no alt text

Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 08 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: John Malathronas

A 6-mile hike along the rim of Santorini’s caldera, this relatively easy three-hour trek is one of the most memorable in the whole of the Aegean. The route links Fira, the island’s capital, with Oia, its most picturesque village.

Walking the caldera – the rim of a sunken volcanic crater – is the best way to appreciate the island’s unique geography and to soak up those spectacular landscapes. As you walk, you’ll see whitewashed houses perched on vertiginous slopes, and colourful, striated caldera cliffs that plummet into the azure sea.

Don't miss

At Firostefani take a detour to climb above the church of the Three Bells for a photo of the famous, picture-postcard image of Santorini: a blue-domed church against the caldera.

If you have time, take a diversion to the rock of Skaros on your left (signposted) and the ruins of a medieval castle, long-since destroyed by an earthquake.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 16+
When: All year around
Duration: 4-5 hours

Getting there & doing it

Pick up the trail at the centre of Fira in front of the Hotel Atlantis, at the junction of Ypapandis and Mitropoleos streets. Continue north up Ypapandis, turning left into Agiou Mina at the first junction until you hit the cable car station. From there, the trail is straightforward: you keep the sea on your left, so whenever the path forks, you branch left.

You’ll hike past Firostefani (an extension of Fira) and then Imerovigli, the last major village before Oia. At Prophitis Ilias church you’ll find a major fork. The right side is easier but joins the main asphalted road for a while; the left side is slightly trickier, but more attractive. The two paths re-join soon thereafter. At Oia, the path joins the main paved road by the village entrance.

Take sunscreen, a hat and bottled water; the trail is unshaded throughout, and there are no facilities.

When to do it

The trail is accessible all year round but it gets very busy in July and August. If you can, do it in the spring when the wild flowers bloom.

The trail is unsheltered on the west side so choose an early morning time to walk, when the sun hasn’t risen high yet.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Majestic Hotel Santorini

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece[0.8 miles]

A perfectly-located, luxury hotel for drivers who don’t want to get clogged within the permanent traffic jam of Fira, yet still a hop skip and jump from Santorini’s effervescent capital.

Official star rating:

Grace Hotel Santorini

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece[2.1 miles]

A stunningly romantic design hotel, in the quintessential white village setting, with food and service to match the mindblowing views. 

Official star rating:

Kapari Natural Resort

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece[2.2 miles]

An intimate retreat run by a local couple, in the traditional yposkafo (cave dwelling) style, with jaw-dropping views of the caldera.

Official star rating:

Avaton Resort and Spa

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece[2.5 miles]

The adults-only Avaton Resort boasts an excellent spa and caldera views, and is one of the island’s more ‘affordable’ luxury hotels.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Greek Islands, Greece

Incredible volcanic scenery, enchanting cave hotels, fine wines and memorable sunsets equal heaven for romantics.

Website >
Overview >

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Sunset at Oia

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece[7.2 miles]

Watch the sunset at Oia and marvel at the changing colours of the rocky cliffs as the sun dips below the horizon.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free | 1-2 hours

Website >
Overview >

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

A wooden walkway with railings between ancient ruined foundations

Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece[0.1 miles]

A small archaeological museum stuffed with frescoes and figurines from Bronze Age Akrotiri. Furniture and figurines, tools and weapons, seals and ceramic vessels all reveal aspects of how the inhabitants lived thousands of years ago.

Best for ages: 18+ | £3

Website >
Overview >
Entrance alley of red and white Wine museum and vinery buildings

Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece[3.4 miles]

This small but interesting museum outside Kamari offers great insights regarding Santorini’s unique viniculture: and 400 years if wine-making history. You can sample the winery’s offerings, too. Here the vines are twisted into crown-shaped baskets so the grapes are protected from harsh winter winds.

Best for ages: 18+ | £12

Website >
Overview >
Black sand beach of Kamari seen from above, with dark blue water

Kamari Beach

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece[6.5 miles]

The black beaches of Santorini’s east coast, made up of volcanic gravel, are one of the island’s big attractions and Kamari is a resort for those who want the full sun, sea, and sand summer experience.

Best for ages: Any | Free

Website >
Overview >
A white chapel near a cliff edge, with a bright blue sea behind it

Sunset at the Chapel of Theoskepasti

Santorini, Greek Islands, Greece[7.2 miles]

The Chapel of Theoskepasti, suspended between sea and sky in a nook on Skaros rock, is a spectacular spot to watch the sunset. Enjoy with a bottle of chilled Assyrtiko.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

Website >
Overview >

Round-ups that include this experience

24 Unforgettable short walks (< 1 day)

Multiple countries

From traversing sand dunes, to walking on glaciers, through canyons, up mountains and along ancient city walls, here’s our round-up of the world’s best walks. Each walk can be tackled in a day or less with a moderate level of fitness and no technical ability.

Website >
Overview >