How to Rent a Car in Santorini

GreeceSantorini › Airport Rental Cars
Updated: August 31, 2023
By Santorini Dave

See Also
Where to Stay in Santorini
Santorini Airport
Santorini Ferry Port
Santorini to Mykonos Ferry
Santorini to Athens Ferry
Best Santorini Tours

Rental car companies at Santorini Airport.

If you reserve a rental car in advance getting your car at the Santorini airport is quick, easy, and hassle-free.

Santorini Airport Car Rental

My recommendation: If you need a rental car for exploring the sights then reserve a vehicle in advance at the Santorini airport. If your plan is to sit by the pool or beach, do a few tours, and then ferry to another Greek island, then you probably don’t need a rental car.

Tip: If you need a large family-friendly minivan or a car with automatic transmission (most rental cars in Santorini are manual) then definitely book in advance.

Rental cars available at the Santorini airport: AvisBudgetHertzSixtAlamoGoldcarSurpriceThriftyEnterprise

Map of rental cars at Santorini Airport.

Booking a Santorini Rental Car

Best site for booking Santorini rental cars. is the best site for renting a car in Santorini. When you get to the search results page the “Fira Downtown” option that says “Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece, 847 00” is actually in the village of Imerovigli (only choose this location if you’re staying in Imerovigli). The airport will usually have the cheapest prices and best selection.

Renting a Car in Santorini

  • The Santorini bus system is excellent for the main towns. But for the smaller villages, hotels a little off the main track, or attractions outside of Fira and Oia the bus is not that practical. Renting a car is a great way to see the whole island. About half of the best things to do in Santorini are made easier by having a rental car.
  • Booking a car in advance is not absolutely essential but it sure makes things cheaper and easier.
  • Most rental cars in Santorini have a standard transmission. If you only drive automatic then definitely reserve in advance.
  • Visiting the best Santorini wineries is best done by tour if you don’t have a designated driver.
  • If arriving by plane pick up rental cars at the Santorini Airport to avoid the long lines for a taxi. (Airport pick up is easier than pick up in Fira or Oia).
  • If arriving by ferry, you have a couple of choices. #1: Pick up at the ferry port. It’s the quickest way to get a rental car but the port is busy and hectic. Plus you’ll need to drive up the caldera cliff on a narrow switchback. Not for everyone. #2: Take a taxi or bus from the ferry port to the town you’re staying in and then pick up your car there (Fira, Imerovigli, and Oia have the most options). There is always a direct bus from the port to Fira (and then from there to all other towns). #3: Or take a taxi or bus to the airport and then get your rental car at the terminal. It’s easier doing car pick up at the airport than finding the individual rental car companies in Fira or Oia, but the airport is a little out of the way and there isn’t always a direct bus from the port to the airport.
  • When picking up your rental car, take pictures of the vehicle (inside and out) before driving away from the parking lot.
  • Driving in Santorini is fairly easy (just drive slowly and never drink alcohol and drive). I do not recommend ATVs or motorcycles – too dangerous.

Cars driving to the Santorini ferry port.

The switchback road down to the Santorini ferry port is twisty, tricky, and often very busy. (It’s much easier to pick up your rental car at the airport or in Fira, Imerovigli, or Oia.)

How do I rent a car in Santorini? searches all the big car companies and finds the best price. Don’t be put off by the site’s simple layout – it’s all about finding the best rates. The most common pick up points are Fira and the Santorini airport. Under Pick up Location select either Santorini Airport or All Locations (which will usually mean Fira).

I prefer picking up my rental car from the Santorini airport even if arriving by ferry. The airport is smack in the center of the island and a short taxi or bus ride from the port and all towns. All the airport rental car desks are within a few feet of each other. It’s easy to get your car, walk across the parking lot, and drive away. On the other hand, rental car pick up at the ferry port and in Fira can be busy and chaotic.

Driving Map of Santorini

Map showing where to rent a car on Santorini

Car Rental at the Santorini Airport

Terminal at the Santorini International Airport.

The recently refurbished Santorini Airport is the best place to get rental cars.

