Santorini can be an expensive island to visit, but there are budget friendly options to keep yourself busy. In fact, the number one thing to do on Santorini is free!
One of the top rated things to do on Santorini is to hike from Fira to Oia (or vice versa). Now I must be honest, while it was worth the 3-4 hour hike you really do need to be physically and mentally ready for the journey. There are a lot of spectacular views along the way, but also a lot of sun. And without much shade to relieve you, you’ll be underneath that intense Mediterranean sun the entire way.
Tips for Hiking from Fira to Oia
- Start early! The earlier the better. You’ll want to time it so you miss most of that midday heat.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks for fuel. You won’t have any access to stores, especially in the off season.
- Make sure to apply sunscreen or cover up.
- Always make sure to keep the caldera in view and on your left side.
Since I stayed in Oia, I decided to take the public bus early in the morning and start my journey from Fira. You can easily start from Oia as well, but somehow this is just what made sense to me. The public buses that stop in the main square of Oia is one of the best ways to travel around the island. For this hike from Fira to Oia I recommend that you take the earliest bus available. From my recollection that was around 8 or 9 am. Before heading out, you can easily look up the bus schedule available here. Please keep in mind, you do not want to be doing this hike midday! The route I took was the same one Santorini Dave greatly detailed in his article. It’s one of the most helpful guides out there, and the photos helped tremendously! One of the best tips I can reiterate here is to always stick to the caldera side. By making sure the caldera views are always on your left hand side, you can be assured you won’t get lost.
Now the hike itself is free, but you may have costs associated with getting to the starting point. I mentioned taking the bus earlier, and the cost of that was around $1-2 Euro. I also spent about $3 Euro on snacks, and a less than $1 Euro on bottle of water. Don’t leave without snacks and water! I only came across 1 restaurant, and it was closed. So all in all, spending $6 Euro is an amazing deal considering all the jaw dropping views I came across.