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Distances on Santorini Island in Greece

A friend and I have booked a hotel in Kamari on Santorini Island as part of our trip to Greece in May, 2015. We want to see some of the sites in Fira and Oia while there for 3 days and are wondering about the best way to travel around the island. In Rick Steve's 2012 book on Greece: Athens and the Peploponnese Area - estimated time to take the bus from Kamari to Fira is about 2 1/2 hours and another 2 1/2 hrs from Fira to Oia. In reviewing several maps of the island - the distances don't appear to be that far. Do buses make numerous stops along the way so it isn't a direct trip? We're weighing our options as to how best to maximize our travel time on the island - by bus, taxi guide or renting a car. Sheryl

Posted by
3135 posts

Those estimates are far too long! The bus system is excellent with the hub in Fira. Even with stops along the way it only takes about 20 minutes from Kamari to Fira and another 25 minutes from Fira to Oia. How long between buses depends on when you're there. During peak season there is at least one bus per hour, sometimes two.

http://ktel-santorini.gr/ktel/images/pdfs/ktel.pdf This schedule fluctuates according to demand. More buses run in July and August than in May or September.

Posted by
24 posts

Oh, Kamari is beautiful. And you'll take a bus up to Ancient Thera. That can be as much of a day as you want it to be. Santorini is close so you can taxi there and back another day, and rent a car and drive over the island on the third day. A couple of hours will be enough for Acrotiri - they kindof herd you through and there's not much there but the dig, and then drive to the far end of the island for the rest of the day. Warning: try to find out when cruise ships are going to be coming up to town and if possible avoid the main town that day. Nothing is terribly far away from anything else but if you have to wait for a bus in the sun for awhile, it might get tedious!

Posted by
5 posts

Clare - thank you for this additional information. Good advice regarding the cruise ships! Getting really excited about the trip! Sheryl

Posted by
5 posts

This is helpful information - never thought about the influx of additional tourists into Santorini from the cruise ships!

Posted by
3363 posts

Oh oh, please DO think about it.... one would think in May that cruises wouldn't be that much of a factor. However, those huuuuge Megaships can have as many as 3,000 passengers aboard, and with 3 ships in port, you could have 8,000+ people flooding into Fira town AND into Oia from 9:30 AM until at lest 4 PM.

TIP#1: Biggest cruise days usually T-W-Th and the cruisers and other tour groups are usually around between 9:30 = 430, so if possible, schedule your activities to avoid the crowds.

TIP #2 -- Go EARLY to Oia!! Staying in Kamari, this may require getting a 7-something bus to Fira, then changing to a bus that reaches Oia before 9 AM. The light is much better at that time for viewing and photography... and the streets are not crowded. On a cruise day the throngs of cruiser flock in about 9:45 on, and the streets of Oia are JAMMED by 10:30, even in May... that's when it's time to scram, get a bus, and go swimming or hiking etc.

You & friend may decide to rent a car for just ONE day... then use it to get to Oia early... then drive a bit, explore the interior of the island, go down to the Akrotiri "dig", then perhaps to the quiet village of Akrotiri for lunch... then since u have the car, go back to the east coast, drive UP to near the top of Ancient THira Bluff where u can park and walk up a path about 10 minutes to ruins and STUNNING View. you don't need a guide for this or for Akrotiri.... just devote some internet time to informing yourself and print out some good site guides -- Planetware has excellent site maps.

Posted by
16894 posts

I think you misread the notation in Rick's book. Looking at Fira connections on p. 445, I see:

From Fira by Bus to: Oia (2/hour--generally departs at top and bottom of each hour, 25 minutes, €1.60)... Kamari and its nearby beaches (2/hour, 10 minutes, €1.60)... etc.