Walk from Fira to Oia

Updated: September 15, 2017

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Things To Know About Hiking from Fira to Oia

  • The hike between Fira and Oia takes between 2 and 4 hours depending on how fast you walk and how often you stop.
  • The hiking trail from Fira to Oia is just under 10kms (6.2 miles).
  • In summer, start early. It gets hot by 11am.
  • Buy water the day before as there won’t be much open if you start early in the morning.
  • The path is not baby-stroller friendly. Most 8 year olds would have no trouble completing it.
  • I enjoy walking from Fira to Oia but it’s essentially the same walk from Oia to Fira. I’ve seen Tripadvisor posts saying it’s harder from Oia to Fira because “it’s all uphill” (not true). Fira and Oia are roughly the same altitude so direction does not affect how much you go up and down. There is a fair bit of climbing and descending regardless of the direction.
  • There are small shops to buy water and snacks in Firostefani and Imerovigli (assuming they’ve opened for the day).
  • Between Imerovigli and Oia there are two shops/cafes but they aren’t always open.
  • From June to July return buses between Oia and Fira will be busy in the afternoon and taxis hard to find. A good option is to grab a taxi or take a bus in the morning (before your walk starts) and then walk back to your starting point.
  • If you enter “Fira to Oia” in Google Maps and then click the walk icon, the route you get will take a more direct route that misses some of the best views. This map of the Fira to Oia hike (that I edited) shows the most scenic route (though it does bypass the market in Imerovigli).
  • Good restaurants to stop at on the Fira to Oia walk are Avocado in Imerovigli (open lunch and dinner) and Cafe Galini in Firostefani (open breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

Fira To Oia Walk – Tips

Start of Fira to Oia Walk

The “start” of the path begins in the square beside Hotel Atlantis in Fira.

Hiking trail from Fira to Oia.

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).

Fira to Oia Walk

The path out of Fira starts with a steep climb before you reach the next village (Firostefani), then it levels out for a bit.

Fira to Oia Walk

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.

Fira to Oia Walk

There are often a few fruit sellers along the way. This one is in Firostefani.

Sign posts and distances for Oia - Fira walk.

Direction posts in Firostefani showing the distances south to Fira (10 minutes) and north to Imerovigli (15 minutes) and Oia (2 hours, 45 minutes).

Hiking trail from Fira to Oia.

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.

Directions for Fira-Oia hike.

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.

Hiking trail from Fira to Oia.

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.

Hiking trail from Fira to Oia.

Skaros Rock. It’s a beautiful walk out to Skaros Rock but this will add at least a half-hour to your hike (and lots of steps up and down).

Hiking trail from Fira to Oia.

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.

Fira to Oia Walk

The walk out to Skaros Rock.

View from Skaros Rock of Fira-Oia hike.

The view of Imerovigli looking back towards the village from Skaros Rock.

Fira to Oia Walk

The view of Oia from Skaros Rock (looking north).

Fira to Oia Walk

The view of Fira from Skaros Rock (looking south).

Fira to Oia Walk

The path as you continue through Imerovigli (after the turn-off for Skaros Rock). Here you’ll pass some of the top hotels on the island: Grace, Astra, Tholos, Kapari, and Sophia Suites.

Fira to Oia Walk

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 the market in Imerovigli take the path to the left and not this one that sticks to the caldera.

Fira to Oia Hike

The path as you leave Imerovigli.

Fira to Oia Hike

Oia is visible in the distance but it’s still a good hour’s walk away.

Fira to Oia Hike

The path passes a handful of hotels as it leaves Imerovigli. This is West East hotel.

Hiking Trail from Oia to Fira.

The bus stop beside Cavo Tagoo hotel (about 10 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 north towards Oia (90 minutes).

Fira to Oia Walk

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.

Fira to Oia Walk

Looking back (south) towards Imerovigli and Skaros Rock as we’re moving north.

Fira to Oia Hike

And a little farther as the road turns to gravel and then to a path.

Fira to Oia Walk

Cafe Monopati beside Pantheon Villas.

Fira to Oia Walk

The route keeps going to Oia. To the left there is a detour to the small Church of San Antonio down the cliff.

Fira to Oia Hike

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.

Fira to Oia Hike

The route to Oia when you take the caldera-side of the fork.

Fira to Oia Hike

The caldera side of the fork is much more scenic but the path is not great quality.

Fira to Oia Hike

The view as you descend on the caldera side above San Antonio and Aenaon hotel.

Fira to Oia Hike

This is the divide (in front of San Antonio hotel) between the two paths if you’re approaching from Oia. To the left is the easier, better quality path. To the right is the trickier more-scenic path along the caldera.

Fira to Oia Hike

There is a 5 minute stretch from San Antonio hotel until 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. In the morning it’s usually very quiet.

