Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Santorini Island in Greece is one of the hottest travel destinations thanks to so many beautiful pictures shared on Instagram. Sunsets, wine, and white washed churches with blue domes are the highlights of this beautiful Greek Island. For those more adventure minded, looking for a hiking Santorini Island Greece adventure, there is a six mile trail that links the two tourist capitals on the island.

Hiking Santorini Island Greece

Hiking Santorini Island Greece adventure began for me in Fira

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Hiking Santorini Island Greece adventure started in Oia

My adventure started in Oia as that was where my hotel was located. I stayed at Finikia Memories hotel just outside of Oia. I walked about 5-10 minutes into Oia, and found the bus to Fira. Twenty minutes later I was in Fira. I asked the bus driver where the trail started, but he was not sure and just pointed to the town. I followed everyone walking into town.

Fira Santorini Greece

Beautiful church in Fira, as I walk through town looking for the start of the trail

Amazing views from Fira

Santorini is one of those places in the world where there is not a bad view no matter where you are on the island. If there is, walk a few steps to find an overlook and soak in the beautiful blue ocean, amazing architecture, and jaw dropping cliffs. While I was looking for the trail, I took in the scenes of Fira and the views of the Aegean Sea. Fira has some incredible churches just like Oia does.

Hiking Santorini Island Greece

Hiking Santorini Island Greece – View from Fira

In all the towns in Santorini, there are these narrow sidewalks that take you through the buildings. I just found the sidewalk next to the cliffs overlooking the sea, and started following it in the direction of Oia. I did not see any signs pointing in the direction of Oia until a little bit later.

Hiking Santorini Island Greece

Example of the narrow walkways in Fira

You could easily spend all day in Fira, and all day taking pictures of the sea, so at some point you have to drag yourself away and start walking. At one point there was a split off trail that hiked down to Skaros Rock. This excursion will add an hour to your hike. I did want to get to Oia before sunset, so I took a picture of the cliff from Fira and continued towards Oia.

Fira Greece

Sharing the view with other tourists in Fira, Santorini

Views in Fira are just amazing. The churches are along the sidewalks, but you can situate yourself behind them by climbing farther up the hill to get views of the church with the sea in the background

Fira Santorini photography

People in Fira enjoy the gorgeous views, just like me

Fira blue domed church

Beautiful Fira Church

Fira cliffside trail

For those with time, check out this trail exploring the cliffs of Fira

Fira morphs into Firostefani and then into Imerovigli, which are the next two villages in the direction of Oia. They are basically one town as I did not even notice when one village ended and one began. There are plenty of places to get food and water in these two villages, but once you leave Imerovigli, they are few and far between. The Avocado Restaurant is the last place to eat along the trail, before the path goes rural. If you need to eat a meal, this is pretty much your last option until Oia.

Fira Santorini Greece

Hiking Santorini Island Greece – Fira morphing into Imerovigli

Finally a trail sign to Oia

I was pretty sure I was on the right path, and finally a sign confirmed I was heading to Oia. Santorini is a caldera. A caldera is the rim of an ancient volcano, so the land mass from Fira to Oia is quite narrow. There are not many places a hiking trail could be, so it would be pretty difficult to be lost for long on this trail.

Oia Fira hiking

Finally a sign indicating the Fira to Oia hiking trail

Hiking Santorini Island Greece adventure to myself

There were a lot of people in Fira. The streets and sidewalks were bustling with happy tourists who finally were enjoying a chance to travel. I was in Greece in April of 2022, and while it was not the summer crowds, the island was starting to come to life with post Pandemic revenge travelers. I had to patiently wait at a few overlooks to have a clear spot at a cliff or a church.

Imerovigli Greece Santorini

Fira morphs to Imerovigli with Oia coming into view in the background

As soon as I left Fira and Imerovigli though, it was a different story. I saw a few couples here and there, but there were times when I did not see anyone for over an hour. While there was no spectacular churches once outside of the city, the views of the sea and the cliffs continued to amaze. It was just as difficult to make time outside of Fira as I was wanting to photograph every foot of the trail and the surrounding views.

Hiking Santorini Island Greece

Trail emerging from Imerovigli into a more rural setting

Oia Greece hiking trail

View of the trail as I head towards Oia

Prophet Elias Holy Orthodox Church

There are a few small churches in the rural section. The Prophet Elias Holy Orthodox Church lies about 1.5 miles from Oia. If you are hiking the trail from Fira to Oia, then you are more than halfway through when you reach this little church. It is a beautiful spot with the pine trees. There is not much shade along the path, so this is a good spot to take a rest and get out of the sun.

Santorini Greece hiking

View of the east side of the island from the Oia to Fira hiking trail

At this church, the caldera is so narrow, that one can take in views from both sides. It took me one minute of hiking to stand at the overlook to the west and then walk up the driveway of the church and then see the overlook of the sea to the east. Two incredible views within a minute. That is what Santorini is all about.

St. Elias Holy Orthodox Church Santorini

St. Elias Holy Orthodox Church in Santorini

Santorini is not that well known for wildlife or birds. I did see a few interesting bird species, but no animals at all. The highlight of this island is views, views, and more views. Inland, the island is very dry and inhospitable, so this is not the island for wildlife viewing. At some spots, there were some beautiful wildflowers in bloom.

Santorini selfie

Selfie from the church looking back on where I started in Fira

Hiking Santorini Island Greece adventure is rated medium difficulty

I have seen some rate this hike as easy, but due to its length, I would rate it medium. It is six miles, so one would need to be in reasonable shape to complete it. The pathway is rather smooth, although there are a few rocky stretches, like coming off the plateau into Oia. There are a few moderate climbs, but nothing too steep. Most of the path is level and relatively easy.

Hiking Santorini Island Greece

Beautiful colors light up the distance towards Oia

Most people walk 2 miles an hour, so I would give yourself an extra hour for this trip because there are so many photo opportunities. I would budget four hours of your time to finish this trip. It could be done by someone in great shape in two hours, but one should take their time and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Santorini caldera

Another Hiking Santorini Island Greece tip, when taking a selfie of a caldera, make sure your head is in the middle

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Hiking from Oia to Fira tips

Be sure to take sunscreen and a protective hat as there is not much shade along the path. Bring plenty of water, especially in summer. There are a few spots along the trail to get food and water, but do not depend on them. I hiked this trail in April, before the busy tourist season, so the convenience store along the path was closed. Check the weather and bring a raincoat if rain is in the forecast. There is hardly any shelter between Imerovigli and Oia.

Oia Greece hiking

Last climb up to this church then a gradual descent to Oia

I would recommend hiking in the direction your hotel is at. You will want to take a bus when you are fresh and not tired instead of after you have hiked a six mile trail. Since my hotel was in Oia, I took a bus to Fira and hiked to my hotel. It was nice to finish my hike at my hotel.

Oia Fira hiking trail

Hiking Santorini Island Greece – All downhill to Oia and my hotel

Hiking Santorini Island Greece adventure ends in Oia

A small rural church stood atop the high point just above Oia. From there, the trail gently descended in town. I soon came upon my hotel and called it a hike. My eyes, camera card, and memories were full of beautiful views from one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

Here are a couple other blogs written on this topic:

Santorini Dave

Earth Trekkers

Greta’s Travels

Adventure on!