For airport rental cars you can reserve through and pick up from one of the kiosks at the Santorini airport. The airport is very small and it’s quick and easy to get your car. From the Santorini airport, it’s a short 10-minute drive to Fira. About 15 minutes to Imerovigli. And 25 minutes to Oia. Renting a car from the airport will save you the hassle of getting a taxi. When flights arrive taxis are in short supply and waits can be long. Rental car companies that offer cars from the Santorini airport include Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Enterprise. Their desks are located just outside the arrivals hall of the airport terminal. The desks are well-staffed and there’s almost never a lineup for car pick up or drop off. The airport has the largest variety of rental cars including small, medium, and large sedans; family-sized mini-vans; and large SUVs.

Rental cars at Santorini airport.

The rental car parking lot is a 30-second walk from the airport terminal (which you can see in the background).

What Rental Car Companies Rent Cars at the Santorini Airport?

Avis, Budget, Hertz, Sixt, Alamo, Goldcar, Surprice, Thrifty, and Enterprise.

Car Rental at the Santorini Port

Car rental pick-up at the Santorini ferry port.

The Santorini ferry port can be chaotic when a ferry arrives. My recommendation: take a bus or taxi to Fira, Imerovigli, Oia, or the Santorini Airport and pick up your rental car there (much quieter and easier to navigate).

The Athinios ferry port in Santorini is chaotic when a ferry arrives. I would not advise doing a rental car pick up at the port. For one, it’s very busy, and meeting your contact person will not be straightforward. And two, the winding snaking crazy road up the caldera cliff is damn scary and packed with large tour buses, trucks, cars, and motorbikes. It’s not easy or relaxing for a tourist to deal with. (Whenever I’ve booked a rental car for pick up at the port they’ve actually driven me to an inland customer service center, which is fine too. You’re just never certain what the process will be.) First-timers should consider reserving a rental car at the Santorini airport.

Reserving a Santorini car online.

When reserving through select the “Santorini Port” for pick up and drop off at the Santorini Ferry Port. (There is only one ferry port in Santorini.)

Car Rental in Fira & Oia

Renting a car in Fira, Santorini.

There are several small local rental car agencies in Fira and Oia. They’re located on the busy main roads in both towns.

There are car rental agencies in all the main towns: Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, Akrotiri, Kamari, and Perissa. In Fira and Oia most are located on the busy road in and out of town. It’s not an ideal place to pick up or return a car. The roads are narrow and busy, and are the main routes for the local buses. I prefer picking up and dropping off at the Santorini airport. If you do rent from one of the local agencies ask about returning the car to the airport or ferry port. They’ll sometimes let you park it and toss the keys under the seat. It will save you a bus or taxi trip and allow you to skip the return on the busy roads of the main towns.

Should I Rent a Car In Santorini?

A car-hire company in Santorini.

A rental car pick up spot in the village of Imerovigli.

It definitely makes getting around the island much easier – especially if you’re not staying in Fira. Fira is the hub of the bus system on Santorini and there are direct buses from Fira to pretty much every corner of the island. But if you’re staying in Imerovigli or Oia, then you need to take a bus to Fira and then another bus to Kamari Beach or Akrotiri or Perissa. So, that’s 4 buses to and from your destination. If you wanted to go from Oia to Kamari and then to Akrotiri on the same day you’d be looking at 6 bus trips. However, if you’re most interested in staying at your hotel, sitting by the pool, enjoying the caldera views, eating at local restaurants, and doing the occasional bus ride to Oia or Fira, then you’d get little benefit by renting a car.

4 Reasons to Not Rent a Car on Santorini

Walking vs driving on Santorini - you don't need a rental car for the best views

The highlight of visiting Santorini: the walk along the caldera from Fira to Oia. You don’t need a rental car for this.

Santorini hotel with view.

Sitting in your private plunge pool and staring out into the caldera. You definitely don’t need a rental car to enjoy this.

The best things to do on Santorini without a car rental.

A boat tour of the caldera and volcano is a must for Santorini. You don’t need a rental car to jump into the hot springs. (Hotel pick up and drop off are included with pretty much every tour.)

Bars in Santorini.

The best bar in Fira – the Kira Thira Jazz Bar. Having a car is more of a hassle if you’re going out drinking.

13 Reasons to Rent a Car on Santorini

Driving around Santorini - Where To Go

There are definitely places you’ll see and things you’ll do with a rental car that you wouldn’t if getting around by bus or taxi.

The best things to do on Santorini with a car.

One of my favorite restaurants in Santorini. Cava Alta in Pyrgos. You can get here without a rental car … but you probably won’t.

Exploring Santorini with a hired car.

