Santorini is laced with scenery-rich hiking trails, many offering a crowd-free insight into this snap-worthy Cycladic isle. Hiking along Santorini’s famous caldera or even up to Santorini’s highest point is the perfect way to get a glimpse of the legend’s iconic Cycladic villages as well as the volcanic landscape and amazing sunsets.
Fira to Oia
The 6mi (10km) hike is one of the most well-known in Santorini. Starting at the old port in Fira town and walking along the rim of the caldera, through the traditional towns in Firostefani and Imerovigli as you gaze at the vast blues of the Aegean. Enjoy Fira’s lavish beauty and stroll past the blue-crowned church of Saint Gerasimos in Firostefani and admire Imerovigli’s fortress-topped Skaros Rock. Continue north through white-blue churches as well as caldera views and paved streets until the stunning Oia village is visible.
Akrotiri to Balos Cove
Start this 6-mile (10km) hike from Akrotiri’s Bronze Age archaeological site and find a town from the Bronze Age that was submerged under volcanic ash during the seventeenth century BCE. The excavations that occurred in the latter half of the 1960s brought most of it to the light. Discover the small churches in the village before heading toward Balos Beach, which is quite difficult to get to, and isn’t it is worth the trouble. A part of a stunning landscape of sandstone, Balos served as a commercial port in the 19th century.
Nea Kameni Volcano Hike
You can take a boat from the old port of Fira to get to Nea Kameni, the island that was created by the eruption of a volcano in 1573. After arriving, walk all the way to the top of the mountain and be able to feel the heat of sulphureous emanating out of the crater. The walk is tough, and the ground is very warm so be sure to wear appropriate shoes rather than flip-flops. When you return to Fira be sure to bathe into the thermal springs at Palea Kameni, the older volcanic isle that lies next in Nea Kameni.
Imerovigli to Skaros Rock
The short hike of one mile begins at Agios Giorgios Church, located in the picturesque Imerovigli village, and takes you to the iconic Skaros Rock. It’s a straightforward trail, however, it is exhausting since you climb over 300 steps to reach the top of the rock. From there you’ll have stunning views of Nea Kameni as well as the islands of Therasia.
If you’re feeling adventurous then you may now, try to climb the rock The reward for this is a stunning 360-degree panorama of the entire island. It’s not simple to climb because you’ll have to climb a rock wall that is several meters high, but there’s an opening to climb and places that can serve footholds and handholds.
For a tip on how to get there, the sunsets on Skaros Rock are the best on the island, so it’s worthwhile to visit at the beginning of the evening.
Balos Black Sand Beach
Santorini was formed through volcanic activity. It’s no reason to be surprised that beaches of black sand are found in the islands. One of the remotest locations is Balos Beach, which can be reached via a strenuous climb down the cliff at Akrotiri. The reward is a beach that is likely to be uninhabited, and an unnatural cave that has an amazing ‘window’-like view towards the ocean.
The hike to the top and back is challenging as you descend 100m. The trail isn’t easy to find. It’s located on the main road that runs through Akrotiri close to the hotel’s ‘Blu Rooms’. About 50m prior to the hotel, there’s a space to park on the right side immediately after a turning into the road. The trail’s beginning point is located there. the trail in that parking zone.