Fira to Oia Hike

There is a snack shop as you rejoin the path and leave the road-portion of the walk behind.

Hills on Fira to Oia path.

The path goes up again as you get closer to Oia.

Views on Fira - Oia hike trail.

To the left of Oia is the island of Thirassia.

Fira to Oia Hike

Then back down as Oia comes into view. Almost there!

Fira to Oia Hike

Entering Oia and heading towards town.

Market for drinks, water, snacks on Fira-Oia hike.

The first market you’ll come upon as you enter Oia (or the last one you’ll see as you’re leaving town).

Fira to Oia Walk

There is a small stretch as you enter Oia where there is no path and you need to walk on the road for a minute or two. Traffic moves very slowly here, so not a big concern.

Fira to Oia Walk

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.

Fira to Oia Walk

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.

End point on Fira-Oia hike.

Meteor Cafe 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 edge.

Place to eat on Fira-Oia walk.

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.

Swimming spot on Oia-Fira walk.

And 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.

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30 Questions and Comments

  1. Half Way Point on Fira Oia Walk

    Hiking in Late September

    Hello, I was wondering if you can recommend a half way point where we can park our car for the hike? I do not want to miss anything and would like to see OIA or the sunset or is it possible to end up at Amoudi Bay?

    Thanks,
    Carole

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Take the bus to Cavo Tagoo (the next stop after Imerovigli). That’s about half-way between Fira and Oia and will give you about a 75 minute walk to get to Oia. And yes, you can continue to Ammoudi Bay to eat dinner and watch the sunset. But do make reservations and be prepared to walk all the way back up to Oia as you won’t be getting a taxi right after sunset.

  2. Fira Oia Hike in December

    Hi Dave, my husband and I are visiting in December. Is this hike ok to do at that time? And do you have any other suggestions (food/sights) for us when we visit in December? Thanks!

    Diane

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      As long as it’s not too rainy it will be fine. Akrotiri is also great in December (it’s covered). Lots to do as long as it’s not too wet (which, with a bit of luck, it shouldn’t be).

  3. Which Portion of Walk To Do

    This is superb, thank you for it!
    My husband and I are driving a rental car and don’t want to do the full hike as we’ll need to take a bus back to get the car. Where would you recommend we start (in the direction Fira-Oia, with parking spaces), and end (where there are buses available for us to take a bus back)? We are looking to about 30mins-1hr hike.
    Thank you so much! Michelle

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Walk from Fira to Cavo Tagoo – 15 minutes north of Imerovigli. If you want your walk to be mostly downhill bus to Cavo Tagoo then walk south to Fira. Be sure to stay to the right as you enter Imerovigli (from the north) to get the best views.

  4. Fira-Oia Hike

    Dave,

    We just finished the hike from Fira to Oia and are currently tapped in from Mezzo having coffee and breakfast. Your site, pictures and all, was amazingly accurate and helpful. Just a note to say “thank you” for he help. We never felt uncomfortable with the trail or where to go. Amazing views and photo ops. We were saying you should print this and market it to all of the resorts! We would have certainly purchased it. Thanks again.

    Matt and Amanda, NY, USA

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Thanks. Glad it was helpful. Have fun.

  5. Caldera Hike from Astra Suites

    HI! We will be staying at the Astra Suites for our Honeymoon in late September and definitely want to do this hike one morning. Would you recommend us taking a bus to Fira and starting the hike there? We like the idea of ending it at Ammoudi Bay, but I wasn’t sure what would be the better option as it seems Imerovigli is in the middle.

    Also, would you recommend the Ammoudi Taverna after the hike for lunch?

    Thanks so much!
    Courtney

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      If it was me, I’d just start heading north from Astra. Ending with lunch in Ammoudi is a great idea (and adds a little length to the hike). I’m sure you’ll end up walk into Fira (from Astra) a few times so no need to do it as part of the walk. Unless you want to have the experience of doing the whole hike in one go.

  6. Late Afternoon Walk to Oia

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for a great review and tips on the caldera hike.

    I want to know if it is ok for us to hike to Oia from Fira at 3pm in August and still manage to reach Oia for the sunset view. I will hiking with my wife and 2 kids age 9 and 12.

    Thanks,
    Amir

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Time-wise you will make it. But that is the peak of the day’s temperatures so you could be very very hot. If you’re committed to it, I’d suggest taking the bus to Imerovigli and starting your walk from there as Fira to Imerovigli is all up hill. There will still be plenty of up and down and there is almost no shade from Imerovigli to Oia, but at least it will be a shorter walk.

