on for the final leg of the journey.

Santorini-28At this point, as much as my legs were aching, part of me wanted to run the rest of the way to Oia. I had so many thoughts running through my head: I’m exhausted. I’m hungry. This view is unbelievable. I can’t believe I just walked for 4 hours! I’m so proud of myself for walking for 4 hours! My legs hurt so much. I’m not sure I have enough energy left to even explore Oia now. Let’s hurry up and get there. I need some lunch!

Santorini-34I was elated when I finally made it to Oia. This fairy tale land that I had seen for years in photos and wondered it if were really as magical as the photos made it look. Well I can tell you first hand that it was! Even though my legs were aching, I explored every nook and cranny of this charming little town before settling in to find a prime spot for the sunset. After the sun finally ducked down below the horizon I headed back to town to find a nice dinner spot. Over a mouthwatering bowl of pasta and seafood I recounted my day. Finally I grabbed a taxi back to Fira – you didn’t think I was going to walk back, did you? The taxi ride was a quick 20 minute ride for about 14 euros. I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow and I drifted off to dreams of whitewashed houses, orange sunsets and white wine. As far as I’m concerned, it was the perfect day on Santorini!

Did you know?ย The reason there are so many white buildings with blue roofs is because blue and White represent the colors of the Greek flag. White represents purity, and blue symbolizes the sky and the sea.

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29 Comments

  1. Great post! Seems like a beautiful hike.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We never knew about the path when we went to Santorini. Well, no regrets as we spent most of our time in Oia, which is such a stunning place. I would love to walk around and explore more when I am there next….walking is possibly the best way to see life as it is on this stunning blue and white island!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa

    An excellent post on a beautiful hike! I’d much prefer to do this than laze on the beach, it’s so picturesque plus you get to eat all the yummy Greek food. I’m not a hiker, but I’d like to try this route.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, good to know that you can hike on this beautiful island. Still on my to go list ….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thesecretlifeofanactress

    I did a just a part of that hike, it was so beautiful! the view from Santorini is amazing! I didn’t know the reason about the white & blue houses, but it seems logical now that you said it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so glad you shared this. I’ve read lots about Santorini, but never knew this hike existed. I love exploring by foot and will definitley be doing this when I go to Greece.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This hike looks amazing! The scenery along the way is breathtaking. I think I would be stopping every few feet to take pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      That’s exactly what I did!

      Like

  8. aww this sounds like a great adventure! I was just there last September and didn’t do this hike (I miss it, sadly) I wish I would’ve known! I love to hike and it seems like the excursion with a wonderful backdrop was mesmerizing! Oh well, next time for me then ๐Ÿ™‚ safe travels. – Mariella

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sara Essop -In Africa and Beyond

    Oh my word, this certainly sounds like the ultimate hike. I spent half a day in Santorini on a cruise excursion and we drove from Fira to Oia but I’d love to do the hike someday. I didn’t even know it was possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful post and it is great to know that you love to hike. I am the same and although with kids the hiking aspect has gone down a little I still enjoy a nice walk. I have hiked a little in Greece, not Santorini, and must say that one has to be prepared for it because it can get really hot during the day. But as you said, beyond all the difficulties, the sight of your destination especially when it is so nice as Oia, is worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You are mighty strong. I just returned from Santorini last month and it was so hot! I can’t even imagine the weather and hiking on that terrain. I’m sure the views were worth it though. I found myself pausing and gasping quite a bit while in Greece.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I wish I could hike more but my legs are weak. I’ve tried hiking once with all my sweat and tears but it is really worthy at the top. This is my first time to hear Fira and Oia, seems like a lovely place.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, this looks so beautiful! We’re weighing our options for destinations in southern Europe this fall, and Santorini is high on the list. These photos sure make it even more tempting–all that white! Swoon.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Abigail Sinsona

    Wow I am not a hiking enthusiast myself. However, the views you get to enjoy during this hike is unbelievably good! Those cliffs and the architecture are both beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. These photos are lovely! I am a keen hiker too so will have to bookmark this post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This hike looks like hard work but the pay off is just beautiful. I would so love to visit Santorini – the blue seas and white buildings are just so beautiful, and walking amongst these would be so blissful.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jean

    This does sound like the perfect Santorini day! Love me a good hike and a good coffee. Kindred spirits huh? In all seriousness it’s so nice to see a different side of Santorini.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. James

    I was reading about Santorini and the Caldera, it’s a decade volcano, one of the most dangerous in the world. Having said that, I’m visiting this winter and I’ll definitely make time for the Fira to Oia hike. It’s good to hear the path is well signposted, I hope the weather is good in winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Vicki Garside

    What an incredible hike! And totally worth it for those views! I’m not sure I could have kept up with you in that heat though – I’d have to stop frequently & preferably in a small taverna where I could sample some local foods!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’ve done this hike, and you’re absolutely right. It really doesn’t get much better than this!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Cat

    Good to know that you can hike from Fira to Oia! With such a beautiful scenery, I wouldn’t mind spending a couple hours exploring the area! The view from Firastefani is stunning!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Take me to Oia…that is the most postcard-perfect little street I have ever seen. You’re right, the vistas from the top of those cliffs qualify to be called ‘heaven on earth’!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Never been to Greece but my husband has. Will certainly do this hike when we visit Santorini! Which month did you visit? And where exactly does the hike start?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      I visited in April right before the start of high season. The walk starts at either Fira or Oia to do the whole thing, or you can start anywhere really and do just a portion of it.

      Like

  24. OMG, I love love this place and I’m planning to visit this place next. White houses, Ocean view and beautiful place. Your pictures came out really nice. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Fashionbyruda

    OMG, I love love this place and I’m planning to visit this place next. White houses, Ocean view and beautiful place. Your pictures came out really nice. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. tatumskipper

    I had no clue there were “hikes” to do in Santorini…I guess when seeing pictures of all of the stairs everywhere that almost any place around it would be considered a hike haha. Love the outdoors so this is right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. natalietanner

    We just got back from Santorini and I can just imagine the views from this hike! Yeah you for completing such a fantastic hike! Our kids are almost old enough for such a hike and it would be so worth the energy to see those views.

    Liked by 1 person

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