Getting Around in Santorini can be tricky in many cases but if you know the tips I am giving you below you won’t have any issues. You have plenty of options as you can rent a car, a motorbike, a quad, take the taxi or even take the local bus (UBER or LYFT is not an option unfortunately).
You can always stay at your hotel in Santorini and spend the whole day by the pool relaxing, but obviously if you really want to explore the island and see its beauty, then you definitely need to move around.
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That’s the first thing you have to worry about but to be honest most of the hotels in Santorini can normally come and pick you up from the airport or the ferries port.
Always check with your hotel if they offer such a service.
Be careful though because some hotels charge a lot to come and pick your from the airport.
Bear in mind this is literally a 10 mins drive and any taxi shouldn’t charge you more than 20 euros in any case.
So if a hotel asks for anything more than that then avoid it and just take any taxi from the airport (or the port).
The only problem with that is that there will normally about 8-10 taxis (maximum) at the airport waiting for travellers and this is definitely not enough. So you have to hurry up, otherwise you may have to wait up to 30mins for a taxi to come back from another route.
Some of the most premium hotels may offer that for free.
It’s also good to know that THERE IS NO UBER/LYFT IN SANTORINI !
The best way to get around Santorini is by car. I keep on telling everyone who asks me that it’s only by having your own means of transportation you would be able to explore the island and not waste too much time on waiting for the bus.
If you are visiting Santorini in any month other than May, June, July, August, September I strongly suggest that you book well in advance online eventhough there are tens of car rental places on the island.
The best and safest website to rent a car for Santorini is: RentalCars.Com
You should definitely book a car online before you arrive to avoid the risk of not having one (especially in the high season).
In Santorini we drive on the right side of the road. Like the USA.
You do need an international driver’s license if you have a non-EU (European) license but everyone on the island is pretty flexible about it and you won’t have any issues with any driver’s license to be honest, no matter where it’s coming from.
Yes, Santorini streets can be narrow but it’s nothing scary to be honest, if you have some driving experience.
It is true though that in the summer months of July, August and September you have to be slightly more careful as there is more people and cars on the island.
Also, be careful of the hundreds of quad bikes that may come out of nowhere…
This is how driving in Santorini looks like:
By having your own car you can explore the island in the best possible way without worrying about timings.
That’s very important if you only have 2-3 days on the island and it’s also very important if you are going home (or hotel) late after a night out (be careful about drinking though as police are carrying out alcohol tests on every corner during the summernights).
Having a car is also giving you the opportunity to go to some places that the buses don’t go.
Santorini is a relatively small island so you won’t have to worry about driving hundreds of kilometres every day.
The longest drive you would probably do is about 20 kilometres for about 30-35 mins…and that’s it!
I’d also say that renting a car in Santorini is also a much safer option from a quad bike and it is probably cheaper after all than taking a taxi all the time.
– You are more independent and you can go anywhere
– You can take it directly from the airport upon your arrival
– You can see the whole of the island in one day if you want!
– It can be more expensive
– You might be scared to drive through the narrow streets of Santorini
– You might have to worry about parking (especially at the top attractions during the high season)
Taking the bus in Santorini is obviously the cheapest way to move around as with around 2 euros you can go pretty much to all the big towns and main attractions.
You can take the bus to pretty much every major town or attraction (including Oia) but the thing is that you don’t get a bus whenever you want it and things can get pretty busy and chaotic during the hot summer months of July, August and September.
Take a look on this video showing the main Fira bus station in May:
From the timetable here you can see that there is a bus from Fira to Akrotiri, Perissa, Kamari, Airport, Oia, Imerovigli and Athinios port.
Here are roughly all the destinations that the local bus can take you along with the approx time that they take to get there:
A single ticket cost anything from 1.80 euros to 2.50 euros depending where you are going. You can buy a ticket from the driver inside the bus and you should always pay by cash. Cards are not accepted unfortunately.
– You don’t have to worry about driving
– It’s by far the cheapest way to get around Santorini (with 2 euros you can visit any major town)
– Buses only go from and to Fira
– The bus stop may not be very close to where you want to go (especially for your arrival where you might be carrying your luggage)
– For some areas the bus is not that frequent and if you are visiting only for 2-3 days you may waste time waiting for it
– The bus might be full (especially during July/August/September) and you may have to wait the next one
– There isn’t a bus for every town area (if you are visiting wineries there isn’t always a bus that can take you there)
Getting a taxi in Santorini is another way of moving around on the island.
But to be honest if you are going to use a taxi for every place you want to visit then you are probably better of by renting a car as it can become very expensive during the high season as prices sky-rocket.
This is all you need to know about taxis in Santorini:
In my honest opinion, the best way to get around Santorini is by renting a car.
It will give you the flexibility and the opportunity to explore the island in a much better way without wasting time and money elsewhere.
Taking the bus is the most affordable option and taking the taxi can also be a good option if you don’t want to drive and you want to go somewhere quickly. It may cost you more though.
Many people rent a quad nowadays but it is a less safe option and it can actually be on the same price range as renting a car, so i am not sure if it smart at the end of the day (yes it can be fun for a few hours but for your main means of transportation I am not so sure…)
The choice yours!
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