The Fira to Oia hike is by far our favorite thing to do on Santorini. A close second would be the Luxury Small Group Catamaran Cruise to the volcano and hot springs followed by one of the best sunsets in the world. If you have more than one day, it’s worth enjoying the sunset from a yacht as well from a sunset bar or the panoramic viewpoint in Oia. Also, if you prefer a no-hassle, organized tour of this amazing hike with hotel pickup and dropoff, check out the Caldera Trail Guided Hike.
If you decide to do a self-guided hike, our Trai has hiked the caldera trail in both directions, and his preference is to start in Fira and end in Oia. Why? Oia is the most beautiful town on the island with jaw dropping views and the absolute best hotels and restaurants.
For those of you arriving by cruise ship, you’ll be dropped off just below Fira at the old port. You can take the stairs up or why not go for the cable car? It’s a fun experience and the exit at the top is literally on the caldera trail. You simply follow the path along the rim of the caldera from Fira to Oia, which you can see in the distance for most of the hike.
The hike is approximately 10km, or just over 6mi, and will take around 2-3 hours depending on how often you stop for photos or to rest. There are decent climbs in both directions, and the terrain ranges from paved footpath to rocky. If you are in decent shape though, you should have no problem.
The path is pretty well marked, but it is easy to get a little lost leaving the labyrinth of streets in Fira. You may have to back track once or twice for a minute or two, but that’s it. Of note, there is one small stretch on the road where you will find a snack stand with fresh juices and water. On that note, we highly recommend starting early with lots of sunscreen and plenty of water. We found both times that it does get hot by 11am!
On arrival in Oia, you will likely be snapping tons of pictures before realizing you are super hungry. We have two recommendations for you. First up is a healthy spot in a beautiful garden called Karma Restaurant. We’ve enjoyed both lunch and dinner here on our trips to Santorini. Our second option and definitely worth a visit for a refreshing swim in the small bay even if you don’t eat there is the Armeni Restaurant. You’ll see a sign directing you down the steps along the main thoroughfare, Nik Nomikou, the street you arrive on as you enter Oia. The incredible hotel Pezoules is also on the way down where Trai stayed on his last trip. It’s one of the best cave hotels on the island, and the family that runs the hotel could not be more welcoming.
As far as Armeni Restaurant, please reserve in advance as there are only a handful of tables. The last time we were there, a fisherman sold his morning catch directly to the owner just before lunch! It doesn’t get any fresher than that! And it’s also the perfect spot to go for a refreshing swim to cool off after your hike.
We certainly hope you enjoy this amazing hike on one of the best islands in the world! To see our experience on this hike, check out our Epic Santorini Hike YouTube Video linked above and be sure to like and subscribe!
For even more incredible experiences around Santorini, check out some awesome guided tours powered by Get Your Guide. We love booking with them when organizing transportation among ‘must see’ destinations becomes a hassle. Get Your Guide is easy to use and book with, and we’ve had some of our best adventures with them. In Santorini, why not let a knowledgeable local drive you around while you taste excellent Greek wines or sail into the sunset?