The awesome village of Emporio in southern Santorini. You likely won’t get here without a rental car.

What's best? Getting around Santorini by bus or car?

A line-up for a bus in Santorini. I like taking the bus – it’s a fun experience. But let’s be honest: it says express but it sure don’t feel like one.

Car vs bus on Santorini – the bus schedule for getting around the island.

The bus schedule for Santorini. It changes all the time. On the plus side: for the main caldera towns they run pretty often. But for getting anywhere else they’re less reliable.

The best places to go with a rental car on Santorini.

The beach road on the east coast of the island. You’re not getting here unless you rent a car.

The best restaurants on Santorini with a car.

The best restaurant in Santorini is Metaxi Mas in Exo Gonia. Very difficult to get here and get back home by bus (presumably at night). Getting here by taxi is easy, getting a taxi to come back late in the evening is a challenge.

The best views and walks on Santorini with a rental car.

Great views from the mountain south of Kamari (that’s the airport out by the water). You can certainly get here by a combination of bus and hiking but much easier with a rental car.

The best beaches to go to on Santorini with hired car.

Lots of good beaches and great swimming on Santorini. This is Perissa and it would take 2 buses and 1 hour to get here from Oia (at the opposite end of the island). So, this is one example where renting a car makes things a lot easier.

Wine and wineries to go to with car rental.

Wine for sale on a roadside in Santorini. You won’t be stumbling upon this if you don’t get away from the crowds and explore the island on your own.

Fun things to do on Santorini with car?

One of my favorite things to do on Santorini is the open air cinema in Kamari. So much fun. But tricky to get to and from without a rental car. (Not impossible but just takes some planning.)

Shopping on Santorini with a rental car.

How you gonna get your meat home without a car? Can’t take this slab of cow on the bus.

Tips for Renting a Car on Santorini

  • All local and big-name car companies will do airport pick up and drop-off.
  • If you’re arriving at the airport then it’s best to book in advance and do airport pick up. This way you avoid the sometimes-dreadful taxi line.
  • If you’re arriving at the ferry port I’d recommend taking a taxi or bus to the relative calm of the Santorini airport – whether you booked in advance or not.
  • Booking in advance is not absolutely necessary but if you require an automatic transmission during June, July, August, or September then you have to reserve it (most cars on Santorini are standard). You’ll also get a better rate by booking in advance.
  • If you need an automatic and you’re booking through be sure to select Transmission: Automatic.
  • I do not recommend renting scooters or ATVs. Over all my years of traveling this is the number one way that people end up in the hospital: riding a scooter, motorbike, or ATV when they don’t usually do it at home. Also, they’re fine for short trips but going from one end of the island (say, Oia) to the other (Akrotiri or the beaches) on an ATV or scooter is a long ride – at least I don’t enjoy it.
  • If you have a young child it’s best to bring a car seat from home – some rental agencies do have a few child seats but they tend to be older and not up to British or American standards (though they’ll do in a pinch).
  • If you need a larger car for a family of 4, 5, or 6 then I’d recommend booking in advance.
  • Before you leave the rental company take pictures on your phone of every corner of the car (inside and out).
Driving on Santorini - Is it easy or difficult?

Driving on Santorini’s narrow roads can be challenging and comical. Once again: be patient.

Getting rental car at the ferry port in Santorini.

If you arrive by ferry it’s going to be busy and crazy at the ferry port. Take a bus or taxi to the airport and pick up your rental car there.

Driving rental car from ferry port to Fira or Oia.

The winding road from the ferry port up to island’s towns. Scenic and beautiful but sort of scary to drive. (It’s actually a lot steeper than it looks here.)

The airport parking lot for rental cars is just a 30 second walk from the terminal.

Santorini Airport rental cars.

The rental cars at the Santorini airport. You can see the arrivals door in the background.

The bus from the Santorini ferry port to the Santorini airport.

The bus from the Santorini ferry port to the Santorini airport. The airport is the first stop the bus makes but be sure to get on the right bus.

Taxi or rental car at the Santorini airport.

The taxi line at the Santorini airport. It can be busy and in short supply of taxis. If you rent a car in advance you won’t have to wait for a taxi (which can take up to an hour in the morning or evenings). And if it’s late at night some taxis will not drive to any town except Fira.

Parking on Santorini with rental car.

Parking on Santorini is always an adventure. This is the “parking lot” in Imerovigli. Just have lots of patience and know you’ll always be able to find something.

