Should I rent a Car, ATV / Quad Bike or take the Bus in Santorini?
Hiring an ATV in Santorini
Quad bike - also known as ATV - probably is by the most the best way to see the island. A quad bike gives you the freedom to drive around the island as if you had a car and they can carry two people. It’s cheaper to hire than a car and much safer than a Vespa/Moped. Costs vary and obviously they’re cheaper the longer you hire them for, but if you think about the cost of a taxi then you’re effectively saving money by having one.
Most companies hire out 100cc ATV’s. Fine if you’re skeletal, scooting mainly around pedestrian areas, on flat ground or fine with being overtaken by cars. But beware! Santorini is far from flat. So when considering Santorini atv rental better to go for 350cc.
Is it easy getting around Santorini by ATV / quad bike?
oYes it is pretty easy getting around Santorini by quad bike (so Santorini atv rental is a good option). In fact even with the lowest powered bike you will be just fine even on the hills with 2 people on board. However you probably should consider renting a powered one.
Is it easy to get to Oia and Fira, and how long would this approx take on a quad bike from Kamari?
The journey from Oia to Kamari with quad bike is about 40 mins. However if you plan to take a quad ride back from Oia after watching the sunset, be aware that its a very cold ride back.
To reach Fira with quad bike from Kamari will take you approximately 15-20 minutes.
Are there places to park a quad bike in the likes of Fira and Oia?
There is no problem with parking, you can park almost anywhere - car parks in Oia and Fira or street parking where ever you see a space.
Do I need a drivers licence to rent an ATV in Santorini?
Yes you do need a licence to drive a quad. The crazy thing is that the rental company most of the times will not check your licence, but if you are stopped then you are in trouble with the police and not the rental company and also any insurance is invalid.
EU drivers licenses are perfectly acceptable. But if you’re not from the EU you’re supposed to (in theory) get an International Drivers permit before leaving home.
Can I rent a ATV in Kamari?
In Kamari you will find many places to rent an ATV / quad bike. Just don't forget your driving license.
Tips about renting quads in Santorini:
- Check your travel insurance carefully as most companies exclude use of quads etc. from their policies. Some will cover their use if you pay extra. The cover you get with the vehicle covers anybody or anything that you might hit but neither you or your passenger are covered for any medical expenses or treatment.
- Beeter drive safely. Atv's are the number one way that people end up in the hospital. Most of the times because they don’t usually drive Atv's at home
How about taking the bus in Santorini?
The island has an excellent bus system. Check the schedule: https://ktel-santorini.gr/ktel/index.php/en/services-eng/timetable-eng
Tips for taking the Santorini bus (Ktel)
- Things in Greece are a bit casual than you might be used to. The times on the timetables should be used as a rough guide rather than the time the bus will actually arrive.
- The bus stops on Santorini are usually fancy wooden ones, or much smaller blue ones, or a sort of concrete bunker style.
- Try to have the correct change or at least small notes. The buses get VERY crowded and it can take a while for the conductor to get from the front to the back.
- Check all the bus stops at https://www.openstreetmap.org/search?query=Santorini#map=17/36.38500/25.42263
- All routes are fairly short. If you are somewhere around halfway along the route expect your bus to arrive about 15 minutes after it departs, and adjust your estimate accordingly.
- You have to pay the fare each time you get on the bus.
How do I rent a car in Santorini?
RentalCars.com searches all the big car companies and finds the best price. The most common pickup points are Fira and the Santorini airport. Under Pickup Location select either Santorini Airport or All Locations (which will usually means Fira).
Better play it safe and reserve through RentalCars.com and pick up your car from the airport. The airport is very small and it’s super easy to get your car. From the airport it’s an easy 10 minute drive to Fira. About 15 minutes to Imerovigli. And 25 to Oia (from the airport).
Tips about Santorini car rental
- Before you leave the lot take pictures on your phone of every corner of the car (inside and out).
- All local and big name car companies will do airport pickup and drop off.
- If you’re arriving at the airport then it’s best to book in advance and do airport pickup. This way you avoid the sometimes-dreadful taxi line.
- Book rental car in advance for visits from June to September.
- EU drivers licenses are perfectly acceptable for renting a car. But if you’re not from the EU you’re supposed to (in theory) get an International Drivers permit before leaving home.