This Iconic Hike With The Best Santorini Views Is A Must For Your Greece Bucket List

The iconic island of Santorini — located on the southern edge of Greece's Aegean Sea — has plenty of charm and beauty going for it. From its picture-perfect whitewashed houses to the stunning sunsets and crystal-clear waters that have cemented the destination as one of the most popular Greek islands for couples and families alike, Santorini is no stranger to tourists looking for some well-deserved fun under the sun. 

However, beyond Santorini's famous beaches — many of which are ideal for sunbathing, snorkeling, and even sailing — there are also plenty of other day trips and outdoor activities that'll get travelers into the spirit of all things adventurous. One of these is the popular hike from Fira to Oia.

Roughly 6.5 miles long — with plenty of landmarks along the way for a quick water and photo break — the hike should take anywhere between three to five hours depending on your fitness level (as well as the heat). It will guide you along a path with some of Santorini's most spectacular views.

Hiking from Fira to Oia

Popular with travelers and locals alike, the hike from Fira to Oia kicks off near the caldera — the name given to the island's half-moon-shaped bay, a product of centuries-old volcanic activity. The trail then takes you all the way to the northern tip of the island. From Fira, the walk weaves through two other small towns on the island: Firostefani and Imerovigli. Both of these spots are a great option if you're looking for a quick place to stop, replenish, and take a break from the sun. Additionally, the hike boasts views of Skaros Rock, much of the coastline, and plenty of little architectural wonders along the way.

Once you begin your descent toward Oia, the path will start to get a lot busier, bustling with souvenir shops, cafes, and hordes of tourists hoping to snap a photo of Santorini's iconic white and blue buildings against the stunning backdrop.

As a matter of fact, Oia — pronounced "Ia" — is actually renowned as one of the best spots in Santorini to watch the sunset. This means all of your hard work will be rewarded with some truly breathtaking sights. Finally, once you're done with your adventure, you can easily hop aboard one of the local buses to make the journey back to Fira. At the time of writing, ticket prices for a one-way trip were set at roughly $2 for the 25-minute journey.

Other tips for your Santorini hike

For starters, it's important to mention that the hike will take you through various types of terrain — from cobblestone paths to rocky cliffside edges. This means a good pair of walking shoes is paramount in order to ensure you don't struggle with any of the climbs. 

You'll also want to make sure you leave early — things tend to get hot around 11 a.m. — and that you're wearing a good amount of sunscreen. Additionally, a hat and shirt to cover up are also good options to keep in mind when packing for your Greek vacation — both of these can protect you from the blazing sun if you're hiking in the afternoon or during the summer, when the temperature can reach highs of 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Aside from considering what to wear, you'll also want to pack enough water and food for the hike. Although there are small shops in Firostefani and Imerovigli, they're not always open, which means you might get stuck without drinks for the remainder of your trip.

Lastly, although the hike from Fira to Oia is perfectly achievable on your own, Santorini also has plenty of local tour operators who offer tours that include pick-up and drop-off — that way, you don't need to worry about finding your way on your own. One of the most popular choices is Santorini Experts. The company currently boasts a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, and also offers private wine-tasting tours, cooking classes, and sailing excursions.