Fira to Oia Walk – Tips
The “start” of the path begins in the square beside Hotel Atlantis in Fira.
Then start walking north. You might make a few wrong turns as you try to get out of Fira. But there are a couple of signs and you’ll figure it out. (In general, go up, not down, as you’re starting out from Fira.) Keep moving north towards Skaros Rock (the big hump of rock you see there to the left).
This is the main square/main street of Fira. If you use Google Maps it might start you from this spot and send you walking north along the main road. But you don’t want to be here. You want to be on the caldera footpath 100 meters to the west.
The path out of Fira starts with a steep climb before you reach the next village (Firostefani), then it levels out for a bit.
As you turn the corner that marks the divide between Fira and Firostefani, you can now see Skaros Rock clearly, and Oia in the far distance.
There are often a few fruit sellers along the way. This one is in Firostefani.
The view as you enter Firostefani over Belvedere Suites (highly recommended) looking north towards Oia.
Direction posts in Firostefani showing the distances south to Fira (10 minutes) and north to Imerovigli (15 minutes) and Oia (2 hours, 45 minutes).
In Imerovigli there is a fork in the path at Blue Note restaurant. The signs will encourage you to go to the right. This is a less scenic route that goes through town. Go this way if you need water or snacks from a market. But go left for caldera views, 5 star hotels, and an (optional) visit to Skaros Rock.
If you go right you’ll come upon some makeshift directions that point you into town. These are probably made by shop owners who want walkers to go through town and spend money.
When you turn left (at Blue Note) you’ll see the Church of Anastasi. Walk onto the patio area for great views then continue to the right to keep going to Skaros Rock and Oia.
Skaros Rock. It’s a beautiful walk out to Skaros Rock but this will add at least an hour to your hike (and lots of steps up and down). Getting out there and back to the path is farther than it looks.
If you do decide to go to Skaros Rock this is where you turn off (down to the left). Stay to the right to continue to Oia. This is the only access path for Skaros Rock so you’d take this one even if walking Oia to Fira.
The walk out to Skaros Rock.
The view of Imerovigli looking back towards the village from Skaros Rock.
The view of Oia from Skaros Rock (looking north).
The view of Fira from Skaros Rock (looking south).
The path as you continue north through Imerovigli (after the turn-off for Skaros Rock). Here you’ll pass some of the top hotels on the island: Grace, Astra, and Sophia Suites.
If you’re walking from Oia to Fira this is the route that takes you to Skaros Rock (as you enter Imerovigli from the north) and is more scenic. If you want to visit a market (for water, snacks) in Imerovigli take the path to the left of Avaton hotel and not this one that sticks to the caldera.
The same fork in the path (as above) but back a little bit. Go left to enter Imerovigli and find a market or restaurant. Go right to get the best views and/or visit Skaros Rock.
The path as you leave Imerovigli heading north towards Oia.
Oia is visible in the distance but it’s still a good hour’s walk away.
The path passes a handful of hotels as it leaves Imerovigli. This is West East Hotel.
The bus stop beside (the fantastic) Cavo Tagoo Hotel (about 15 minutes walk north of Imerovigli). Get off here if you want to do a shorter walk. This is roughly half-way between Oia and Fira and you can walk south towards Fira (1 hour or more), or north towards Oia (90 minutes or more).
The path in this section is actually a small road as you pass the hotels (West-East, Rocabella, Cavo Tagoo, Santorini Princess) of northern Imerovigli.
Looking back (south) towards Imerovigli and Skaros Rock as we’re moving north.
And a little farther as the road turns to gravel and then to a path.
Cafe Monopati beside Pantheon Villas. Usually open but I wouldn’t count on it.
The route keeps going to Oia. To the left, there is a detour to the small Church of San Antonio down the cliff.
As you approach the church of Ekklisia Profitis Ilias there is a fork in the path. The left side sticks close to the caldera. The path along the caldera is a little trickier while the right side is a better quality path but less scenic. If you have young kids do the less scenic route. There is an unmarked washroom at the church but it’s often locked so don’t count on it.
The route to Oia when you take the caldera-side of the fork.
The caldera side of the fork is much more scenic but the path is tricky with lots of loose gravel.
The view as you descend on the caldera side above San Antonio Hotel and Aenaon Villas. Both excellent if you’re looking for hotels with peace, quiet, and solitude.
If you’re walking Oia to Fira: This is the fork (in front of San Antonio hotel) between the two paths as you approach from Oia. To the left is the easier, better quality path. To the right is the trickier more-scenic path along the caldera.
There is a 5 minute stretch from San Antonio hotel to the snack shop (below) where there is no path and you’ll need to walk on the road. It feels a little risky but locals know to look out for walkers. Just be quick and watch for cars. In the morning it’s usually very quiet.
There is a snack shop (not always open) as you rejoin the path and leave the road-portion of the walk behind. Oia is up that winding path to the left.
The path goes up again as you get closer to Oia.
To the left of Oia is the island of Thirassia.
Then back down as Oia comes into view. Almost there!
Entering Oia and heading towards town.
If you’re walking from Oia to Fira this is where the path really begins – take the footpath to the right of the market and walk along the caldera. If you’re walking from Fira to Oia this is the first market you’ll come upon as you enter Oia.
There is a small stretch as you enter Oia where there is no path and you’ll need to walk on the road for a minute or two. Traffic moves slowly here, so not a big concern.
Lioyerma pool in Oia. A good place to finish the walk. You can use the pool as long as you buy a drink or some food. Also has great sunset views.
The view of Imerovigli from Oia, with Fira the clump of white buildings to the far right. It’s a good feeling knowing you just walked that entire way.
Lotza Cafe in Oia is a good stop for drinks and snacks. Sit here and look out on the caldera. You’ll have a pretty good view of your entire route along the caldera’s edge. (And the baklava is great.)
Keep walking through Oia and descend to Ammoudi Bay where you’ll find 4 or 5 really good seafood restaurants. After you eat, restaurant staff will call a taxi for you that will take you all the way back to Fira.
If you turn to the left (from the Ammoudi Bay restaurants) and walk along the sea path for 5 minutes you’ll arrive at a great swimming spot where you can jump from the ledges. Super refreshing after a long walk. Imerovigli is visible in the distance.