Best Hikes in Santorini

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Written By: Pavlos Inglesis

If you are into hiking and exploring nature then Santorini is a great place to do so, no matter how busy or crowded it gets. In fact, by going on a hike you will be avoiding most of the crowds and you will be seeing the island from so many different angles and spots. These are the best hikes in Santorini with some of my personal tips to make the best out of them.

best hikes santorini
There are some hiking paths in Santorini that are extremely famous (such as the Fira to Oia path) but for very good reasons, as they are either well-paved and relatively easy while offering some of the best views and even photography spots on the island. If you have limited time, you can also take this excellent guided hike from Fira to Oia where a guide will explain everything

I have handpicked the ultimate list of the Best Hikes in Santorini on the list below but obviously you don’t have to do all of them while you are on the island. It would be impossible.

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In my honest opinion, the best hikes in Santorini are:

  • Fira to Oia: 10.5km ~ 3.5 hrs
  • Fira to Imerovigli (and Skaros Rock): 8.5km ~ 2 hrs
  • Kamari to Ancient Thera: 7.5km ~ 2.5 hrs
  • Perissa to Ancient Thera and Kamari: 11km ~ 4 hrs
  • Nea Kameni (Volcano): 2.5km ~ 1 hr
  • Oia to Ammoudi: 1.5km ~ 20 minutes
  • Fira to Old Port (Karavolades stairs): 2km ~ 45 minutes
  • Red Beach: 1.5km ~ 20 minutes

You may find an even longer list of hikes for the island elsewhere, but I don’t think there is any particular interesting thing about them. At the end of the day, you can literally hike or walk anywhere but it would be wise not to spend your time in the middle of nowhere in a place you don’t really know, for absolutely no reason.

I recently did the Fira to Imerovigli hike which you watch on my video in real-time :

Keep reading, as I am providing more details on each one of these hikes below, along with the dedicated AllTrails link that will give you the exact hiking map of the trail.

VERY IMPORTANT TIPS FOR HIKING IN SANTORINI:

  • If you are visiting the island in June, July, August and September you are going to experience very high temperatures (more than 30Β°C degrees or 90Β°F) and almost certainly sunny weather. So, you should schedule your hikes as early in the morning as possible between 7 am and till 12 noon, otherwise you are going to struggle with the heat.

  • Make sure you have plenty of water with you (tip from a greek: in the summer, let a bottle of water freeze overnight and take it as solid ice in your hike the next morning so you will be enjoying nice cold water all the way!). My mother used to do that when I was a kid in our trips to a beach in the hot summer.

  • Make sure you are wearing a hat, very light clothes, the most comfortable shoes (no flip flops, please…) and bathe yourself in sunscreen cream before you depart. The sun is your enemy while hiking in Greece in the summer. Apply sunscreen on every exposed inch of your body (the back of your neck and arms included!)

  • If you only have time for one very quick hike then I highly recommend you do the Fira to Imerovigli hike which is quick and relatively easy. See video above.

Best Hikes in Santorini

So, these are the best hiking trails in Santorini:

1. Fira to Oia (10.5km ~ 3.5 hrs)

fira to oia hike
Fira to Oia hike is possibly one of the most famous hikes in Greece and it’s a relatively easy trail mostly paved

This is one of the most famous and well-known hikes in Greece and for many good reasons, such as the stunning views of the caldera and the volcano. This is an open trail all year and it is well paved in most of its length but there are sections with lose rocks or a bit slippery. If you are doing it in the winter (and sometimes even in the summer) you may face strong winds but nothing crazy to be honest. This is a very popular route so you won’t be alone, no matter the time of the year you are doing it. If you are looking for some more remote paths then I recommend you do the Kamari to Ancient Thera hike (see below). Also, don’t expect any food along the way except in the sections where you are going through Firostefani and Imerovigli, so I suggest you get well-equipped and then have lunch in Oia (or Fira if you are doing the opposite way).

2. Fira to Imerovigli & Skaros Rock (8.5km ~ 2 hrs)

This is my video from this trail which is pretty much at about two-thirds of the Fira to Oia hike and it’s definitely worth it, as Skaros Rock is a magnificent formation with lots of history (yes, there were clouds when I did it…)

I highly recommend doing the Fira to Imerovigli hike (as seen on my video above) even without the Skaros Rock hike if you don’t have the time. Up to Imerovigli town is more of a walk through Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli village at the end but there are a few stairs along the way (nothing crazy!). However, the hike from Imerovigli to Skaros Rock is a bit tricker with lots of narrow stairs and rocky slippery paths, but the completely different views you will be getting from up there is definitely worth it.

