Fira to Oia Hike: Exploring Santorini
Santorini is one of the most magical islands on earth. The beautiful coastal towns are unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else in the world.
If you’re planning a trip to Santorini, make sure you see this incredible island from all angles. The best way to see the coast of Santorini is to hike from Fira to Oia.
During our trek from Fira to Oia, we fell in love with this Cycladic island and we’re certain that you will, too.
Fira To Oia Hike Stats
Elevation: Approximately 1000 feet or 300 meters
Distance: 6-7 miles one way
Time on trail: 2-4 hours
Fira To Oia Hike: Which Direction Do I Hike?
Before venturing out on the hiking trail, you’ll want to decide which direction to go. The most common route is to start in Fira and hike to Oia. You can also do the hike in reverse and hike from Oia to Fira.
Since we wanted to experience both routes, we decided to extend this hike and walked between both towns. Let me tell you, this 12+ mile roundtrip hike was no walk in the park, but it helped us appreciate the island more.
Here are some details you’ll want to consider when choosing where to start: Fira or Oia?
Fira to Oia
If you decide to start hiking in Fira, you’ll experience a relatively easy trail. Although it’s six miles, you’ll be walking downhill for the majority of the hike. This is the direction that most hikers opt to take.
Oia to Fira
If you decide to start in Oia, you’re in for a more difficult journey. The uphills from Oia to Fira are not easy and I wouldn’t recommend this route if you aren’t in good physical shape.
Hiking From Oia To Fira And Back Again
As I mentioned, Mike and I wanted to challenge ourselves. We opted to hike the entire trail from Oia to Fira and back again. This was a 12+ mile hike and took us about 4.5 hours.
In complete honesty, we thought the hike would be easier than it was. Many people were reporting that the hike was simple, but we found the uphills difficult since you are walking on volcanic rock. For every two steps we took uphill, we sank back one step.
If you’re an avid hiker, I recommend spending more time along the coast of Santorini and hiking there and back. If we can do it, you can do it!
How To Get To Fira From Oia
Most travelers book their accommodation in Oia. This is the most well-known area in Santorini and once you arrive, you’ll quickly see why. It is fantastically beautiful.
Now, in order to get to Fira to start your hike, you’ll need to figure out transportation. Here are three options that will get you from Oia to Fira:
Taxi – since Santorini is a major tourist island, taxis can be found everywhere. If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to get from Oia to Fira, book a taxi.
Although taxis are convenient, they are not budget-friendly. In fact, most taxi rides in Santorini will cost 25 Euro or more. If you’re on a budget, I would recommend taking public transportation instead.
Bus – the bus ride from Oia to Fira is much more affordable and takes very little time. During peak season, buses pick up every half hour starting at 6:50am.
Use this link to find the Oia bus stop on Google Maps.
Walk – Mike and I walked both ways. It can be done!
Firostefani & Imerovigli
Along the hike, you’ll cross through several Santorini villages that will take your breath away. In my opinion, the villages are what make this hike so special.
Don’t get me wrong, the sweeping views of the Aegean Sea are pretty spectacular, too, but these small coastal villages cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Firostefani and Imerovigli are both small villages full of Cycladic homes. You’ll pass through these villages soon after leaving Fira.
Be sure to bring your camera because you’ll want to snap a photo at every turn.
These villages are also where you’ll encounter the most people. To ensure that you won’t be caught up in the waves of tourists, start your hike early and walk through these towns in the morning.
One of the most unique things to see during your trek is Skaros Rock. You’ll find Skaros Rock displayed before the luxurious houses of Imerovigli.
Many hikers add Skaros Rock to their itinerary since it is possible to hike to the top. If you plan to walk to the top of Skaros Rock during your hike from Fira to Oia, find the Skaros Rock trailhead at Agios Georgios church.
Atop Skaros Rock, you’ll find many ancient ruins, an amazing view of the villages Imerovigli and Fira, and an expansive view of the Aegean Sea.
Tips For Hiking From Fira To Oia
The Fira to Oia hike is one of the best things to do on the island of Santorini. To ensure that you’ll have a blast hiking this trail, here are a few tips to remember before setting out:
1. Start Early
Since we hiked this trail in February, we didn’t have to fight the crowds or the heat. In fact, we were the only ones on the trail and we wore layers.
However, I can only imagine what it would be like to hike this trail during the summer months. The hot summer sun will make you sweat in no time.
My best advice is to start hiking from Fira to Oia early in the morning. Not only will you dodge the masses of tourists, but you’ll also avoid the heat of the day.
2. Bring Water And Snacks
As with any hike, you’ll want to pack enough water. Mike and I each packed our water bottles (32oz). We also brought two additional large bottles of water. By the end of the hike, we didn’t have any water left.
If you’re hiking this trail in the summer, water will be your best friend so pack plenty.
3. Wear Proper Shoes
Since the hike from Fira to Oia is quite rocky, I advise that you wear proper walking shoes. If you have hiking shoes, this would be the perfect time to bust them out.
Not only is the trail rocky, but you’ll also encounter a lot of volcanic sand. During some sections of the hike, we felt like we weren’t getting anywhere. Two steps forward, one step back.
Appropriate walking shoes or hiking shoes will help you tackle the trail.
4. Follow The Red Arrows
There are several parts of the trail where navigation becomes difficult. Although there are frequent signs pointing the way, they seem to be in the wrong locations. In my opinion, they could’ve chosen better places to put these signs.
Luckily, someone decided to spray paint red arrows on the ground to help lead the way. This helped us locate the trail many times when we were uncertain of which direction to go.
So, when in doubt, follow the red arrows.
Note: There is one part of the trail that leads away from the coastline and you’ll actually need to walk along the road to get back to the trail. It took us quite a bit of time to realize this, so I hope this saves you some confusion.
Watch Our Santorini Youtube Video
The Wrap-Up: Fira To Oia Hike
The majority of our time in Santorini was spent relaxing in beautiful Oia. Since we hadn’t done anything adventurous, we decided to conquer the Fira to Oia hike and back again. This was by far our favorite part of our trip to Santorini.
If you are planning a trip to Greece, hiking between these famous coastal towns is a must.
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