How To Get Around in Santorini – Cars, Quads, Buses & Taxis
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.
Even though it seems that you don’t have that many options to get around the island, that is actually far from reality as you can rent a car, a motorbike, a quad, take the taxi (UBER is not an option unfortunately) or even take the local bus.
Depending on what your budget is, you can do the following to get around Santorini:
- Rent a car
- Local Santorini Bus
- Rent a quad
- Rent a motorbike
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.
How can you get from the Airport / Port to your Hotel in Santorini?
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 wouldn’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 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.
Some of the most premium hotels may even offer that for free.
- Best Way to Get Around Santorini: rent a car
- Official Website of local Santorini buses. The bus ticket costs 2.00-2.50 euros (depending on your destination)
- Best Website to Rent A Car in Santorini : RentalCars
- UBER and Lyft do not exist in Santorini (only in Athens and that’s pretty much illegal)
- The longest drive on the island is about 40mins
- Google Maps Link: Fira Main Bus Station,
- All local Buses have Fira town as the main hub. All buses depart from and finish their route there.
- From Fira to the Airport is a 10 mins drive. The taxi shouldn’t charge you more than 20 euros for such a route.
- From Athinios Ferry Port to Fira is a 20 mins drive and the taxi should charge you about 15-20 euros
- There are no taxi meters in the taxis and fares are fixed. So, always ask in advance.
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.
Where can you rent a car for Santorini?
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
How is Driving in Santorini?
In Santorini we drive on the left 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.
But there is nothing to worry about: 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:
Why Renting A Car is the Best Way To Get Around Santorini?
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.
What are the Pros and Cons of renting a car in Santorini?
– 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)
2. SANTORINI LOCAL BUSES
Taking the bus in Santorini is obviously the cheapest as with around 2 euros you can go pretty much to all the big towns and main attractions.
The local buses of Santorini have an updated website which is: https://ktel-santorini.gr/ktel/index.php/en/
This is the Timetable of the Santorini buses from and to all major towns (click to enlarge):
As you can see 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:
Where can the local Santorini buses take you?
From the timetable above you can see that there is a bus from Fira to Akrotiri, Perissa, Kamari, Airport, Oia, Imerovigli and Athinios port.
Here is roughly all the destinations that the local bus can take you along with the approx time that they take to get there:
How much do the Santorini buses cost?
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.
What are the pros and cons of taking the bus in Santorini?
– 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)
3. SANTORINI TAXIS
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.
This is all you need to know about taxis in Santorini:
- The TAXIs are of grey/silver colour and usually they are a MERCEDES brand (not sure why…)
- There is no UBER or Lyft in Santorini
- The main taxi hub is at Fira. A taxi hub in greek is also called a “taxi piatsa”.
- If you want to call a taxi then you have to call +30 22860 22555
- You should not pay more than 25 euros for any ride, anytime on the island!
- Always ask/agree the fare with the driver before you get onto the taxi
- You may have to wait some time till your taxi arrives if you are on the other side of the island (all taxis use Fira as their basis)
- After 00:00 midnight you will be charged more (normally double)
- It can be very difficult to find a taxi (even if you call) after midnight during July-August
- All drivers speak english very well
- Bear in mind that there is a limited amount of taxis on the island
- There are some taxis always waiting for travellers at the Airport and at the Athinios main Port but you have to be quick…
- You shouldn’t pay more than 15 euros from the Airport to Fira (it’s a 10mins drive)
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. The options are yours!
Recommended Websites for Hotels, Ferries, Flights and Car Rentals for Santorini:
- Booking.com is the website with the most available rooms and Private Villas in Santorini (more than Airbnb)
- Let's Ferry is the best website to book your ferry tickets or check the timetables for Santorini & all greek islands
- Expedia has all the available flights from Athens or other European cities to Santorini (Santorini Airport Code: JTR)
- Get Your Guide has the best and largest variety of Santorini Sailing and Wine Tours
Highest Rated Hotels in Santorini:
Best Hotel in Oia: Maregio Suites
Best Hotel in Fira: Cosmopolitan Suites
Best Hotel in Imerovigli: Grace Santorini
Best Hotel in Firostefani: Tsitouras
Best Hotel in Perivolos: Orabel Suites
Best Hotel in Perissa: Anastasia Princess
Best Hotel in Kamari: Sunrise Studios
Highest Rated Private Villas in Santorini:
Best Villa in Oia: Anemi House
Best Villa in Fira: Anteliz Villa
Best Villa in Kamari: Eolia Villa
Best Villa in Pyrgos: Sensation Villa
Best Villa in Akrotiri: Cavo Ventus
Best Villa in Firostefani: Villa Aura
Best Villa in Imerovigli: Grace Villa
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Booking.com is the website with the most available rooms & private villas in Santorini (even more than Airbnb)
WHO ARE WE:
SantoriniSecrets.com is the largest and most informative website for all things Santorini maintained by local travel bloggers who love Greece and its islands more than anything else in this world. Some of us were actually born in Santorini and some others have spent many months not only visiting the island but actually living on it for long periods of time. We are not just visitors.
We consider ourselves the tipsters of this magical place.
WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SANTORINI:
- BEST HOTELS IN SANTORINI (the best and worst areas to stay, where to stay if you are a solo traveller, the best honeymoom hotels etc)
- SANTORINI FOR FOODIES (artisanal wineries, secret restaurants, best street food and more)
- EXPERIENCE SANTORINI (things to do, secrets spots, best sunsets, secret bars and clubs, hiking, activities, tours)
Read our super detailed guide to find out what you should expect and what you need to pack!
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