Getting Around, Santorini Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Santorini, Cyclades, Greece)

Island view, showing road leading towards the coastThere are a number of simple ways to travel around Santorini. Bus transport is always popular with holiday makers, particularly with those who are here on a budget or choosing to base themselves in just one resort.

Those flying into Santorini's Thira National Airport, or sailing into the port of Athinios or Fira Skala, often choose to hire a car, and this mode of transport is especially popular with families. Taxi travel is also available around Santorini, although during the busy summer season, the lack of taxis soon becomes apparent. Most taxis will share trips between other travellers headed in the same direction, which helps to save costs all round.

Picture of Thira National Airport (JTR)

Thira National Airport (JTR) / Arriving by Air

Those flying into Santorini will arrive at Thira National Airport, which is located next to both Kamari and Monolithos. Regular flights serve Athens and Thessaloniki (Aegean Airlines), while charter flights travel all over Europe, with the main cities including Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Gothenburg, London, Manchester, Milan, Rhodes, Rome and Stockholm. Bus transport is on hand at Thira National Airport and these travel directly to Fira, where it is possible to change for other towns and villages. Taxis also operate at Santorini's airport, although tend to be pricey and a little short in supply - so you may have to wait your turn for one to become available.

Coastal view, showing winding cliff-top road

Car Rental

The majority of tourists holidaying on Santorini would generally agree that renting a car is by far the best way to travel around the island during the peak summer season, when bus transport can become rather overcrowded. However, a word of caution, the roads around the island can be rather narrow and winding, and this is particularly so within Fira. Also worth noting, the village of Oia does not have its own fuel station, with the closest being situated next to Fira.

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Photo of local island bus

Buses and Coaches

Bus transport is very cheap on the island, but in July and August, buses can become so busy at times that there may not even be room for you to get on!

Summer buses travel from Fira to island destinations such as Athinios, Exo Gonia, Kamari, Monolithos, Oia, Perissa, Perivolos and Vlyhada.

Photo of arriving liners

Boats and Ferries

High-speed boats and catamarans (Flying Cats) serve Santorini well, suiting those who fancy a spot of island hopping. Daily services travel to Crete (1 3/4 hours), Folegandros (45 minutes), Ios (30 minutes), Iraklio (1 3/4 hours), Mykonos (up to 4 hours), Naxos (1 1/2 hours), Paros (2 1/4 hours), Piraeus (5 1/4 hours) and Sifnos (1 3/4 hours), amongst others locations. Less regular ferry transport is also available each week from Santorini, travelling to Anafi (1 hour), Iraklio (4 1/2 hours), Kimolos (3 1/2 hours), Milos (4 hours), Mykonos (6 hours), Serifos (9 hours), Sifnos (7 3/4 hours), Sikinos (2 1/2 hours), Skiathos (18 hours), Syros (5 1/4 hours) and Thessaloniki (25 hours).