Pass through the towns of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia while experiencing some of the best views and landmarks in Santorini.
The hike from Fira to Oia, a journey approximately 6 miles long, is one of the most unique experiences in which one can partake on the island of Santorini. Passing through Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia, the trip allows you to enjoy some remarkable views while immersing yourself in the villages’ culture.
Starting in Fira, the hike allows you to experience Santorini’s history through the town’s museums, churches and monasteries. In particular, the Prehistoric Museum of Thera is worth visiting, as it holds frescos from the prehistoric period and is close to the starting point of the hike. The Archaeological Museum of Thera is also interesting, as it is home to statues, sculptures, inscriptions and pottery from the Geometric to Roman eras.
When finished passing through Fira, the next village you will come across is Firostefani. Although it seems similar to Fira in appearance, the town’s views and landmark set it apart. You can make the uphill trek to the Three Bells of Fira, a well-known church famed for its three bells, blue dome and memorable views of the caldera and Aegean Sea.
You can also stop at Galini Café, which serves plates and drinks that can refresh you as you continue your journey to Oia. Poached eggs, açai bowls and avocado juice are just some of the things on the menu at this admired establishment.
When finished passing through this village, the next community you will encounter is Imerovigli. Home to Agios Nikolaos Church, Chapel of the Holy Cross and Anastasi Church, there is no shortage of historical sites to see in this town. Each is located near the shore, allowing for beautiful views of the Aegean. You may also be able to see Fira and Firostefani from a shoreline vantage point, allowing for the opportunity to track the progress that has been made.
From Imerovigli, you can also travel to Skaros Rock, a rock formation and collection of ruins that sticks out to the Aegean. Although visiting this site will add 30 min-1 hour to your hike, it will provide you with a unique perspective of the village.
To get there, you will pass the Church of Christ before following a path to the headland. You may be able to imagine the castle that was here upon seeing the ruins. Although it was destroyed by an earthquake in the 19th century, this site still impresses with its memorable views of Imerovigli and the Aegean. In the distance, one can also see Oia. Given Skaros Rock’s panoramic sights, this detour is worth taking and will enhance this memorable journey.
After continuing through Imerovigli, travelers will have the opportunity to visit Profitis Ilias Church and Panagia Church en route to Oia. Upon arriving to the town, visitors will be greeted with breathtaking views of the caldera, several activities to partake in and restaurants to dine at.
For example, you can swim in Amoudi Bay, visit the Castle of St. Nicholas or eat at Armeni Restaurant, treating yourself for a tiring, yet rewarding hike.
Ray visited Santorini in 2019.