- There are five main transportation options for getting around Santorini, Greece: bus, walking, rental vehicle, taxi, and boat.
- The KTEL bus service is a well-organized and convenient means of public transportation in Santorini.
- Walking is one of the best ways to explore Santorini, particularly for appreciating the island's architecture, interacting with locals, and enjoying the beaches.
- Renting a vehicle is also an excellent way to sightsee and experience Santorini's nightlife, providing flexibility and control over one's schedule.
Greece is easily one of the best places for a summer vacation, and none of its islands can compare to the beautiful Santorini.
The incredible natural landscape, breathtaking beaches, and beautiful towns make it an ideal getaway destination.
You’re probably itching for some island sun, but first, you should know how to get around Santorini.
Being such a beloved tourist destination comprising of both smaller islands and the mainland, there are many public and private transportation services available to help you discover as much of Santorini as possible.
Santorini Transport in a Nutshell
You may be looking to explore the expanse of the archipelago of the Cyclades Islands, or you may want to take your time twisting through the streets of the island towns and relax on a luxurious beach resort.
For whatever reason, this guide is here to help you figure out the best way to get around in Santorini.
There are five main options:
- By bus
- On foot
- By rental
- By taxi
- By boat
Getting Around Santorini Via Bus
Thanks to the large amount of tourists pouring in every year, Santorini’s public transport runs like a well-oiled machine for your convenience.
During the peak season, you can expect to catch one of these buses every hour at stops from all over the mainland, Thira.
As Fira is the only city with a direct route, Fira bus station is the central bus station of Santorini, so you will have to catch a bus ride from Fira to get to other towns like Oia, Kamari, Perissa, or Akrotiri.
The bus ticket costs about $2 and can only be bought in cash on the Santorini bus. You should know that the fares and schedules for these green buses change a lot outside of the peak seasons.
Getting Around Santorini On Foot
One of the best ways to get around is on foot. Driving in Greece can generally be a pain, as the narrow and winding streets in Santorini’s towns can make driving especially difficult and dangerous.
The mainland and smaller surrounding islands are small enough to walk in full if you have time and energy to kill.
Walking from site to site is also the best way to appreciate the island’s architecture up close, interact with the locals, and dive into the beaches of Santorini.
Just ensure that you bring a lot of bottled water with you when walking. Santorini’s tap water is not always drinkable, so make sure you have bottled water on hand.
You’ll want to avoid getting caught dehydrated under a Greek sun.
Getting Around Santorini Via Taxi
Another great way to get from point A to point B is with Santorini taxi services, which operate at almost all major tourist sites on Thira and Therasia.
Most main routes, like the Fira to Oia route, come with fixed rates that range between $11 and $22.
The price for other routes will vary, so you should speak to your driver about the rates before driving anywhere. Some drivers might charge double if you’re inattentive.
Alternatively, you can arrange for a private shuttle to transport you around the island. You will also have to arrange this well before getting to Santorini.
This is a bit of a pricey option, with bookings ranging anywhere between $20 and $100.
Getting Around Via A Rental
A rental is one of the best ways to sightsee and experience Santorini nightlife, because you can control your schedule.
Although, driving through the seaside towns can be tricky especially when the tourists crowd the sidewalks and roads. Some popular vehicles to rent in Santorini include.
- A car
- An ATV (all-terrain vehicle)
- A motorbike
If you want to rent a vehicle, you should make arrangements well before you land in Santorini, especially during tourist season.
If you plan to drive around Santorini in rental cars, you must apply for your international driver’s license. Greek islanders drive on the right side of the road.
Many rental companies operate outside airports or ports for tourists’ convenience.
ATVs and motorbikes are great vehicles if you’re a fan of back routes, but you should be very careful as they are prone to accidents. The car rental companies are not known for their lenient insurance policies.
Getting Around Santorini Via Boat
Any authentic island experience can only be complete with time spent in or on the water. Luckily, there are many ferries and water taxis that operate between the mainland and surrounding islands.
The island’s main port is Athinios, which is about 10 km from Fira. Connecting to the Piraeus port year-round, this ferry port is where most travelers dock when arriving by boat during their island-hopping adventure.
Here, you’ll either board a ferry with the Blue Star ferry services or with Hellenic Seaways.
If you want to learn more about the island’s ports, check out this Santorini port guide.
Final Thoughts on Santorini Transportation
Santorini is a one-of-a-kind destination blessed with countless things to do, and you’ll certainly be glad that you can’t easily zoom through everything from behind the wheel of a car.
Whether it’s by bus, by ferry, or simply from atop an ATV, you’ll want to savor every moment and every sight when visiting Santorini.
Keeping in line with the typical island atmosphere, getting around Santorini should be an easy-breezy experience for you, no matter your transport preference.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Way To Get Around Santorini?
The best and cheapest way to get around Santorini is by bus or foot. The Santorini buses are a reliable and efficient way to move between the mainland towns.
The buses depart from the main bus station according to all the timetables, and through the many bus routes, you can explore Santorini during the summer season and save money at the same time.
At the same time, the towns themselves are small enough to walk in full, and the hilly areas won’t put too much strain on your Santorini itinerary.
Is It Hard To Get Around In Santorini?
It’s relatively easy to get around in Santorini. Some main towns, like Oia, do not allow visitors to drive through their centers with their own car.
So much of your experience on the island will be on foot, but at least the paths and hills are not too steep.
Can I Fly To Santorini?
The Santorini (Thira) International Airport on the mainland, Thira, is equipped for most airplanes and charter flights year-round, but most, if not all, flights are to and from Athens.
As it is quite a small island, all travelers need to connect their flights through Athens before entering Santorini airport.
If you want to fly to Santorini airport for your Santorini tour, you can book a connecting flight from Athens with one of these airlines:
- Aegean Airlines
- Sky Express