Santorini: Walking from Fira to Oia


The unique Greek island of Santorini is all about colour and contrast. Everything seems painted white: buildings, pavements, stones, even the tree trunks. Around midday the sky loses its dazzling blue and joins the whiteness above the hazy islands. Then there’s blue sea, blue paint, black sand and red rock. Not least when you take a walk from Fira to Oia.

Santorini, Greek Islands

There’s no better way to experience this than by taking the classic Santorini trek from the old town of Fira to Oia. This is the perfect opportunity to catch a snapshot of Santorini’s iconic architecture and geography as you teeter along the edge of the crater rim past villas, convents and graveyards.

Santorini, Greek Islands

At every step are superb views of the island volcano and its caldera, filled with the blue Mediterranean. Santorini is actually the residue of an incomprehensibly large volcanic eruption about 1450 BC, and under the blackened island of the Kammeni things are still simmering away.

Santorini, Greek Islands

A five-minute detour to Antonius Chapel offers a perfect lunch spot with picnic tables and even a toilet hut. Another chapel to another saint sits lonely at the highest point of the walk.

Santorini, Greek Islands

At last we arrived at the northern tip of the Caldera, where Oia perches, waiting for sunset. The most famous town in Santorini is a confection of blue domes and pastel shades.

Santorini, Greek Islands

The much-vaunted sunset casts an exquisite light over the cascade of houses and windmills. Although you should note that at certain times of the year the sunset is actually much better in other parts of the island, for example from our hotel balcony near Fira (see the photo of the Santorini sunset at top).

Santorini, Greek Islands

Yes it is crawling with tourists, either buying expensive cocktails from the bars or bottles of cold wine and alco-pops from the off-licences depending on their budget, but it is still amazing.
Santorini, Greek Islands

By Natasha von Geldern

The walk takes around two hours, although there is no rush, and regular buses ferry the tourists from Oia back to Fira after sunset (and dinner).

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Walking from Fira to Oia Santorini Greece

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About Natasha von Geldern

Natasha von Geldern is the World Wandering Kiwi, a freelance travel writer, editor and inveterate traveller who is passionate about making the pages of the atlas real one trip at a time.


  1. Great photos 🙂
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  2. What an amazingly beautiful place!
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  3. those photos are so incredibly beautiful. thank you!
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  4. I haven’t made it to Santorini yet but from your pictures, I need to! I especially like the last two pics.
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    • Natasha von Geldern says:

      It’s definitely somewhere everyone should try to see at least once. Love the Mirabell Gardens Debbie!

  5. beautful. I’ve always wanted to visit Santorini. It’s just too pretty!
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  6. What a gorgeous place. I’d gladly join the throngs of tourists to visit Santorini.

    • Natasha von Geldern says:

      Yes and really the throngs of tourists are just in one or two spots and at certain times. The whole island is wonderful to explore and in fact we hardly meet anyone else on our walks.

  7. I’ve never been to Santorini. These photos are amazing. I’d love to be there right now!
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  8. Lots of fun pictures from a place that I may never get to see in person My photo Thursday picture
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  9. Santorini is so intriguing – and quite different from other Greek islands, isn’t it? Gorgeous photos!
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  10. This is a phenomenal photo essay!
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  11. I’ve always wanted to go to Santorini- always! Would love to walk this walk!
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  12. That is certainly one walk I would love to take. Fantastic views!
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  13. Sign me up – so beautiful. You should be working for the Greek Tourist board with these shots. The hike sounds like something I would very much like to do.
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  14. Beautiful photos! We spent a day on Santorini last summer while on a Mediterranean cruise and fell in love with the island. Weren’t able to do the walk from Oia to Fira though as we thought it would be too much for the kids in the August heat. The sunset was beautiful from the deck of the ship that evening too. 🙂
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    • Natasha von Geldern says:

      It sounds like you had a lovely day and I wouldn’t have taken out daughter (or myself) on that walk in the August heat either! Great to connect Lisa!

  15. What time of year did you visit? I’ve been to a handful of Greek islands, and always in the fall, from Sept through November. No crowds to speak of, but still quite comfortable and warm.
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    • Natasha von Geldern says:

      I’m with you there Bob – I was there in October and the weather was outstanding but not too hot. And great light for photos 🙂

  16. Beautiful! So wanna go to Greece. The sunsets look amazing!
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  17. Nice shots! I’ve heard a lot about this place, but, alas haven’t made it there.
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  18. It looks so beautiful I’d be tempted to walk there and back.
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    • Natasha von Geldern says:

      Yes you’d get different but equally stunning views on the way back I’m sure! So you’d want to stay the night in Oia and walk back next morning 🙂

  19. So, so beautiful! I really want to go to Greece (who doesn’t?)! I haven’t been there and it just seems so gorgeous and laid back at the same time.

  20. Gorgeous pictures of one of the most scenic places in the world. This has been on my bucket list for a long time. Thanks for the tip on this walk and your visit at that time of the year sounds wonderful.

  21. I absolutely adore Santorini! You’ve captured it beautifully!
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  22. Ahhh, Santorini looks SO gorgeous, it’s high on our to do list. For some reason I’ve never been to Greece. Horrible to admit, I know. Looks like an amazing trek!
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  23. Lovely pics. My partner and I are planning to visit Greece later in the year. I’ve never been but have always really REALLY wanted to go to Santorini. It just looks so romantic to me.

  24. It’s a real highlight of Santorini, isn’t it? We think it’s one of the most scenic hikes/walks you can do anywhere in the world. But to enjoy it, you really need to avoid the hot, hot days of July and August :-).
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  25. I can never get over this style of architecture! Would just love to have a little house with that view too. Thanks for the interesting read and beautiful photos!
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  26. Gorgeous photos, especially the sunset one! This is my favorite thing to do in Santorini as the trail passes through some of the most beautiful villages and nature panorama. The trail is supposed to be 2 hours, but I actually spent a total of 8 hours because there are just so many wonderful things to see so I stopped a lot to take endless photos + I decided to add Skaros Rock into the trip in one day. Crazy days, but lots of memories!
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