3. Kamari to Ancient Thera (7.5km ~ 2.5 hrs)

kamari to ancient thera hike santorini greece
While Ancient Thera ruins are not something extraordinary compared to Akrotiri Ruins this is a hike famous for its stunning views of Kamari and Perissa from the other side of the hill

This is basically the trail from Kamari to the site of Ancient Thera that you will need a 6 euro entrance ticket to get in (if you want). This is an uphill hike where you will be sharing a narrow road with cars apart from the last section where you will end up in an ancient paved path. This is my favourite hiking trail in Santorini as you are probably getting some of the most stunning and different views of the island, along with the bonus of ending in an archaeological site dating back to 900 BC.

4. Perissa to Ancient Thera (11km ~ 2.5 hrs)

perissa to ancient thera hike santorini greece
This is a much more difficult and rougher hike to Ancient Thera compared to the one from Kamari but the views to Perissa are breathtaking

This is a pretty rough trail that will take you from Perissa beach (from the bottom of the hill at the edge of the beach) to the Ancient Thera. You have to understand that Kamari and Perissa are basically the same long black beach separated from a long massive rock (called “Akra Mesa Vouno”) formation in the middle which you can hike from either side. Make sure you have plenty of water and food as there is nothing along the way. Again, the stunning views will be all around you.

5. Nea Kameni – Volcano (2.5km ~ 1 hr)

In order to do this hike you need to take a cruise to the volcanic springs and the volcano where the boat will drop you for about 1.5 hour on the volcano island (called “Nea Kameni”) itself

This is a trail you can only do if you get on a volcano cruise that will drop you to Nea Kameni and the hot springs (the water is not very warm in these though…). On the volcanic island you can basically follow all the people on the dedicated path on this martian lansdscape. To be honest with you, apart from the fact that you are literally walking on harden lava on an active volcano between craters, this is not a super exciting path. However, you will also be getting some fantastic views of Oia and Fira from afar away which is definitely an extra. In general, a boat cruise in Santorini, is one of the best things you can do on the island and combining it with such a hike is highly recommended.

6. Oia to Ammoudi (1.5km ~ 20 mins)

oia to ammoudi hike santorini greece
This is a typical Santorinian paved path that leads to the picturesque fishing village of Ammoudi and the famous fish restaurants from Oia

If you are looking to visit Ammoudi bay, the little village with the famous fish restaurants at the bottom of Oia, then you would have to either hike that downhill/uphill paved path/stairs or basically drive a car to the bottom (which I do not recommend because there is very limited space for parking. Going down this path is pretty easy but it’s when you have to go back to Oia that gets tough as it’s uphill. Take your time, take it easy and you will get there eventually.

7. Fira to Old Port (2km ~ 45 mins)

old port to fira hike karavolades stairs santorini greece
If you are visiting Santorini on a cruise you may consider doing that hike but it’s a tough one to go up; you other option would be to wait about 1 hour to hop on the cable car

This is a very similar hike to the one from Oia to Ammoudi but it’s much more difficult. Let me put it this way: if you are coming to Santorini on a cruise ship the port you either have to wait about 1 hour for the cable car (there is just too many people waiting to get it) or go uphill those stairs/path. I DO NOT RECOMMEND RIDING THE DONKEYS! If you take it slowly you will get up in Oia eventually but you have to be aware of the donkey manure that is all ove the path along with the actual donkeys that will walk around you (poor animals with nasty owners…). The other thing is that those cobblestones can become very slippery so you need to be very careful, especially if you are going down the path. Overall, it’s an interesting path with beautiful views all the way but it can get very crowded in the summer months (June to September).

8. Red Beach (1.5km ~ 20 minutes)

red beach hike santorini greece
Red Beach is one of the most impressive beaches on the island and there is a small but picturesque hike to get there, which is highly recommended

Red Beach is one of the most impressive beaches in Greece, but it can also be dangerous as many rock falls have occured the last decades. However, if you are careful and follow the dedicated paths you will enjoy a very nice and easy hike with some impressive views in between some unique geological formations and rocks. You can park your car (or even take the bus) in the dedicated parking area and then follow the path. There are a couple of food and drink vendors at the start of the path and also a small canteen on the beach (but it won’t be open in the winter). This is also an easy hike but you need proper shoes, as it is the case with all hikes in Santorini.

CONCLUSION

So, these are the best hikes in Santorini. In my honest opinion, every Greek island is a hiking heaven, but you need to be very careful in the summer because of the extreme hot weather and the sun. As long as you take all the precautions and you are wearing proper hiking shoes you are not going. to have any issues. Some of the hikes in Santorini are a bit tougher (especially the ones that go to Ancient Thera from Kamari or Perissa) but overall they are all pretty straight forward and easy.

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AUTHOR
Pavlos Inglesis
Greek, born and raised in Athens. I have been to almost every greek island and pretty much in every region of mainland Greece. I have also been eating souvlaki and gyros since the 80s. I love being a dad to my 2 beautiful daughters and also taking great photos of the places I visit. This is my blog to help you out explore the places I have visited with my inside tips as a Greek, knowing the ins and outs of my country and culture. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section under the post you are interested in and I wIll try my best to respond asap.

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