This one is for you who love hiking or walking. It's a 10 km (6 miles) hike along the rim of the caldera between the two cities, but you'll be rewarded along the way with stunning caldera views and you get to explore some of the most beautiful cities: Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oía! The hike is the most beautiful walk on Santorini and one of the most famous activities, however, it is not for everyone. It's a long walk both up and down hills on a mix of both paved streets and dirt trails.
When to do it
It's a walk in very little shade so I recommend doing it very early in the morning or late in the afternoon especially in the Summer months. We did it at 7.30am and arrived in Oía three hours later and I wouldn't go later than that. Early mornings are definitely the most comfortable, however, if you want to stay in Oía for sunset, then I would do it in the late afternoon, when the sun is not as high and you won't have to wait the whole day in Oía - which is very hot and very crowded.
Fira to Oía or Oía to Fira?
You can do the hike from both cities and it's up and down hill in either direction but we started in Fira because we lived here. I recommend doing this because then you'll end in Oía and can spend the rest of the day exploring the village and then take the bus home to Fira. You don't have to do the whole walk you can also start on Firostefani og Imerovigli for example. Furthermore, by going towards Oía you get to see the amazing views of Oía in front of you rather than turning around to see them.
What to see along the way
In Fira you'll walk along the rim of the caldera surrounded by white houses with private jacuzzis and grey staircases. About 20 minutes from Fira, in Imerovigli, you can take a short detour to Skaros Rock. Skaros Rock protrudes out of the island and on top is the ruins of a castle. If you go all the way to the edge, it will add about 45 minutes to the hike, however, the viewpoint on the picture is a 2 minute detour. From then on you'll receive lots of caldera views, Oía views and in the end you'll end up in Oía and get to see the famous city. As soon as you enter the village you'll walk past the yellow church (read more about Oía and the yellow church here) and on your right side is a small coffee shop that I think must be made for instagram. It's called Passagio and here you can grab a smoothie or some breakfast after the long walk and of course snap a photo.
Facts about the hike
Distance: 10 km (about 6 miles)
Time: between 3 or 5 hours depending on pace and how many times you stop for pictures
Difficulty: Easy (expect for the fact that it's 10 km)
When to go: Early morning or late afternoon
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