Fira (Thira) is the heart of Santorini and definitely a must see, but once you’ve eaten and shopped your way through, it’s time to get away from the cruise ship crowds and explore the neighboring villages. There is a cobblestone path with sea views that runs along the cliffs. You don’t have to be in great shape, but it can be hard on the knees. You will arrive in Firostefani, a village filled with cliffside hotels and nice selection cafes and taverns. Follow the path to the next picturesque village with stunning caldera views, Imerovigli. Hike out to Skaros Rock to see the remnants of the medieval castle and then grab an ice cold Athena beer at one of the many taverns and and rest your tired feet.
If you are craving some exercise and would like to be one with nature, then the hike from Fira to Oia is calling your name. You can start in Firostefani and head north along the water. There are a few signs along the path to keep you on track. The distance is 6 miles/10 k one way and will take about about 3-5 hours depending on your pace and how many times you stop to take photos. If you plan on doing this hike in the summer months, it will be hot. Remember to wear a hat, bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen.
Hiking 6 miles not your cup of tea? Hire a taxi or rent a car and drive along the scenic road to the northwesternmost part of Santorini to the romantic village of Oia. Another gorgeous village lined with shops, taverns and cafe’s and one of the best sunsets in the world. We decided to start at the bottom of town at Amoundi Bay and work our way back up in time to take in a sunset. There are three ways to get down to the bay. Best option is to drive down, the other two include walking down over 200 uneven, challenging steps or ride a donkey. Happy Hour at Sunset Ammoundi Taverna was a perfect spot to take in the beautiful views and enjoy some refreshing libations.
Now it’s time to make your way through the beautiful streets of Oia to seek out the perfect spot for your romantic sunset. The crowds start gathering along the cobblestone streets a few hours before and reservations are highly recommended for most taverns with sea views. We found a less crowded option towards the end of town, Lioyerma Lounge Pool Bar. Service was on point and they offered a nice selection of drinks, but best of all we had a nice table with an unobstructed view of the sunset.