Is it safe to drive on Santorini with a rental car?

I love Greek people but they’re terrible drivers. And in all honesty, crazier than the donkeys.

Prices on Santorini for car, scooter, and ATV rental.

Car rental prices at local rental car companies in Santorini. There will also be some additional charges (insurance, transfer, taxes).

Car parking in Santorini.

Parking can be difficult to find in Fira. This is consistently the best parking space to find a spot. It’s just south of Fira and about a 3-minute walk to the center of town. The easiest way to find it is to search Google Maps for “Nemesis Hotel Santorini”. The parking lot is directly beside it.

Best parking area is Oia, Santorini.

The best parking lot in Oia is directly across from Agios Georgios church. It’s on the right as you enter Oia. When you see Anemomilos Hotel keep your eyes open – it’s about 200 meters to the north.

Parking area in Oia, Santorini for rental cars.

Another good parking spot in Oia is down near the Post Office (follow the signs). There are a couple different areas and you can usually find a spot.

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at

  1. Airport Car Pick Up

    Hi Dave, great website.
    We are planning on visiting Santorini this year in late May, and probably be renting a car to get the most of the island in two days. I visited and noticed there are three possible locations: Airport (in terminal), Airport (meet & greet) and Airport (shuttle). What does each option mean and which one would you recommend? Regards.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The terms can change but I expect meet&greet and shuttle to mean you’ll be met at the airport and then driven offsite (probably near Mesaria where many rental car companies are located) and given your car there. This is fine but it also can be a slow process whereby you’re waiting for a ride, and then driving, and then waiting some more. If price is competitive I would definitely favor the in-terminal pick up option.

  2. Early Morning Flight and Car Drop Off

    Hi Dave!

    My girlfriend and I are planning to spend 4 days in Santorini in June and we would rent a car just on the last day to explore the south of the island. We would drop off the car the next day at the airport at 5 a.m., and then catch a flight to Athens at 6:20 a.m.

    Our concern is the time between returning the car and catching the flight on time. Do the car rental companies have a drop box at the airport? Is the time suitable to not to miss the flight or would it be better to drop off the car sooner?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you check-in online then 5am is probably ok. If you need to check-in at the airport then get there by 4:30 (at least). Dropping off the car that early will not be a problem. When you pick up the car, ask what they want you to do with the keys. Sometimes they suggest a dropbox, other times they ask that you leave the keys in the car under the mat.

  3. Parking in Santorini

    Hi Dave – we will be in Oia for 4 days this October and planning to rent a car. Is it safe to park overnight in one of the free parking spots like the one near the post office? Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Don’t leave anything in the car (of course), but yes, it should be completely fine and safe.

  4. Rental Car Ferry Port or Airport

    My fiancé and I are going to Santorini in the second half of September (for 4 nights). We are flying into the airport, staying in Imerovigli, and then taking the ferry out to Mykonos at the end of our stay on the island. Is it a good idea to try to pick up the car at the airport and then drop it off at the port? Or is it better to just pick up and drop off at the airport? If the latter, what would be the best means of getting from the airport to the port?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      When you pick up the rental car ask if you can drop off at the port. If it’s allowed then I’d go with that (though the port is chaotic dropping off should be ok). If you do need to drop off at the airport then just allow a bit of time to grab a taxi.

  5. Parking near Ammoudi Bay

    Hi Dave!
    I’m going to Santorini for the first time in April. I’m staying down by the bay in Amoudi Villas. If I were to rent a car, is there a parking place near the bay?
    Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, there is a small free parking area and free street parking about 100 meters southwest of Amoudi Villas at the main entrance to the bay between Ammoudi Fish Tavern and the pier. There are no time limits for street parking, though it is on a steep hill, so use your parking brake.

  6. Santorini Car Rental for Day Trip

    Hi Dave,
    I’m going for one day off of a cruise ship, but I’m a big planner and ready to move it as soon as they let me off the ship. Do you think it’s feasible to rent a car and to go to Red Beach, Perissa Beach, then Oia? Should I drop the car off after the beaches and do the walk from Fira to Oia? Should I just forget the beaches and do the hike? It’s going to be the last week of November.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It would all depend on the amount of time you have (and you haven’t given any details) but unless you have 10+ hours I can’t see how you’d rent a car, do all those things, then return the car and get back to the cruise port on just a day visit. Much better to focus on doing the Fira-Oia walk and exploring the scenery along the caldera.

