Greek Islands


Pedro Szekely

Santorini, the remnant caldera of the Minoan volcanic eruption, is the southernmost of the Cyclades Islands, about 200 km southeast of the Greek mainland. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Greek Islands, known for its perches of white washed architecture and culinary delights. There is wonderful running on Santorini, mainly focused on the waterfront, including the scenic way between Fira and Oia, and beachfront runs in Perissa and Kamari. It’s about 23 km north-south and 6 km east-west.

Caldera Path (Fira to Oia):  This stunning path along the rim of Santorini’s formerly volcanic mountains combines concrete, cobblestone, and stair sections through town with rural stretches of rocky dirt singletrack. Some sections might be more suited for trail running/hiking.  As a one-way, the route is about 10.5 km, and runners can use a bus, taxi, or in some cases a hotel shuttle to return. In Fira, you can pick up the route near the Atlantis Hotel and head north through Firostefani and Imerovigli. (There is a scenic but somewhat lengthy detour to Skaros Rock here). Continue north (bear left when in doubt), and you’ll pass a bus stop, a cafe, a church, and then another bus stop before the path meets the road for a while. After you pass the snack shop, the trail returns to dirt and starts bending west towards Oia, where it hits the paved road near the market. From here, adventurous runners can continue west to Ammoudi Bay. Santorini Dave has one of the best guides to the path and a good map.

Additional Route Options from Oia: See the ‘comments’ section below from a member of the GR community.

Perissa Beach: The black sands of Perissa Beach comprise one of the largest and most popular beaches on Santorini, tucked into the scenic shoreline below the Mesa Vouno volcano. Like most beaches in the Greek Islands, the sand here is a bit squishy for running, but the beach does have a decent paved road spanning the sand. On the south end, the road begins at the Stavros Beach Villas. There is a thin dirt shoulder, but runners shouldn’t have to worry about much traffic anyway. At Perivolos, the road widens and there are intermittent sidewalks. It’s possible to continue through the festive boardwalk scene until the road bends inland at the Corner Snack Bar Cafe. This route can be run as a ~6 km out and back. ROUTE MAP.

Kamari Beach: One of the classic beach boardwalks of the Greek Islands, Kamari Beach is lined with a variety of shops, restaurants, and boutique hotels. The pebbly black sand beach is lined by a brick paved promenade which is one of the best running choices on the island, due to its close proximity to Fira, Port Athinios, and the Kamari Airport. The path is blocked from traffic on both ends, and is about 1.3 km long one-way. Runners looking for extra distance may want to do a few laps, but there are so many attractions along the boardwalk it’s bound to stay interesting. ROUTE MAP.

Interior Roads. There are many interior roads on the island where you can create your own run. Note that many can be narrow, hilly, and lack a sidewalk/shoulder.


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2 years ago

If staying in Oia,

Route 1- run via the south roads to imerovigil then back via the hiking trail back about 17km.

Route 2- run down to Baxedes Beach via the road in front Fourni Bakery then back up via the road leading to Domaine Sigalas about 9.5km.

Route 3 – Run the tourist trail from the Holy church of the Assumption of the virgin…all the way down to Ammoundi Bay then up via the road back. About 8km

– Start early before 8am.
– trail running shoes important as hilly and slippery when wet.
-ignore Google and apple maps for route 1 and 3, not accurate at all!

2 years ago
Reply to  Chuan

Did you feel safe running on Santorini? My daughter is 20 and will be running alone.

Mark Lowenstein
2 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Generally yes, but this is situational varies by individua,, and I would recommend her asking a local like the hotel concierge.