Car, scooter and bike hire, Santorini Island
BIKELAND is a great place to hire scooters and quad bikes. They charged me 10 Euros a day when others wanted 15 and 20 Euros for a basic scooter. Great guys and very helpful. They will even do quad bikes for 15 Euros. All are topped up with fuel and ready to go. You can even keep your rental until 8pm the day you need to return it. Please Note: YOU MUST HAVE YOUR DRIVER’S LICENCE TO RENT VEHICLES IN GREECE. Bikeland – rent from theses guys! They are located in Fira.
(Update: I rented from them again in 2010 - great folks).
We did not intend to hire a car, however the hotel manager convinced us that it would enable us to see more of the island during our 2 day stay. She proved to be correct and suggested we hire the vehicle from 6pm so we could drive to Oia for the sunset and also have the car for most of the next day.
The manager made the arrangements and the car arrived at 6 pm, 50 Euros for 24 hours and the agent told us 10 Euros of petrol would be enough for a day's driving. Drivers Licence had to be produced, little paperwork, insurance cover included in rental except for excess gap. I had Visa insurance for the gap so he said best to pay the 50 Euros with my credit card.
Our vehicle was a Nissan Micra, a small car with plenty of room in the front if you move the seats back. It was a 4 door car, and at 6 foot 5 inches tall I was very comfortable driving it.
The car was well worth the money and enabled us to get around the island at leisure, including a great lunch beachside at Kamari Beach.
Rental company: Overall Car Rental
No doubts about advantages of get your own transport, for example a rented car. Fira is plenty of car rentals agencies, but we choose one in Oia . Close to the bus stop square there is "Auto Europe" agency, managed by a very kind guy, Dimitris.
Ask for him and he will solve your needs at a convenient price for your car.
There are numerous places to rent on the island, but beware!! If you do not have a motorcycle license in your own country, then SOME places will not rent to you. As was my case. But, as I found out all along my trip, just keep asking, you'll find someone who wants money bad enough. This is that place...
Moto-Piazza in Oia (Ia). They were "OK" with me not having a moto license, as long as I was, "careful". I assured them that I would be...
These motor bikes were everywhere being very popular with the young and those young at heart, but not my idea of "fun & comfort". Off road on dirt tracks they would be fantastic but on a not very wide winding road they are a hazard!
Most riders showed sense and moved over as cars passed, but as the top speed is approx 15km per hour they caused some problems on the road. I did not see any accidents.
You will see them for hire throughout the towns and beach villages.
Santorini does have a reasonable bus service serving the main areas and villages:
Fira - Oia, every 1/2 hour, takes 30 minutes and costs E1.10. Passes Imerovigli.
Fira - Kamari, every 1/2 hour, takes 15 minutes and costs E1.10.Passes through Messaria.
Fira - Perissa, every 1 to 1 1/14 hours, takes 35 minutes and costs E1.70.
Passes through Messaria, Vothonas, Pyrgos, Megalahori and Emborio. A very useful bus route.
Fira - Akrotiri, every 1 1/2 hours or so.
There are routes to other destinations, such as the airport and ferry port - Athenios. The buses to the port are not on a regular schedule, but rather are timed to coincide with ferry arrivals.
Just get on and payment will be taken during the journey.
Being a small island though it doesn't take long to reach most places - you could even walk as we did from Fira to Oia. To see several inland villages in a day though we decided to hire a car for a day for convenience and this was enough for us though with more time another day would have been better to cover the island. 3 days car hire I think you'd been seeing the same places. Most hotels can organise car hire - our did - failing that there are the tour agencies. Cost for our car was 45 euros for the day (inc 10 euros for full insurance) for a Suzuki Swift - there was a cheaper option for a smaller car. We found the driving to be fine, roads were good and other drivers not as mad as we found in Turkey. Petrol was a lot cheaper than England - we probably spent about 9 euros on fuel. Certainly an air conditioned car was more preferable than a quad which do seem very popular to get around on - I'm sure I would have sunburn driving these in the heat.