  7. Santorini Water Taxis

    Hi Dave

    A quick question, if you don’t mind. We are traveling to the Greek islands during November. We will be making the Fira – Oia walk from Fira to Oia. We were looking for a water taxi for the ride back. Do they have water taxis in Oia? If they do, do they run in November? I cannot find information on this anywhere.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Water taxis do sometimes go between the Old Port below Fira (near the cable car) and Amoudi Bay below Oia. There is no set schedule and it’s hard to plan anything in advance. They likely won’t be running in November in any case.

  8. Booking Rental Car for Santorini

    I have booked a car from Axion car hire delivered to a villa in Akrotiri on 30th September for a week and paid a deposit via PayPal. This was well over a week ago with no confirmation, I have since emailed twice with no response, do you think they are closed for the winter? Not sure what to do next other than wait to see if they turn up.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Closed for winter? Unlikely. Dealing with local companies is tricky and they’re often slow to reply. (That’s why I recommend going through Just keep trying. I’m sure it will work out eventually.

  9. Renting a Car at the Santorini Port

    Hi Dave, do you recommend any car rentals which I could take from the ferry port and return to the airport? Most car companies I searched only perform drop or pick-up at the airport. I trust my driving skills going up the slope from the ferry port. A trustworthy car company is my biggest worry. Read a few reviews warning of certain companies cheating customers on claims of scratches that exist even before hiring the car. Kindly advise.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you want to avoid the shady car companies then you don’t want to rent from the Santorini port. Not that they are all bad but the more legitimate places rent from the airport. It’s the smaller local companies that might have some questionable practices that are located at the port. And please: always take pictures of every corner of the car before leaving the pick up location.

  10. Santorini Parking

    HI Dave,
    We’re planning a family holiday to Santorini, staying in Perissa, in early September. We want to rent a car because we want to explore the whole island in three days. How difficult will it be to find parking in the areas you mention on this page at this time of year?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Fira and Oia will be busy but if you use the parking spots I recommend above you’ll always be able to find something within a few minutes. It’s always an issue but never a big issue. Outside of Oia, Fira, Imerovigli, and Firostefani parking is rarely a problem at all. Perissa has plenty of parking and you’ll easily find a spot close to your hotel.

  11. Car Rental for Pyrgos

    Thank you so much for these tips! We were thinking of renting a car for a day while on the island. We’re staying in Pyrgos and want to see Oia and Fira. Can we do both of these cities in one day trip? And should we plan to get there by rental car or bus? I see there is a bus stop in Pyrgos but don’t see how often it runs.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you rent a car, you will have more freedom in getting around the island and (perhaps) see a few more sights than you would otherwise – though with just one day the main sights will fill most of your time. Can you get from Pyrgos to Fira and Oia and back again without a rental car? Yes, no problem. In fact, if you do the Fira to Oia walk it would be better without a rental car. Bus from Pyrgos to Fira, then walk to Oia along the caldera footpath, then bus back to Fira (change buses) and back to Pyrgos.

  12. Car Hire Greek Islands

    Hi Dave

    We are a family of five traveling to Santorini, Naxos, and Paros and then returning to Santorini in July/August. We’d like to hire a car for the whole time and drive on and off the ferries but just seen that Budget doesn’t allow their customers to use the car ferries. Can you please advise? Are there any other reputable companies that do?

    Many thanks


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Is it possible to rent a car for multiple Greek islands? Yes, in theory. Is it easy, cheap, or recommended? No.

      Rental car companies do not like their cars going to other islands. So for starters (as you say) you have to find a car company to rent on one island and return to another. Then you have to book car transport for each ferry ride (expensive and not user-friendly). On the other hand, here’s what it’s like to do it the other way: return your car in Naxos Town, walk out to the port and walk on the ferry, step off the ferry in Paros, walk 50 meters to your car rental. Cheap and easy which is a nice combo.

  13. Imerovigli Rental Car

    Hi Dave,

    We are traveling to Santorini for our honeymoon towards the end of September and staying in Imerovigli for 7 days. Would you recommend renting a car? With that many days and during that time of year (end of September/beginning of October) would we be safe with using buses and taxis? I am mainly worried about driving at night on curvy/narrow roads.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would rent a car for at least a few days of your stay. With that much time, you have the opportunity to get out and explore the less-visited areas of the island and that’s far easier with a rental car. Definitely do a tour or two and for those days you don’t need a car rental. Driving at night can be tricky but traffic moves pretty slowly – just drive cautiously and you’ll be fine.

