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.
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.