We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What is driving like in Santorini?

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
11 posts
36 reviews
Save Topic
What is driving like in Santorini?

Hi

We're staying in Oia at Aethrio next month and would like to hire a car for travel round the island. A few questions:

What are the roads like? I drove in Skiathos last year and a 4 X 4 was definitely required. Steep, gravel roads. Is Santorini similar or will a car get you everywhere?

Given the steep cliffs are the roads dangerous (ie no railings etc)? I've read a few stories about the Oia-Fira stretch of road?

Final and completely unrelated question - is the hike Fira-Oia well marked? (I assume its equally as remarkable to do it in either direction?)

Thank you!

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Santorini
Level Contributor
22,409 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

Almost all of the roads are paved, and there's a secondary road between Fira and Oia that's flat and effectively straight with no sudden dropoffs, so if the main road bothers you it's still easy to get around the north end of the island between Oia and Fira. The main road to Oia does have some blind curves and narrow spots. Coming from the UK you might find it disconcerting to drive on the opposite side of the road, so being extra cautious is obviously going to be a good idea. A "normal" car is fine but be advised that cars with automatic transmissions are more expensive and fairly scarce, so advance booking is recommended if you need one.

On the Oia end of the Oia>Fira hiking trail all you have to do is walk out of the village towards Fira until you reach the parking area for the desalination plant, then walk towards the cliff and you'll see the footpath leading to the trailhead. On the Fira end just walk along the ups and downs of the cliffside path, keeping the caldera on your left shoulder as you pass through Firostefani and Imerovigli, and you'll eventually find yourself past all the buildings and walking on the trail.

singapore
Level Contributor
402 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

is the hike from Fira to Oia well guided ? Is there a map for us to refer to?

After watching the sunset in Oia, how do we get back to Fira ?

Are we able to walk back or ?

Thanks

Edited: 05 April 2014, 04:42
Oregon
Destination Expert
for Santorini
Level Contributor
22,409 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

Once you're on the trail there's nowhere else to go so a map isn't necesssary. The hiking trail returns to the main road once about halfway between Fira and Oia. You can catch a bus there if you don't want to walk the whole way. After sunset you can take a bus or taxi back to Fira. I don't recommend walking back 7 miles in the dark.

Santorini, Greece
Level Contributor
1,888 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

Well, to drive in Santorini you have to be very observant, always expect cars or bikes to overtake you very close or coming out fast from side roads. Also keep the distance behind another car so it doesn't just brake and the driver opens the door (all in 2 seconds) This happens nearly every day and I'm on my scooter...The roads close to and in every village are very narrow and curvey so drive slowly! Then on the other hand you have to be a bit pushy in the traffic also or else it will take you too long to reach your destination...Drive like a GREEK and you will be fine!

And here is a good blog with photos how to find the path between Fira and Oia. http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/7f9bf/ continues on part 2!

Ingela

singapore
Level Contributor
402 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

Is there a bus back from Oia to Fira after sunset? Where shalll i take ? Is there a map where I can find my way back to the bus stop or anything ? I am coming from 7th to 10th May in Santorini ? Thanks

Edited: 06 April 2014, 17:39
London
Destination Expert
for Thirassia, Fira
Level Contributor
14,618 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

Yes, there are buses back from Oia to Fira after sunset. You may have to let one (or two) depart if the crowds are heavy. Follow the crowds back to bus square.

Otherwise, I recommend you wait the 30 minutes or so post- sunset as that's when the sky begins changing colours and its absolutely beautiful (assuming its not cloudy). It's well worth sticking around instead of rushing back to get a bus.

I can't give you a map as I don't know where you'll be standing to view the sunset. Oia isn't large, so you will be able to find it easily enough.

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Santorini
Level Contributor
22,409 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

Yes, there is a bus. Ask at your hotel where to take the bus. The bus terminus is very close to the main square in Fira. You will see the current bus timetable at the terminus. The sun will set around 20:20.

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Santorini
Level Contributor
22,409 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

When you arrive in the Oia bus terminus walk up to the pedestrian-only pathway, then turn right and walk to the end of the pathway in the opposite direction from Fira.

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
574 posts
185 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

Any bus schedules posted online?

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Santorini
Level Contributor
22,409 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: What is driving like in Santorini?

Yes, but stay flexible. It might change. That's why I said to check in Fira once you're there. ktel-santorini.gr/ktel/…pricelist-eng