It is unbelievable how beautiful Santorini is. The postcards and pictures don’t do justice to how spectacular the island truly could be! While it’s so easy to spend your time relaxing on the beach, eating great food and enjoying the nightlife, the best way to actually see the island is taking a hike! Yup, you read that right folks! If I had gone to Santorini and missed out on this one, that would have been a damn shame… If you have any doubts about this hike, know right now that it’s absolutely worth doing!
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
1. It is quite a long walk, around 10 km or 6 miles in total.
2. Hiking times are estimated around 2-3 hours.
3. Allow an extra hour or two for photo-ops! Devote 5 hours of your day to this hike!
4. Dress lightly and comfortably!
5. Wear proper shoes with a good grip!
6. Pack plenty of water, I can’t stress this enough!
7. Don’t leave your hotel without your hat and sunscreen!
8. CAMERA! CAMERA! CAMERA! Views will enchant you beyond belief!
9. I forgot to bring light snacks when I hiked so please do when you can!
10. The trail is accessible all year round and anyone in good health would not have trouble completing the walk!
Where does the hike begin?
- I did not find an actual trailhead and I’m not sure if one does exist. But the official starting point for the hiking trail starts in the square beside Hotel Atlantis in Fira! Google maps is your best friend dear! The moment you start hearing musicians playing their local instruments you’re in the right place! Just walk towards north, stick to the street closest to the caldera and trust your gut until you reach the top of the hill! It wouldn’t feel like you’re hiking as it’s busy and there are people everywhere. But Just give it time… Soon enough you’ll find the part where it’s suddenly quiet and you find yourself in the midst of the natural beauty!
What towns will i see during the hike?
1. FIROSTEFANI: The town after Fira is Firostefani. Lavish hotels, suites & villas will welcome you! A walk around the narrow, quaint paths will sure fill your heart with joy.
2. IMEROVIGLI: Imerovigli is a picturesque village situated 3.5 km away from the capital of Fira. The village is known as “The balcony to the Aegean”, built on the highest point of the caldera cliffs, about 300 meters above sea level.
When do i see a real hiking path?
- Once out of Imerovigli, the real hiking begins! The good news is that the hiking path from here is very well marked. Remember, it’s a coastal hiking path so the sea will always be on your left! Don’t worry if you take a few wrong turns. As long as you continue walking north, you’ll eventually get back on track!
Where is the most challenging part of the hike?
- I believe it’s the long stretch from Imerovigli to Oia! The uphill climb and downhill drop were moderately strenuous! You have to be careful when you step as the hills can be steep and the terrains are rugged! The volcanic paths are well-paved but other times covered in dirt and loose rocks! BUTTTT! The scenery on this part of the hike is absolutely gorgeous from the get-go! “Breathtaking”, “Stunning”… Any adjective you use is an understatement. You have to experience it!
What else can i see during the hike?
1. BLUE-DOMED CHURCHES: I spotted lots of churches during the hike and Ekklisia Profitis Ilias is one of them. I remember after this church, the path gets a little slippery with a lot of loose rocks and gravel. At the bottom of the rocky path, you’ll come to a road. This is the first and only time on the hike that you have to walk along the side of the road.
2. COUNTLESS INFINITY POOLS: Still dreaming of that day when I could stay in one of these hotels where pools are terraced into the rocks in a very dramatic fashion!
3. DONKEYS: I suppose you could rent them and take them the rest of the way to Oia!
4. STACKED ROCKS: You’ll see stacked rocks along the trail which signifies that you are on the right track!
5. SNACK SHOPS: Outside Imerovigli, I’ve only seen 2 snack shops during the entire hike! I suggest that you bring your own light snack as the stores are not open all times.
What time of day should I start hiking?
- Obviously, the best time to set off is first thing in the morning just after sunrise or late in the afternoon to avoid the midday heat. My husband and I made a mistake of starting the hike from 2pm. At one point in our hike, the heat was unbearable and the sun was too harsh. But it was so rewarding to arrive in Oia just right on time for sunset! As the sun was sinking into the sea, I legit cried for joy! it was a surreal experience. I had to keep pinching myself.. I am in Santorini. I really am in Santorini!
Santorini is a place on almost everyone’s bucket list. And when you find yourself in here one day, I highly encourage you to put your shoes on and do this hike! Walking is the best way to understand a new place! Trust me on this! Now back to you! Anyone in here who have done the trek from Fira to Oia? Share your experience and tips in the comments below!
P.S. If you’re looking for more things to do in Santorini, I have made a list for you!
‘Til my next travel guide fam!
Love from Santorini, The Travel Belle <3
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