This iconic Greec island can be reached by ferry starting at $50 or high speed boat from $88 if you don't arrive directly to its international airport. Moving around using public transportation is also an alternative with bus rides starting at $2.20. A Taxi ride can cost a maximum of $22.
Santorini Key Information
Welcome to Santorini, one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades Archipelago in Aegean Sea. Known for its distinctive white and blue architecture, volcanic shores and cliffs rising against the sea. The unforgettable sunsets of this Hellenic paradise usually become the most cherished memories for Honeymooners. Despite the romantic atmosphere or Oia, Santorini offers plenty of engaging activities for a wide range of tourists.
The island has five main cities with Fira as its capital. Each area concentrates a type of allocation, ranging from exclusive boutique hotels in Akrotiri and the luxurious windmill villas in Oia to the convenient prices in Perissa or the backpacking haven of Kamari.
The Santorini Thira International Airport is the only aerial access to the island. Ferry transportation is also available from Piraeus Harbor in Athens. The Cyclades isles connect to other Aegean destinations through Santorini, such as Karpathos, and Rhodes. Patmos, Kos, Leros and Rhodes link to the Cyclades through Syros and Amorgos.
The tricky part
Sometimes there is a confusion between "Thira" and "Fira". Thira is the Ancient Greek name of the island, even if most locals colloquially refer to it as "Satorini". Yet, ferry schedules to Santorini are called "Thira".
Fira is the capital city, not to be confused with "Thira".
It is recommended to use cash instead of cards. Smaller shops and bars tend to only accept Euro in cash, as well as the public transport, taxis and tips. But don't worry, ATMs are very easy to find.
Please note the highspeed ferry may cause a seasickness for passengers who tend to suffer this condition.
Getting to Santorini
The high-speeds (USD $88 per passenger) only take about 5 hours. There are daily connections to Mykonos and Crete and other Cyclades in the summer, exclusive to high-speed ferry. There are less frequent ferry connections to a few other Cyclades islands.
All ferries leave Piraeus Port which is 20 minutes by train outside of central Athens. Ferries will then dock in Santorini at the Athinios port.
The best fare among ferries connecting Athens to Santorini is known as the "Blue Star", while SeaJet WorldChampion offers the high speed ferry, for a significantly higher cost.
You cannot buy ferry tickets onboard, you must purchase them outside. You will be able to find them near Gate E7. This gate is quite close to the exit leading to the Athens Metro Station, also the bus arriving from the Athens Airport, the X96, has a stop nearby.
The ferry tickets are sold only as "point to point" one ways. You can't purchase roundtrip. All are sold as individual rides, not a "ferry tour" ticket that stops in all of the islands.
It's always recommended to purchase your ticket in advance. A website like FerryHopper.com can be of great help for your ferry booking.
As soon as you step out of the ferry, you'll find a bus that will take you to Fira. All buses go to Fira, so this means you'd need to take a different bus, or rent a car in Fira in order to reach your hotel destination. Taxis are very limited on the island, so finding one in the port may not be an easy task.
The Frugal Option
It is possible to reach the destination via ferry with two different options. The regular ride (USD $50 per passenger) from Piraeus is about 8 hours with stops along the way at Paros, Naxos and Ios and Sifnos. Piraeus is a big port; arrive early to ensure enough time to collect your tickets and find your ship – an hour is a safe bet. There are port shuttles on site, but depending on the location of your ferry and the port shuttle schedule, walking to your gate could take 20 minutes or more. Many ticket booths are closed off-season, so allow extra time in winter, early spring, and late fall.
Private Transfer Options
The only airport of the island is the Santorini Thira International, located north of the village of Kamari and only 6KM away from Fira. This airport receives seasonal flights from almost every European capital and Doha (Qatar), while domestic and connecting flights from Athens are a constant. Rides start at $34 from Santorini Thira International to Santorini.