  14. How Much is Taxi from Airport to Kamari

    Hi Dave,
    Planning on renting a car based on your advice. However, we don’t need it for all days perhaps. Looking at the cost difference between renting at the airport on the day of arrival or taking a taxi and renting the next day. We are staying in Kamari.

    Question – How much is a taxi from Airport to Kamari? Are they metered? Since car rental is about 30 Euros/day or more, if the taxi is much cheaper to go the few kilometers to Kamari, that would be preferable.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Taxi will cost 15€ to 20€ from the airport to Kamari.

  15. Itinerary for Santorini in Late March

    Hi Dave,
    Awesome and very informative website.
    My wife and I are flying into Santorini from Athens next Tuesday evening and will be there for a week.
    I will be staying in Fira throughout. Got some queries that I need some advice on.
    – I intend to go on foot and explore the island for the first 2 days, and then rent a car for the next 4 days. What do you think?
    – Bearing in mind that this is considered low season (correct me, if I’m wrong), do you think I should do advance booking for car rental, lunch/dinner/winery reservations, boat cruises, etc?
    – I was interested in a catamaran/boat cruise for half a day which includes snorkeling/swimming in the hot springs, etc. But I noticed that the temperature is about 15-18 degrees next week. Do you think it is a good idea? Is swimming even recommended? In such cold waters?
    – I am looking for the volcano cruise/cable car as well. Should I just book it once I reach there?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Two days without a car and 4 days with a car sounds good. It will be easy to rent a car when you get there though no need to do it in advance in March (unless you want it waiting for you at the airport). Reservations for the best restaurants are a good idea as the off-season means fewer top restaurants open so the ones that are can get busy. Same with tours. Not many going so they can get fully booked. Swimming will be cool in March but it’s possible for the bold.

  16. Parking in Imerovigli

    Hi Dave –

    We will be traveling to Santorini this coming May and splitting our time between Imerovigli and Oia (3 nights in each). I was considering renting a car for a couple of the days we’re in Imerovigli. Do you know what the parking options there? Thanks for your help!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Parking is tricky but you’ll always be able to find a spot. Drive towards Anogi and take to road to the left of the restaurant. This leads to a few different parking areas where there’s usually something available.

  17. Rental Car in Oia

    We are planning to stay a week at Esperas in Oia and would like to make 2 or 3 day trips to visit the other sights on Santorini. Sounds like we would want to rent a car. Can you recommend a good way or agency in Oia to pick up a car in the morning and then drop off in the evening? Or do you know if Esperas has parking where it would just make more sense for a multi-day rental?
    Scott Williams

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, definitely get the car for more than a day. Spiradakos has a rental car office in Oia. (They’ll probably deliver it to Esperas if you ask.) There is plenty of parking a short walk from Esperas (about 5 minutes). Drive towards the Post Office (there are signs) then park anywhere you can find a spot.

  18. ATV Rental on Santorini

    Thanks for a great website. Is it safe to ride the ATV’s and explore the island? I have read that there are accidents or that it is not safe due to the hills but I am not certain why. Also, is it less busy on the streets to ride them on Friday or Saturday? Would you suggest renting one for the day or not??
    Also, does Santorini shut down stores, and things on Sundays??

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, I agree. ATVs are not very safe (compared to a car), uncomfortable, and not particularly enjoyable. Much better to rent a vehicle.

  19. Rental Car Companies Open in November

    Hi David,
    I’ll be in Santorini this November, will the car rental companies still be open?
    I’ll be arriving by cruise ship, I’ve been there once before but did an excursion and
    Didn’t get to see much so I want to rent a car this time.
    Thank you,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, some will definitely be open.

  20. Getting Back to Hotel After Clubbing

    First of all, your blog is amazing. I have already shown it to 4 of my friends who are traveling to this island.
    My questions is that my soon-to-be wife and I will be stay at the Astarte hotel for our honemoon. Of course we are young so we like to go out at nighttime to local clubs and bars so if we were to go out at night, what would be the best method since we are about 30 minutes away from the main nightlife area? I can rent a car but going out and drinking wont be the best option late at night. Do they have 24/7 taxi numbers we can call to take us back to our apartment?

