Hiking the Caldera
We arrived in Santorini by Ferry late in the morning of September 29, 2019. We knew we wanted to hike both to Fira and Oia. There is a caldera path that starts in Fira and ends in Oia. The total length is a little over 6 miles (10 km), depending on which paths you follow. Since our hotel was in Imerovigli we were going to split the hike up. Imerovigli to Fira on one day and then Imerovigli to Oia on another day.
Imerovigli to Fira Hike
Once settled we decided we would hike from Imerovigli to Fira first, since it was close to noon and the distance was shorter. The path to Fira from Imerovigli is about 1.25 miles (2 km) following along the Caldera The hike takes about 30 minutes, again, depending on which paths you follow. Longer if you decide to detour to the Rock of Skaros. The path is a winding cobblestone walkway with lots of ups and downs, but not at all difficult. I wouldn’t wear flip flops or heals but I did see people that did. Every which way you turn is a picture! As you follow the path, it is hard to know where Imerovigli ends and Firostefani starts. That being said, it is hard to know where Firostefani ends and Thira starts!
Starting from our hotel at Astra Suites, the walk through Imerovigli follows a cobblestone path with steps as well, past hotels and restaurants built into the cliffs. It is a much less busy village than Fira and Oia and that is what we love about it. There are also some beautiful churches.
Rock of Skaros Option
If you wish to hike the Rock of Skaros, you will find the pathway, or should I say many many stairs, right after a small church in Imerovigli. The Church is white with a blue door and belfry, named Agios Georgios. It is just off of the Fira path, instead of following the path left, turn right and go down to the church. The path to Rock of Skaros is just beyond the church. As you follow the steps down, you will pass a small chapel and then shortly thereafter start the climb up.
The Rock of Skaros is a large rock that during medieval times a fortress and settlement were were built around and on it. You can still see some of the ruins today.
We did hike to the top of this last year, this year we hiked around towards the back where another church is located. We did this on our last day but I include the information here as I felt it gave more information and options for this hike.
I found it hard to define where Imerovigli ended and Firostefani started, and then again where Firostefani ended and Fira started. Firostefani from what I could tell was not as crowded as Fira an the streets seemed wider with less merchants. Like Imerovigli there were restaurants along here with many overlooking the Calderal.
While meandering through the streets of Firostefani, Santorini, we were looking for a perfect place to eat, no surprise that we were hungry as always! Pirouni sits on the Caldera edge and overlooks the Rock of Skaros and you can see Oia in the distance. We had been looking forward to Santorini Fava, Tomato Fritters and Tzatziki and ordered all of them! They were so delicious! There is nothing that compares to Santorini Fava. It has a savory taste like no where else, just fabulous. Santorini Tomato Fritters also have their own unique taste and are amazing. I like to eat them with tzatiki on top!
After lunch we continued following the path into the town of Fira. I absolutely love walking through the narrow streets and checking out the town.
I also enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful churches.
Walking along the caldera was so awesome. It was a perfect day!
There is a cable car in Fira as well, that takes you down to the Port if you desire. We did not do this as the line was way to long for our patience
Fira at Night
Fira is also beautiful at night and just as fun. Even though it was dark, we felt completely safe following the path back to Astra Suites.
Where We Stayed
We Stayed at Astra Suites while in Santorini both this year and last. Astra Suites is the perfect location and is right in front of the Rock of Skaros. The sunsets here are beautiful and I believe the best on the island! The staff are beyond accommodating and are very helpful. The accommodations are comfortable and relaxing. The infinity pool is peaceful and the views are priceless. Plus they have the most wonderful restaurant for watching the sunset at with fantastic service and wonderful food. Click here to book a room at Astra Suites, you won’t regret it!
True Trips, Greece. A big part of planning is done for us! Both times we traveled to Greece, we let True Greece plan much of our trip! They will plan as much or as little as you want, and they really listen to what you want to do. We had them plan our lodging along with our transfers to and from airports and ferry ports. They pick us up and take us to the lodgings. You can have them plan your tours too. The tours we did last year were awesome! As a matter of fact, they are from Greece. They know the ins and outs that we would never know. This is invaluable, as it assures for a smooth trip. In other words, I 100% recommend True Greece. They are experts and they work hard to plan with you!
Check them out on this link for more info https://www.truegreece.com