  7. Fira-Oia Hike with Fear of Heights

    Just started planning our Athens and Santorini trip for the first week in November of this year. We live on the coast of Maine in the USA and hike in our national park. Stamina is not the problem, but a definite fear of heights is….had lots of trouble in Yosemite, California, USA. Will I be far enough away from the ledge to feel safe? I really want to do this hike. Our hotel (Astra Suites, chosen as one of your recommendations) is very close the Skaros Rock path. One thought would be to go one way one morning and the other on the next. Would that be feasible? Thank you for the wonderful informative website. Better than TripAdvisor! Rachael Sharp

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      While the walk is definitely close to the edge it generally doesn’t edge right up to the cliff. The part where there is a large drop along the pathside is where it splits north of Imerovigli (near the church) … so just take the path to the right (as you’re going to Oia) and avoid the path along the caldera. The two paths rejoin each other near San Antonio Suites.

  8. Morning Walk Along The Caldera

    Just a quick comment to say thank you for creating this post! We did the walk this morning and your pictures and tips really helped! 🙂
    Fran

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Great. Glad it was helpful.

  9. Fira-Oia Hike with Toddler in Carrier

    Hi Dave, We will be visiting Santorini end of June and are very keen to do this walk from Fira to Oia – it looks incredible! We will however have a 2 year old toddler in tow who my husband is fairly used to carrying on his back (we live in Cape Town and do some hiking). Do you think the walk would be suitable for us to do with our son in a hiking backpack? Thanks so much and great page by the way!
    Tarryn

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Shouldn’t be a problem.

  10. Can you Walk from Oia to Fira?

    This may be a silly question but can you do the hike the opposite way? from Oia to Fira?
    Tiffany

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Yes.

  11. What To Wear for Fira-Oia Walk

    Hello! I’m sorry if you addressed this and I missed it, but what clothes/shoes do you recommend? Do we need to wear hiking clothes or can we do shorts and comfy sandals (basic vacation clothes)? Thank you!
    Anna

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Depends on your age and fitness as much as anything. If you’re in your 20s and in good shape you could wear almost anything and be fine. If you’re in your 50s/60s and don’t do a lot of 10km hikes then wear good walking/athletic shoes. Layers are always good as temp can change a fair bit with breeze or clouds.

  12. Map of Fira to Oia Hike

    Hi,
    Your website and information is really helping me, especially as I am nervous travelling abroad. The walk from Fira to Oia.
    The Google Map link you posted seems to look more inland than on the edge of the Caldera on what I have seen in your photos. Could you check your link and confirm it is correct. I looked at it from Google Earth perspective.
    Many Thanks,
    Janine

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I double checked and the map is right. That’s the caldera path. There are buildings (hotels, mainly) below the path and on the map that can look like there’s land between the path and the edge – but for the most part, the path goes along the edge and the buildings are below. (As I said above, if you enter Fira to Oia in Google Maps the default route does go inland in parts, but my link above does show the most scenic route.)

  13. Walk Fira to Oia or Oia to Fira

    Thank you so much for posting this – so informative.

    Do you think the views are better hiking from Fira to Oia, or Oia to Fira, or the same? We are staying in Oia so just wanted to decide if we should taxi it to Fira and hike back to Oia, or vice versa. Seems like Fira to Oia may be the better route in case we are hungry, and sweaty. 😉 Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      There is not a big difference in terms of view between one direction and the other. Yes, you will notice different things depending on your direction but one is not better than the other. The route does seem a little more intuitive and easy to follow going Fira to Oia than the other way, but once again, not a large difference. Hiking Fira to Oia will give you cafes, markets, and bathroom breaks (if you stop at a restaurant) over the first third of your walk. Going Oia to Fira will allow you same stops over the final third of your walk – not sure what you consider better.

  14. Tour for Fira-Oia Walk

    I will be arriving Santorini early morning like 6 or 7. Was planning to join some tours for hiking. But I want to ask for your advice if you believe we can do hiking without a tour. Our Airbnb is in Oia, and which way would you suggest us to start and end ? Thanks so much for your help. Judy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      You definitely do not need a tour to do the Fira-Oia hike. (But if you want companionship and to meet some people then go for it.) I slightly prefer walking Fira to Oia but there is not a big difference. You could check in at your Airbnb, then take the bus to Fira (that way you won’t have to bus during the busier afternoon). From the bus station walk straight to the caldera then turn right and start walking north. That said, if you’re anything like me, when you set your bags down in Oia after a long flight or ferry the last thing you’ll want to do is get on another bus right away. In that case just start walking from Oia and worry about the bus later – it will all work out anyway you do it.

  15. Fira Oia Hike for Older Couple

    We are an older couple who can’t walk for very long distances. We could probably manage for 50 to 60 minutes of walking on good path. We’d love to do some of the walk. What would you suggest?

    Thanks,
    Mark and Michelle

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Take a bus or taxi to Imerovigli and start the walk from there to Fira. It’s pretty much all flat or downhill going from Imerovigli, through Firostefani, to Fira. Views are wonderful and path is in pretty good condition – though still plenty of loose gravel and far from perfect.

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