    Thank You so much,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yeah, don’t drive if you’re going out drinking. (It’s hard enough to drive at night on Santorini under the best conditions.) Astarte has a free shuttle, so take that to Fira. Then taxi back. Taxis can be tricky to get late at night but with a bit of patience you’ll get something. The taxi stand in Fira is just west of the bus station.

  21. Car Hire at Santorini Airport

    Just a tip for future visitors. We reserved through Auto Europe and did pickup at the airport. All easy and good. But if you don’t reserve a car in advance do not rent from the airport. The quoted rates that were advertised at the airport car companies were 50% higher than through Auto Europe and 40% higher than in Fira. You’re better off going into Fira and negotiating with the local companies which had prices almost as cheap as Auto Europe – you just have to pretend that you’re looking at multiple places and comparing prices and they’ll come down.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, you’re right Ari. Auto Europe has the best rates, then the small car companies in Fira (but don’t be afraid to negotiate, they’ll come down if you look like you’re shopping around). Thanks for sharing your experience.

  22. Location de Voiture

    Bonjour nous partons lundi prochain pour Santorin Perissa et je cherche ou louer une voiture pour 2 jours à Perissa
    Avez-vous une info?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Il sera facile d’organiser après votre arrivée à Santorin. Ou de l’utilisation: Auto Europe.

  23. Ferry Strikes on Greek Islands

    I am getting very worried reading about ferry strikes. All of my hotels are non refundable. I will need to get from Mykonos to Santorini and then Santorini to Crete. Are there any private boats that could get us there?
    Suzanne Pittman

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Ferry strikes are rare. (It’s more likely that ferries will be canceled due to rough seas.) But in any case, private boats are not that practical. If you’re willing to pay then yes, someone will take you at some very high price. But the boat would be small and the ride very bumpy and long if you weren’t used to being on the sea. Also, assuming the ferry was canceled due to rough seas, then the smaller private boats won’t be going anywhere either. If you really want a safety net then I’d book air tickets (via Athens).

  24. Santorini Travel Blog

    I wish I had found this site sooner; the most informitive by far. It has dramatically decreased my anxiety about our upcoming trip in June.
    I have never commented on a blog site before, but felt compelled to let you know how great your blog is. AMAZING work.
    Sherri Semple

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Thanks Sherri. I’m glad it was helpful – that’s why I do it.

  25. Pickup and Dropoff at Different Places in Santorini

    Hi there!
    My husband and I are going to Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini this coming May and your website has been so useful in the planning process.

    I have a couple of questions for you. We are taking a Ferry into Santorini from Mykonos and by the sounds of it, are planning to rent a car. However, would you happen to know if we can rent a car in one place and drop it off at the airport on our way back to Athens? Typically we would just pick up and drop off the car at the airport but since we aren’t arriving to Santorini by air, this complicates things a bit. Any insight? We are staying in Oia. Also, would you suggest renting a car while in Mykonos as well? We will be on both Mykonos and Santorini for 4 nights/5days.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Pickup in Fira (or Oia) and drop off at the airport should not be a problem. Pickup at port and drop off at the airport will not be quite as easy and require a bit more searching to find the right company. With 4/5 days on Mykonos I might rent a car for one day, two at most. But most of the “sights” – beaches, Mykonos Town, Ano Mera, Delos – are easily explored without a car.

  26. Taking Rental Car to Different Island in Greece

    Hello. Heading to the islands for the first time in June. Can’t wait. Planning to rent a car and it looks like you can bring it on the ferry and return it to a different location. Can you leave your luggage in the car or do you have to take it out for security? Would like to avoid all the transfers to and from the hotels and just have our car the whole trip. Thanks.

    Roger Ciafre

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Can you take a rental car from one island to another? In theory, yes. In practice, it’s very difficult and expensive. For one, you’d need to book a ferry spot well in advance for your car. And two, car companies are very reluctant to let their cars go to other islands. It’s a lot easier/cheaper to rent a different car on each island and use the ferry as a walk-on passenger.

  27. Renting ATV on Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    What are your recommendations on renting an ATV? What is the best place to hire?

    Look forward to hearing from you,
    Barb Svak

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      My recommendation is not to rent one as that’s the number one way that visitors end up in the hospital on a Greek island. But if you still want to they’re found everywhere and easy to rent.

