Santorini is one of the most popular summer destinations in Greece. This small volcanic island is full of interesting monuments, villages and other charming nooks and crannies and paradise beaches.
In this article we will tell you how to get there and discuss the transport options available on the island.
One of the most popular methods of getting around the island is by public transport. The bus is the cheapest option, which allows you to reach the most popular places on the island fairly comfortably. Bus tickets can be purchased from the driver. They are valid for one journey only, and their prices usually range between 1.8 and 2.5 euros. The only form of payment accepted is cash. There are also night buses on Santorini – they cost slightly more, between €2.30 and €3.10.
The main transport hub on Santorini is the station in the town of Fira (gr. Θήρα). It is located between the hospital and the Prehistoric Thera Museum. Greek buses are quite comfortable and have air conditioning, so travelling by them is pleasant even during hot weather. When planning to travel by public transport, it is important to remember that schedules vary depending on the season.
For timetables and information on public transport in Santorini, please visit https://www.ktel-santorini.gr/.
There is also an additional bus service, Airport Express, that runs between the airport and the island’s capital, Fira. The buses of this line cover the route in about 10 minutes and do not stop at any other stop along the way. The cost of a single ticket is 1.80 Euro.
For those who do not want to be dependent on buses, renting a car may be a good choice. In Santorini you can use both international chains and small, local rental companies. Most car rental outlets are located near the airport. Whichever company you choose, be sure to carefully check the contract and insurance conditions.
It is also a good practice to make a report during the car rental, in which you mark and document all visible damages of the vehicle with photos.
When renting a car, it is also worth remembering about a few basic rules regarding payment, insurance and other conditions. Most rental companies require the hirer to pay by credit card and secure a deposit, which can be as much as one thousand euros.
However, many will allow you to remove this deposit by taking out additional insurance. It’s worth considering this option to save yourself the stress of having your car damaged – not an uncommon situation on Greece’s steep, winding roads.
In order not to overpay, it is also good to pay attention to the fuel option and check if there are no additional charges for refuelling. Rental prices vary greatly, depending mainly on the class of car and the length of the rental and the season. The average is from 25 Euro in low season to 35 Euro in high season.
Rental of quad bikes, scooters and bicycles
Santorini is a small island, so you can also get around by other means of transport. For off-road trips to places inaccessible by car, quads, scooters or bicycles are perfect. There are many rentals of such equipment on Santorini. The most popular option is renting for 12 hours or the whole day. Prices for renting are usually a few dozen euros, in the case of bicycles they are slightly lower. It is worth paying attention to the detailed rental and insurance conditions. It should also be remembered that the roads on the island are not the safest, and other tourists often do not respect the rules of safety, so special care should be taken.
Taxis also operate on the island. Prices vary depending on the time of day and route. For example, for a ride from the airport to one of the most popular places on the island – the town of Oia, you should expect to spend about 30 euros.
If you want to get from the airport to a popular place, you can try to find people going in the same direction and split the cost. If, on the other hand, you plan to move around the island more often by taxi, it is worth contacting the corporation in advance in order to get an individual offer.
In good hotels and flats the transfer from and to the airport is often included in the price of the stay.
Another option, quite underestimated by both tourists and locals, is moving around the island… on foot. Of course this way we won’t cross the whole island (although according to Google maps it is not impossible, and covering the distance from Akrotiri Lighthouse on the southern tip of the island to the port of Amoudi located on its northern tip should take just over 5 hours), but we can get to interesting, less crowded and more inaccessible places.
Unfortunately, although the island is one of the most popular destinations for mass tourism in Greece, the rulers have not really taken care of the pavements – in most places they simply do not exist (the situation is changing a little for the better in recent years). Combined with the winding, narrow roads and the dangerous driving style of the locals and tourists, it is not the safest place for pedestrians and there are accidents and hit-and-runs every year. It is therefore best to stick to side roads and marked footpaths.
It is worth preparing for a hike, especially in summer, when the heat can be very oppressive. It will be necessary to take a supply of water (there are shops not everywhere), comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat.