The Path to Oia, Santorini
Writer’s Note-This account was in 2019. Since then we have returned to Santorini in 2021 and 2022. Both years we hiked this path and enjoyed it just as much each time. We look forward to hiking to Oia again in 2023.
The path to Oia, Santorini has been on the top of our list of things to do since last year when we were here. The hike did not disappoint! I would say this is my top favorite thing to do in Santorini. The path follows along the Caldera offering beautiful views. It also passes by three churches, a snack shop, and some donkeys. The hike is easy enough but there are hills and the surface alternates from cobblestone to gravel throughout. It is a doable hike at approximately 5 miles (8 km) and took us about 2.5 hours. This time includes stopping to take lots of photos.
Make sure you take plenty of water, electrolytes, salty snacks and sunscreen. All very necessary as the caldera hike does not have much shade and the sun is quite hot. Also it is a good idea to leave early. We started about 9:15 and it still became pretty hot during the morning.
We started the path to Oia by walking through Imerovigli, Santorini, where our hotel was. We walked past hotels, pools, and restaurants. The path here cobblestone and easy to walk on. It was fun seeing the different buildings. There were a few other people hiking the path but by no means was it crowded.
Once out of Imerovigli you will follow the path up a hill and be rewarded with the beautiful countryside and a spectacular view of the caldera and Aegean Sea. We could see Oia in the background, which was spectacular!
The First Church
As you continued upward, the cobblestone changes to gravel, but still is an easy hike. Regardless, I was glad I wore tennis shoes and not sandals. As you head up, you will see a small church getting closer. The church is all white and perched on a hill. The views on the way up are spectacular!! Don’t forget to look back and see the Rock of Skaros!
You can either stay on the path or visit the church to the left. We decided to pass the church as we wanted to get on our way, not to mention, there was a large group of people up there.
The Second Church
Shortly after this you will come across another church on the right with a blue dome.
Off the Path
After the church you will see a fork in the road. There is a sign which points to Oia on the left. Of course, we chose to go to the right and explore the large rock we saw there. In reality, for some reason, we can’t resist the urge to climb up a bunch of rocks. By and large, we were rewarded with marvelous views of the Caldera. After enjoying the view, we headed the short distance back and followed the trail to Oia.
Back on Our Way
Again, the path continued up, sometimes cobblestone and sometimes gravel. It was hot, regardless, we were really enjoying ourselves! This hike is absolutely beautiful and the photos don’t do it justice. After hiking to the top of yet another hill, we enjoyed the views. It was satisfying to see how much closer we were to Oia.
Continuing on, you will hike down a short way and then you will follow the road briefly. There is a small snack shack on the left and I enjoyed a much earned Coke while Steve enjoyed a Lemon Fanta.
One More Hill
After the snack shack the trail continues off the road. There is a sign to a gravel path that you can’t miss. We passed a couple of donkeys that were for hire to take you up the next hill. Nevertheless, we kept on walking. This was probably the toughest part of the trail because the rocks were black and it was getting hot. As you can see in the photos below, there is no shade and you are fully exposed to the sun. I was glad we left as early as we did and also wished we had left earlier!!
The Third Church
At the top of the hill was the third church. You will find the views here amazing, plus there are some unique rock formations. In addition, we looked back and saw how far we had come and as a result, we could see that Oia was just below us!
Oia at Last
Excitedly we followed the path down. The path turns to cobblestone steps the rest of the way to Oia, which is really nice. Finally, we were there! As a matter of fact, it was a great feeling to have hiked the path to Oia, Santorini after waiting to do this for a year!! Consequently, we both were all smiles!
The Shops and Streets of Oia
Once in Oia we walked through the busy streets enjoying the city and the shops.
Lunch at Roka
We knew exactly where we wanted to eat, at a restaurant named Roka. Last year when we took a tour of Oia we saw a sign for it and had heard it was good! Amazingly, Steve had no problem finding it, even though we seemed to wind through streets, he led the way right to it! It was a good choice. Since it was hot we decided not to eat too heavily and split meatballs and enjoyed the breads and maze. All were fantastic. The meatballs and sauce were over potatoes which was something new for us, but very delicious.
Windmills of Oia
After eating, we searched out the windmills. This is something you won’t want to miss. We really loved these.
The Fortress of Oia
After the windmills, we hiked to the top of the ancient fortress which overlooks Amoudi Bay. This fortress has been referred to since 1480. In 1956 a large earthquake sent much of the fortress into the sea and left the rest in ruble. It is kind of hard to see when you are close, but you can see it well from the distance. Again, great views.
Amoudi Bay and Lunch (again)
We also hiked down and back up the 250+ steps to Amoudi Bay, which will be my next post as we went there again for sunset dinner another night. Believe it or not, we ate again! This time we split Saganaki, and more bread!!
The Blue Domes and Churches of Oia, Santorini
After we returned up the steps from Amoudi Bay, we were still in the mood for checking out more of Oia! We followed the path to the famous Blue Domes of Oia, Santorini. This is something else you won’t want to miss! It was fun weaving in and out of the streets and up and down the steps! The only problem is, as the day progressed and the closer it was to sunset, the more people gathered in the streets.
By 5:00 PM it was very crowed so we headed up to the Main Street and grabbed a taxi back to our hotel. We thought briefly (very briefly), about hiking the Oia, path back to Imerovigli but decided we had enough adventure for the day.
Sunset at Astra Suites
Back at Astra Suites we enjoyed the beautiful pool and watched the famous Santorini sunset from there! Nothing short of paradise! I really do think Astra Suites has the best spot on the island for sunsets!
Dinner at Anogi
We ended the night with dinner at a place we enjoyed last year. Anogi is just a couple of blocks from Astra Suites and has a nice Greek menu. We enjoyed Meatballs and Chicken Souvlaki along with bread and potatoes, also an appetizer we don’t remember the name of! It was as good as we remembered!
As we returned to our hotel for the night, Steve turned to me and said, “You do realize we had 4 meals today?” I had to stop and count, and he was right! Oops!!! That Greek food, love it too much!!
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!
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