  28. Santorini Boat Tours with Limited Mobility

    Planning a trip to Santorini, Paros, and Naxos as well as local day boat trips at those islands. With bilateral knee replacements my days of jumping off boats to swim are sadly over. Do boat excursions have easy entry /exit options for swimming? Thanks for your reply and your helpful website!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Generally, you’ll want the smaller (and more expensive) tours that have smaller boats. On the large group tours you usually have to jump from the upper decks. With the smaller sail boats and catamarans you could get in and out of the water more easily.

  29. Where To Stay on Santorini

    Hi, great to discover this website and thank you for all the great information. We have just booked flights to Santorini for a week at the end of October next year (school holiday here in the UK). We are trying to choose where to stay – with 2 kids, the beach appeals in some respects, but obviously that is without the views. If we were to stay in Oia and rent a car, how easy would it be to park if we had a place without its own parking? Would you recommend staying on the west side rather than east side of the island? We have two kids who would enjoy the beaches to the east but I’m not sure if those areas will deliver enough of the anticipated Santorini experience (I know this is really something we have to decide for ourselves). Also can you tell me what your opinion is about tap water on the island? I’ve read a mixture of views from “don’t be ridiculous it’s fine” to “avoid ice cubes and salads in case they’ve been washed in the water”. We enjoy eating out and don’t want either to curtail our enjoyment or end up with dodgy tummies (especially the kids). Big thanks, Alison

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      In late October I’d definitely stay on the caldera side of the island. It’s possible for weather to be coolish (though still sunny) by late October and you might not be swimming all that much. If that’s the case you’ll find the beach towns very quiet and a little boring – much better to be in Oia or Fira where there’s lots going on until well into November. Parking is always a small hassle but never a big issue – you can always find something with a few minutes search. Most visitors don’t drink the tap water but ice cubes and produce washed in tap water are absolutely fine.

  30. Which Greek Islands and How Long

    Will be in Greece in July. Athens 2 nights. Santorini is a must. Trying to decide between Naxos and Milos for another island. The other question is should we do 3 islands and add Mykonos or is that too much running around? Traveling with husband, 2 teens(19,16). We love to explore, absorb local culture, snorkel, dive, and relax. Any advice would be so helpful. I’m quite overwhelmed. Luci

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Naxos and Milos are both great. Naxos has better beaches and more inland villages. Milos is great for boat tours around the coast and its wonderful beautiful geography. Mykonos has nightlife (Naxos and Milos don’t) and beautiful lively beaches. You don’t say how long you have in total so can’t tell you what to do but I’d recommend 3 nights at least on each of those islands.

  31. Billiards in Santorini

    Are there any pool tables or snooker tables in Thira?

    Kev Tucker

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Saloon in Fira (the lower half of Murphy’s) has a pool table. Groove Bar in Kamari also has one.

  32. Pickup Rental Car and Parking in Oia

    Hi Dave
    Thank you for a very informative site!
    We will be in Oia this summer for 5 days, arriving by transfer from the port. We would like to first spend some of the time in and around Oia, and then rent a car for 2 days to drive around the island. I’ve looked at the Auto Europe site and it doesn’t seem to have a vehicle pick up point in Oia. Would I have to travel to the airport to pick up the car? And where could I park the car in Oia?

    Kathy Hutchinson

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, most of the pickup and drop off spots are in Fira or at the airport. (Fira is much closer to Oia than the airport is.) If you wanted to rent from a local company that has an office in Oia then try Spiridakos. There are a few different spots to park in Oia (the turn off to Baxedes or up near the north end of Oia, by Lioyerma pool) but I don’t know where you’re staying and I’m sure your hotel will have some tips on where to park.

  33. How Many Days on Santorini for Renting a Car to be Worthwhile

    We’re planning our stay in Santorini for next August. Between Crete, Naxos, and Mykonos we’re uncertain about how much time to spend in Santorini. Where would you draw the line between renting and not renting a car for Santorini? We might spend 1, 2, 3, or 4 full days on Santorini – for which length would you recommend getting a car?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you have 1 full day on Santorini I would not rent a car – explore the caldera towns of Oia, Imerovigli, and Fira. If you have time walk the footpath from Oia to Fira. Have dinner with a caldera view. But for 2 days or more I think renting a car becomes worthwhile for most (unless you’re doing a full-day boat tour of the caldera). And certainly 3 or 4 days you’d be thankful for having a car to really explore the island. Lots to see.

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