Experience the Scenic Hiking Trail from Fira to Oia

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Thanks to its active volcanic history, the Greek island of Santorini has an extremely unique geography. The island is actually the volcano itself, and the middle of the island was blown apart by a massive eruption thousands of years ago, leaving the rim of the volcano to its inhabitants.  Fira and Oia are the two most popular places on the island, so if you’re staying in either one you’re in for a treat! In fact, the two are fairly close to one another and can easily be reached by taxi or bus.

However, there is another, more unique way to visit – by taking the trail from one to the other. If you’re able to start your walk in Fira and time it so that you arrive in Oia near sunset, you’ll give yourself a chance to have the best possible experience. Here’s more information:

Get Started in Fira

As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to start your hike in Fira. If you decide to walk the trail during Santorini’s low season, you will have a quieter experience as most of Fira and Oia will be deserted. The first part of Fira will likely be the hardest because you have a steeper path to walk, but the bizarre streets will more than make up for it. You might see the occasional tourist on foot and a peaceful donkey. You have many viewpoints along the caldera to snap pictures to show your friends.

How Long Does the Walk Take?

The walk will normally take about three hours, but if you have a scheduled itinerary, you may want to allow for an extra hour or two because you want to sit and admire the great views of Santorini at a more leisurely pace. Once you have left Fira, you will see Firostefani and Imerovigli. These villages are basically a smaller and quieter version of the capital, but many of the hotels close for the winter, even though they look like they’d be great places to stay. After these two villages, you hike through a more rural setting, but the views become twice as stunning the further along the trail you walk. Walking here also becomes easier because it’s pretty flat, but you will still be stopping every three to five minutes to take more pictures along the island’s cliffs.

End Your Walk in Oia

The hardest part of the entire hike is the last section between Fira to Oia because it is a completely uphill climb and steep downhill drop, which means you’ll want to be careful where you step. Once you’ve passed the hills, you will start to see rolling fields dotting the countryside with white-domed houses. The coastline along this section looks more normal, and Oia has been rated for having one of the best sunset watching spots in the world, and the dying light sets the white houses ablaze during this time. You do have some bars overlooking the views, but keep in mind the price will reflect the aesthetic views.

The best hiking in Santorini normally takes place from March to early June, but you also have great weather from September to the end of October. Fira to Oia covers a distance of nine kilometers, and walking the path to Imerovigil, you will see the Aghios Nikolaos Monastery, which was built in 1916.

Once you arrive in Oia, spend some time wandering through the village and be sure to arrive with enough time to take a look at the sunset. Many believe that this is the best sunset in all of Greece!

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