If you’re heading to Santorini then you may have heard about the Fira to Oia hike! Looking out over the island, you’ll see the unique shape of the caldera and cliffs that stretch for miles. Two of the most beautiful towns are Fira and Oia. From each, you can see the shimmering white buildings of the other off in the distance. While it’s quite easy to take the Fira to Oia bus, there is a much more adventurous way to get between these villages! Join us on the Fira to Oia hike as we break down if it’s worth doing on your visit to Santorini.
About the Fira to Oia Hike
Before you take on the Fira to Oia hike there are a few important things you should know! It’s 10.5 km long which is 6.5 miles for those travelers coming from the USA.
The Santorini hike takes most people between 3 to 4 hours depending on your skill level. We did it in 3.5 hours with plenty of stops for pictures but felt like we still kept a pretty good pace.
Although it may look like a flat trail there are ups and downs to be aware of. For avid hikers, it may feel like a walk in the park. However, know that it still requires a decent level of fitness to complete.
Fira to Oia Hike Quick Tips
Wear Sturdy Shoes: You may be wearing your flip flops all around the Greek Islands but make sure to wear shoes on the Fira to Oia hike! Most of the trail is not paved outside of the main towns.
Hiking Clothing: This might seem obvious but Santorini is an island where people love to dress up and take photos. Trust us when we say you’re much better off wearing athletic clothing. We saw people in flip flops and long flowy dresses struggling to do the trail!
Other Essentials: Bring sunscreen, water, and clothes that shield you from the sun. There are no shaded areas on the trail so you’ll be out in the elements for the entire Santorini hike.
Start Early: You’ll want to start first thing in the morning, especially in the summer months! This is not only to avoid the hot afternoon sun but also the crowds of the peak tourist times.
Bakery Treats: We highly recommend grabbing some lunch or a snack to take with you on the trail. Our favorite bakery is Svoronos Bakery in Fira which has delicious Greek pastries and sandwiches.
Fira to Oia Bus: Not up for the Fira to Oia hike? Don’t worry! There is a bus that leaves from Fira throughout the day and takes about 20 minutes to get to Oia. We would take the bus back to Fira ourselves after completing the hike.
Renting a Car: Many travelers rent a car to get around Santorini. Just be aware there is limited parking in Oia, especially in the summer! If you’d like to learn more about renting a vehicle on Santorini be sure to check out our article below.
Starting the Fira to Oia Hike
You can start the hike from anywhere in Fira town! Simply walk out to the viewpoint, take a right, and head down the paved path.
Strolling along the cliffside you’ll see countless hotels that are built into the caldera. There are also plenty of beautiful restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops to enjoy.
From Fira, you’ll pass through the villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli on the way to Oia. You may not actually realize you are crossing into new areas because the towns blend together.
Towards the end of Imerovigli, there are a few shops and cafes. This will be your last chance to grab any snacks or water you’ll need on the Fira to Oia hike.
Skaros Rock and Imerovigli
Keep an eye out for the Skaros Rock lookout point as this is one of the most famous on the island. We were staying in the area so actually visited Skaros Rock for sunset on a different day. Plan for another 30 minutes to 1 hour if you’re making this detour.
From Imerovigli, the path turns into gravel as you make your way around the caldera. Looking out to your left, the pretty town of Oia will get closer and closer with every step you take… And oh is it incredible! If you’re not up for the entire hike we highly recommend at least walking the cliffs from Fira to Imerovigli.
Fira to Oia Hike Midpoint
There is a fork in the road roughly halfway into the hike at the Saint Mark Holy Orthodox Chapel. The pathway to the left is a downhill slope made of small rocks. It’s quite slippery so be careful here!
This is the more scenic route as you’ll have unreal views out over the cliffs and back towards Fira. The trail to the right is much flatter but wraps around the roadside of the hill.
After this short split in the trail, the paths meet back up near the road to Oia. You’ll see buses, cars, and even tourists flying around on ATV’s here.
Just up the road, there is a small stand with food and drinks if you’d like to take a break. Keep in mind this snack shop is only open during the popular summer months.
Final Stretch of the Fira to Oia Hike
The last section of the Fira to Oia hike is our absolute favorite! After the snack shop, you’re in for a good uphill portion. However, once you get around the corner at the top it’s all downhill from there.
As you get closer to the village of Oia the views seem to get even more spectacular. The final push is after The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Holy Chapel is where you’ll start to see the finish line.
Once we reached the colorful streets of Oia we felt like we were officially back in Santorini. The whitewashed buildings with the patented blue tops were back, along with the plush private pools and ocean views.
This is crazy because honestly the Fira to Oia hike feels like you’re on another planet! Treat yourself to a cold drink with a view after the hike or maybe some lunch which we talk about next.
Oia Lunch with a View
We didn’t feel like sitting at a fancy restaurant after we were tired and sweaty from the hike. Instead, we got an ice-cold Mythos from the store and stopped at our favorite restaurant called Pitogyros Traditional Grill House. After wandering the streets of Oia for a bit we found our own spot to enjoy a gyro with a view.
We were in Santorini for a week so we had the time and flexibility to return to Oia for a longer visit. If you are short on time you may want to stay and explore the village for longer after the hike. Make sure to stick around for the famous Oia sunset and if you’re up for it climb the stairs down to Amoudi Bay.
Is the Fira to Oia Hike Worth it?
Yes! If you couldn’t tell yet, the Fira to Oia hike is one of the best things to do on Santorini. There are definitely some strenuous parts so it’s not for everyone. Yet, if you complete this famous Santoroni hike it will be such a rewarding experience!
The views from this trail are unmatched and it truly is the ultimate way to get from Fira to Oia. Short on time but still want to see both towns? As we mentioned, you can utilize the bus system or even rent a car to get around Santorini!
Hike From Oia to Fira
Even if you’re staying in Oia don’t let that stop you from doing the Fira to Oia hike! Going in reverse from Oia to Fira is just as popular.
There are so many amazing accommodations in Oia so it’s just as common to do the famous Santorini hike the other direction. Just know you’re in for a slightly more uphill battle going this way!
There are also those who choose to make the round trip hike and go over 20 kilometers both ways! We opted to do the Fira to Oia hike and take the bus back which leaves from Oia town every half hour in high season.
Have any questions about the Fira to Oia hike, bus route, or want to share some of your own Santorini tips? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay in Santorini Greece
Here are some hotel recommendations as well as inspiration for different areas of the island. As you can see, there is something for every type of traveler on Santorini!
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Santorini Travel Inspiration
- 20 Fun Things to do in Santorini Greece on Your First Visit
- Red Beach Santorini Guide: How to Get There, Fun Hiking Trails, & More
- Amoudi Bay Santorini: How to Explore the Charming Bay Below Oia Village
- How to Visit Oia Santorini: Best Hotels + Sunset and Castle Tips
- 10 Amazing Things to Know About Pyrgos Village in Santorini Greece
Explore all our Greece articles to help plan your trip! We cover everything from general travel tips to amazing destinations such as Santorini, Paros, Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete, Milos & more beautiful islands!
Greece Travel Planning
For island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. The fast ferries like Sea Jets will cost more but often takes half the time of slower ferries like Blue Star!
Rental Car: You can book a rental car for as little as $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.
Tours: Go to Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities in Santorini. You can find everything from group sailing tours to private catamaran cruises. Go wine tasting around the island, horseback riding down the beach, or even jump on an ATV tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.