The Mozio Recommendation
We recommend using the flight connections and directly landing on the island. Once you're there, you can book a ride from the airport to your hotel. A private sedan for four passengers (carrying 1 piece of luggage each) will cost $34. Your driver will greet you with a sign with your name on it and will wait for you for 30 minutes once your plane lands.
Moving AROUND Santorini
Car rentals are very popular, yet most tend to be vehicles similar to Nissan March, for instance. Large SUVs are not convenient due to the size of the streets and roads between the cities. These cars may be self-driven or private services with a driver. The local public transport is also very popular, and it is very helpful to travel between the villages. Taxis are available but limited. If you prefer something smaller and more adventurous, renting a quad or a motorbike is a very popular option. RideShare and Taxi apps are not available in Santorini as anywhere in Greece.
The Frugal Option
The most economic option for budget travellers is the local bus. The tickets cost 2€ to 2.50€ depending on your destination. All buses have a stop in Fira, being the central bus station. From there it is possible to reach anywhere in the island. Bus frequency is every 30 to 45 minutes. There is no nocturnal service and the earliest bus service starts at 7AM until 10PM the latest. Airport buses have a broader schedule, departing Fira at 05:30 the earliest and 22:15 the latest. Bus fares are cash only.
There's a 10 minute drive from the Airport to Fira, the taxi fares should not exceed the 20€ price. Given the short distances within the island, taxis should never cost more than 30 € in total. However, the taxi fare is doubled after midnight. You won't have trouble talking to drivers as most of them speak English as they are constantly working with tourists. You'll be able to recognize the official taxis, which are all grey/silver. Taxis are a quick and immediate solution if you need them, but we would not recommend them as the main mean of transportation within the island.
Are Rideshare & TaxiApps Readily Available In This Resort?
Car Rental Options
Parking may be a challenge near important attractions. Travellers renting their own car can easily explore the island with greater freedom without worrying about timings. This might be essential if you're staying for less than a week. At nights roads are patrolled by the local police who gradually carry out alcohol tests on drivers, especially during summer nights. The longest drive across the island takes about 35 minutes. Renting a car in Santorini is a safer option compared to a quad bike, and it is more convenient than taxis. There are several car rentals in the Santorini Thira Airport: Avis, National, Sixt, Europcar, Hertz, Alamo to name a few. Prices are around 70€ for 3 days in total. However, if you book them in Fira, prices will go down up to 55€ for three days, final price.
Day Trips Around Santorini
Main Hub of the island, reachable by every bus and taxi. Lot's of car rentals within the city. The price of the car rentals is lower than the airport. Here you'll find cars for 55€ for 3 days, while at the airport the fare is around 77€ for the same amount of time. Here you'll find buses to anywhere on the island, the fare is 2€ - 2.5€ and can only be paid with cash.
Photographic paradise, most expensive area of the island. Oia is a 20 minute drive from Fira via the par.Od. Firon-Ias to Oía. The bus is 2.5€. HIgh-end shopping is available here as well. Plenty of restaurants overlooking the bay. It's the most popular village of Santorini, which means you will need to reserve a table with a few days in advance.
The Santorini Caldera
The Santorini Caldera is a 9 minute drive / 15 EU taxi fare from Fira. The volcano caldera is located in the center of the island and offers a very popular hike and tours. Remember to take a hat and sunglasses, daylight hits really hard! It's not recommended to go with children or strollers, the path is pretty bumpy and takes more than 2 hours. Public buses reach this destination, the ticket price is 2€ per person.
Akrotíri Archaeological Site
If Fira is near the heart of the island, Akrotiri is in the far end of Santorini. A 18 minute drive from Fira, about 40 minutes by bus. The fare is 2.5€ per ticket. There's also a museum and tours around the ruins. Next to the archaeological site you'll find the red volcanic beach, so both can be done in the same trip!
Kamari is really close to the airport, located in the back of the island, not facing the bay. Only a 10 minute drive from Fira, and 20€ by taxi. However, if you'd like to go by bus to Kamari, you'd have to purchase a bus ticket to Fira and then another one to Kamari as there isn't a direct bus from the airport to Kamari.