If you were to spend one single day on Santorini, you’d make the most out of your time by hiking from Fira to Oia (or from Oia to Fira for that matter). This 10km long hike takes you through Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Finikia and Oia, along the clifftops of the Caldera. The Fira to Oia hike is about 10km long and it requires about 4-5 hours to complete, if you want to enjoy the breathtaking scenery to the full. It is the very best thing you can do when you visit Santorini on a budget.
Flying Red Dress photo session in Santorini – click here to see more details and to book yours – I’ve had the pleasure to attend one of these sessions – the girl was absolutely gorgeous and so were her photos (which I stumbled upon in a Facebook group)
Read also: Best Santorini Tours & Cruises
- Volcanic islands cruise with hot springs visit: click here to see the price and to book your seat at the price of today, Saturday, September 23rd 2023.
- Premium catamaran cruise with BBQ and fresh drinks: click here to see more details and to book it at the price of today, Saturday, September 23rd 2023.
- Small group catamaran cruise with open bar: click here to see details and book at the price of today, Saturday, September 23rd 2023.
This article covers the Fira to Oia hike map, the starting point of the path in Fira, the best time to start, the best points of the trek and my best tips on trekking from Fira to Oia. It will help you choose the best areas to stay in Santorini, particularly on your first visit to this scenic Greek island. If you also need ideas for your Instagram, feel free to find Greece captions inspiration on my website.
Contents of Fira to Oia Hike – Santorini at Its Best
- The Fira to Oia Hike Map
- Best Shoes to Wear on the Fira-Oia Hike
- What To Bring with You on This Santorini Walk
- Best Santorini Photo Spots for Instagram (and not Only)
The Fira to Oia Hike Map
Santorini is not an island but an archipelago consisting of several islands. Santorini and Therasia are the only ones inhabited, with a population count of about 15,500 (information source).
Fira (alternative spelling Thira, Thera) and Oia are on the main island. As you can see on the Fira to Oia hike map, below, the path follows the western coast, allowing you to enjoy the impressive Caldera views almost all the way. Besides, there’s a point on this hike, between Imerovigli and Finikia, where you can see the sea on both sides.
You can hike this trail both ways. If you start from Fira, you’ll climb as you progress to Imerovigli. After that, the trail descends as you cross a barren area made of volcanic rocks. This is where your feet will be covered in volcanic dust. The trail isn’t difficult or dangerous.
If you want to catch the sunset in Oia, you should hike this trail from Fira to Oia. Otherwise, you may as well start from Oia and end your Caldera rim walk in Fira.
How Long Is the Hike from Fira to Oia?
This 10 km hike requires between two and five hours to complete. In my experience, you won’t complete it in two hours, as you’ll want to stop to take photos and to enjoy the amazing views of the Caldera. The scenery changes with each and every step, so you’ll have countless photo opportunities along the way. Remember to look back often, as some of the world’s best photographers recommend. You’ll discover new landscapes, new angles and new photo opportunities. There’s no wonder it took us about four and a half hours to complete the hike from Firostefani to Oia.
If you want to climb the Skaros rock near Imerovigli, add at least two extra hours to your hike.
In Oia, you can take the descending path to Ammoudi Bay. You’ll have to climb 278 stairs, for an altitude difference of 120m or so. You’d probably need to add an extra hour to your walking time. I didn’t do this, as I arrived in Oia not too long before the sunset, so I saved Ammoudi for another time.
Where Is the Starting Point of the Hike?
In Fira, you need to head over to the Cable Car starting point, in the pedestrian area of the town. The hike starts just near this point. Along the path, whenever in doubt, keep left at forks and remember that the path should mainly go up.
In Oia, the trail starts near the Perivolas Market. Just look for this sign on the wall:
If you decide to hike from Fira to Oia and then return by bus, go to the main KTEL bus stop, as bus drivers usually overlook smaller stops in Oia. We missed two buses before realizing this.
What Is the Best Time to Start the Hike?
The best time to start the Fira to Oia hike is early in the morning, to avoid the midday heat. Also, if you want to walk both ways, you’ll need to start early.
Depending on the season, you may want to start your hike early afternoon, in order to benefit from the golden hour along the way and to wait for the sunset in Oia.
Best Shoes to Wear on the Fira-Oia Hike
For the most part of it, the Fira to Oia hiking path is a paved, pedestrian-only street, but there are some areas where it turns into a dirt hiking trail. If you want to wear your flip-flops, you’ll probably be just fine. However, for the best experience, you should wear good walking shoes. We are big fans of Ecco shoes, which we highly recommend for such walks. From left to right, here are our Ecco shoes models: Ecco Soft 7 Tie Sneaker and Ecco Soft Tie Sneaker.
Hiking sandals could also be nice to wear, particularly on a hot day. Nevertheless, expect your feet to get dirty.
What To Bring with You on This Santorini Walk
This is an easy hike, so you won’t need any special equipment. Just wear good walking shoes, a sunhat and sunscreen. Bring some water, as well. You’ll find shops in the villages, but there’s a fairly long leg of the walk where you won’t find anything but rocks and dust. Make sure you buy some water in Imerovigli, as that’s where the rocky trail begins.
Restaurants in Oia (with views of the caldera) are expensive. If you don’t want to eat there, just bring some sandwiches with you. Alternatively, you can eat at one of the restaurants on the other side of the main street in Oia. I had some small fish for about 10 Euro, but I didn’t get the beautiful views.
Best Santorini Photo Spots for Instagram (and not Only)
The Fira – Oia trail is where you should go to re-create those gorgeous Instagram shots of girls wearing sheer dresses, overlooking whitewashed houses, turquoise pools, windmills and cliffs.
Let’s see what you can expect at each stage of the hike.
Here’s the map of Fira.
Have you done the Fira – Oia hike in Santorini? How was it for you? Do you have any special tips to share with us?