This is probably going to be my favourite blogpost about Santorini. If you ever visit Santorini, don’t only be a tourist, be a traveler. Take the chance to explore this jaw-dropping island as much as possible – there’s no better way doing this than hiking! One hot and sunny afternoon Marina and I decided to take a 5 hour and 12km long hike from Fira to Oìa. Oìa is the city in Santorini that is located at the far northern edge of the island and is famous for its sunset. Some say that it’s one of the most amazing sunsets they have ever seen. I can definitely say it is!
Taking the hike is not difficult at all. If you are in a medium good shape and feel good with the thought of walking a couple of hours in the sun, this hike should be no problem for you. Be aware of the fact that the paths are sometimes rocky and very small so be sure to wear some good shoes. Take a sunhat and put on some sunscreen and off you go!
We started off the hike at the orthodox cathedral in the heart of Fira. Since the island is so tiny, it is always easy to locate yourself and to stay on track. The only thing you have to make sure is to always walk at the edge of the caldera. This way you can almost always see where Oìa is located and walk in that direction.
Right outside of the borders of Fira, you start walking a little uphill towards the town of Imerovigli. It is a very small town with some shops and restaurants. Not many tourists walk around the streets which is a welcome change from the bustling streets of Fira.
Once you continue your journey away from the main street in Imerovigli, you encounter the most amazing spots on the whole island. Walking close to the caldera, you catch yourself staring at houses, hotels, spas and the fascinating nature with an open mouth. Everything is calm and quiet, the ocean reflects the sunbeams just perfectly and you won’t believe how lucky you are to be on this unique island.
Although the houses around you are mainly hotels and spas, you will find yourself completely alone. Every half hour or so, you may encounter other hikers who are just as amazed as you are and you greet each other real quick with a quiet smile before continuing your journey.
Soon after passing these beautiful sights of Greek architecure, you are faced with nature’s simple beauty. You walk past different kinds of ashes that remained from Santorini’s times as a volcano. But what will take away your breath and make you stop your walk every other minute is the picturesque view of the ocean.
From time to time you will spot a cathedral or a church up on a small hill or a little off the beaten path. I strongly urge you to take the little detour to visit these churches. Although you mostly won’t be able to enter these churches, they are definitely worth visiting and they offer you a different and one-of-a-kind view of the island. Three churches that you will pass are the chapel Ágios Antonios, chapel Ágios Márkos and the chapel Profítis Ilías.
Once you have passed these chapels and churches, a rather difficult part of the path will start. You find yourself on a 1,2m wide path that is rocky and winds downhill. Just make sure to take your time walking down – this way you will be totally fine. Soon the street will be paved again and you are around 40-60min away from Oìa.
On this final part of the hike you will pass the church Tímios Stavrós that is located at 270m above sea level and then you will be able to spot the city of Oìa and soon reach its borders. Just continue following the path and you will find yourself on Oía’s main street with shops and restaurants. Take a little peek in there, it’s definitely worth it!
When you arrive in Oìa in the early evening just like we did, you will recognize a huge amount of people rushing to one spot in the city. There is a viewpoint in Oìa from where you have the perfect view of the famous sunset. Of course it is crowded there. You will be surrounded by hundreds of tourists, trying to catch a glimpse of the sunset and taking pictures of it. Just don’t let them disturb you. Enjoy the sunset and block out all the people around you. This sunset is a one in a lifetime experience.
So, this is it. Me introducing Santorini to you is accomplished! I hope I was able to deliver you an idea of how stunning this little island in the Aegean is. From what I can tell, Santorini is the most breathtaking place on earth that I have seen far. And let me tell you, I have seen a bunch of places!