By this point I had been to Rome, and therefore experienced the gangs of Vespas. But, it did not prepare me for Santorini. I'm not saying that Santorini drivers were worse than Rome's, far from it, but the sheer number compared with the islands population surprised me. It was the first time i saw little kids, who normally fix up their bicycles with crome and cool things for their wheels, etc., actually riding a fixed up motorcycle... at maybe 12 years old!! One place wouldn't even let me rent one, because I didnt ahve a motorcycle license... and I'm 26!!! Crazy.
Santorini is such a small island and buses always seemed to be fully packed with tourists. That's why we rented the biggest scooter we could find. Since we stayed in Kamari which is in the middle of the east coast of Santorini, it was easy to explore the island in two parts, to south and north from Kamari. Renting a scooter seems to be a popular thing to do especially among youngsters, but who says the agelimit is 25? ;)))
Prices are reasonable, but check that full insurance is included before you rent. Travel agents often co-operate with some local renting company and you may get discounts.
First apologies for the bike lovers for what I am to say. ....Bikes seem to be very popular in the islands. I personally think they are dangerous and are little scare of them.... so this was a good option....
If like me you decide to stay at Oia it is convinient to have a car, if you add up 1euro per bus ride it can add up to a lot.
The most easier way to travel arround Santorini is to rent a motorbike. Its cheap,fast, you can escape city's traffic and gives you the oportunity to stop wherever you like! Of course you have to know to ride, if you dont....rent a car!
We rented a car for 3 days, however, this was just too long. Santorini is a small island and 2 days is more than enough to see it all by car.
We rented the car through our hotel in Fira and had the impression that prices were rather expensive compared to the other side of the island. We paid 65 eur/d with full insurance for a Nissan Micra. Roads are good, however, sometimes signs fail. But then, you won't get lost because you can always see the sea on either side of the island.
Many people rented a quad, which I think is a good and cheaper alternative. However, make sure you have enough power. We saw many quads who had difficulties getting up the caldera from the lower parts in the east.
There are frequent buses and taxis all over the islands. In summer, buses leave Fira's central station every hour for Akrotiri and every 30 min for Oia, Monolithos, Kamari and Perissa.
Buses leave Fira, Kamari and Perissa for Athinios Port 1 1/2 hours before most ferry departures.
Buses for Fira leaves from Athinios Port after every ferry arrival, even late at night.
A motorbike is a great way to see the island.
* Low season: April 1st - June 30th & October 1st - March 31st
* High season: July 1st - September 30th
you absoultely must rent a four wheeler---about half the vehicles on the road are four wheelers. it was a blast, my husband enjoyed that the most about our trip! all the tour buses, regular cars, are used to the four wheelers, so it was not scary or anything to drive one. it was only 20 euro a day. it was better than taking the bus, since they seemed to operate on hour schedules.
If you need to rent a car and you are near Vlichada beach or marina go to the top of the cliffs to Dimitri's Taverna. Dimitri himself will help coordinate a rental car. They will bring the car to you. You can also rent scooters from here. The scooter place will come pick you up and take you to get scooters or four wheelers. They give you a map of the island and show you good palce to go and draw the route you can take to get to those places. It was great!
Ok so we have a Smart car at home and use it every day but Koos really wanted to hire a Smartf or a day to tour Santorini. We asked at several hire firms but they had nothing for the day we wanted. Then we found Spiridakos and they had the new Smart car. The hire for it is more expensive than other cars because it is a Mercedes but we knew that. They came the next day to the hotel to pick us up and take us to the office for the car. This time there was petrol in the tank and they told us not to put more than 5 euros in as that would be enough.
Then we were away for a day exploring, or so we thought. The morning was great but about 14 in the afternoon a thick mist came down and we could not see a thing. So we (and it seemed almost everyone else) returned the car earlier than planned. Still we enjoyed trying out the new Smart car and it is bigger than the older one we have at home.