Santorini Buses – The Basics
- For 2023 Santorini buses will be running with pre-pandemic rules and regulations. Masks are optional.
- Buses are the cheapest mode of transportation in Santorini. Standard adult tickets cost between €1.80 to €2.50, depending on the destination.
- Santorini buses are air-conditioned, safe, and reliable – but not always on time.
- Bus tickets are purchased when boarding by cash only. There are no advanced sales of bus tickets.
- All tickets are one-way with no transfers. Bus tickets are sold individually; there are no daily or weekly bus passes.
- Fira is the main bus bub. All bus routes begin and end in Fira. The Fira bus station is where to find the most current bus timetables. All routes change seasonally. The Athinios Port (Ferry Port) route changes every day according to the ferry schedule.
- Transportation strikes occur on various dates throughout the year in Greece. These strikes affect all forms of transit. During strikes, no buses, no ferries, and only a few trains and flights will depart on time (or at all). Taxis tend to be the least affected mode of transport. Though strikes can occur at any time, there is always a huge strike on May 1. Avoid booking any ferries, flights, or trains for that day.
Getting Around Santorini by Bus
KTEL is the company that runs the public buses in Santorini. The site is updated irregularly and doesn’t always have the most recent timetables posted. But the site offers useful information such as pricing for night buses, information on discounted rates, and a list of all routes available.
Adult tickets cost between €1.80 and €2.50, depending on the destination. Night buses (from 12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) run less frequently and cost a little more, from €2.30 to €3.10. Persons with disabilities or multiple children receive a 50% discount. Though buses offer a discount for riders with mobility impairments, Santorini buses are not wheelchair accessible.
Fira is the main bus hub in Santorini. All bus routes begin and end in Fira. Travelers staying in Fira can get anywhere on the island using just one bus. Travelers staying in any other village will need to take 2 buses to get anywhere other than Fira. For example, to get from Oia to Akrotiri, take the Oia to Fira bus. Get out at the Fira bus station, then take the Fira to Akrotiri bus. Both of these buses require separate tickets. A round trip from Oia to Akrotiri and back to Oia takes four bus rides and four tickets. The same applies for traveling from Oia to Kamari or Perissa and back. If time is limited, a taxi or car rental is a better option.
Santorini bus schedules change seasonally. Buses run year-round with greater frequency and more routes during the summer season, especially from late June through early September. For the main caldera villages (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia) buses run about every 20 to 30 minutes during the summer. For other villages and beaches, buses run about every 30 minutes to 1 hour during high season. Throughout the year, the timetable of the Fira to Athinios Ferry Port route is determined by the ferry schedule, with more frequent service in the busy summer months.
Spring and fall seasons also have fairly frequent bus service. From late November through February, bus service is extremely limited. The main caldera villages are served with less than half the frequency as during high season, while some minor routes run only twice a day or not at all.
How to Ride the Bus in Santorini
Arrive at the bus station early to find your bus. Look for the yellow sign in the lower-left of the bus window to see the destination. Some buses (usually Airport or Ferry Port buses) are not labeled. Ask the bus driver for the destination. If you are in Fira, you may ask the attendant at the information kiosk.
If catching the bus at a bus station, approach the bus and line up for boarding. If catching the bus from a bus stop on the street, flag down the bus to let the driver know to stop. To flag the bus, raise your arms, wave, and try to make eye contact with the driver. Buses will not stop just anywhere along a route. They will only stop at designated bus stops. If the bus is full, it may not stop.
Pay the driver or ticket-taker after boarding from a street-side bus stop. For buses from the ferry port, airport, or Fira and Oia bus stations, sometimes you’ll pay the ticket-taker outside the bus before boarding; other times you’ll sit first, then pay the ticket-taker when they approach you. Buses accept cash only. Exact fare is not necessary, but paying in smaller bills makes the process faster and easier.
Stow any luggage before taking your seat. Large pieces of luggage are stored under the bus. Hold small bags and backpacks in your lap or tucked at your feet. Use the overhead shelves inside the bus at your own risk; they do not close or even just angle up, so items are prone to falling out when the bus turns or takes a hill.
Board and try to grab a seat. Popular routes during high season are often standing-room-only. If the first bus is over-full, you may have to wait for a second bus.
Hold on tight during the ride. Roads in Santorini are winding and hilly. There are no seatbelts on the buses. There are handles overhead and on the seatbacks for riders who are standing.
Buses will always stop at the final destination listed on the front of the bus, but they don’t always stop at every designated stop along the way. To get off at a lesser-used bus stop (for example Finikia or Exo Gonia), let the driver know when you board. You can also ring the buzzer (if your bus has one) to request a stop, but this requires that you recognize where your stop is. If you won’t be able to recognize your stop, it’s best to sit or stand near the bus driver. If you have mobile data enabled on your phone, open your preferred maps app to follow along in real time and see when you are near your stop.
Fira Bus Station
One of the most popular routes, the Fira-Oia route makes a circle around the northern half of the island. The itineraries to and from Oia are completely different, stopping several times through the caldera villages on the way up, then passing by the north coast beaches before shifting inland on the return.
•Fira to Oia: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Fira Bus Station, Kontochori, Firostefani, Imerovigli, North Imerovigli (Taverna Tasos), Cavo Tagoo, Finikia, East Oia (near Katikies Kirini), and the Oia Bus Station
• Oia to Fira: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Oia Bus Station, Tholos, Baxedes Beach, Fira Bus Station – does not stop in Imerovigli or Firostefani
Another loop route, the bus leaves Fira and heads north to Imerovigli taking the inland route, stopping on request (you have to tell the driver) downhill from Firostefani village, about a 5-minute walk up to the village center. Only on the the way south back to Fira does the bus pass directly through Firostefani.
• Fira to Imerovigli: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Fira Bus Station, Kontochori, near Firostefani, Imerovigli
• Imerovigli/Firostefani to Fira: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Imerovigli, Firostefani, Kontochori, Fira Bus Station
The Perissa route is the most frequent bus line with tons of stops along the way and a few variations on the route. The standard Fira-Perissa bus heads through several inland and smaller villages before heading down to Perivolos Beach and ending at Perissa Beach. Every few hours there is an extended route, that adds a side trip to Vlychada Beach. The standard Perissa bus and the Perissa/Vlychada route are the only buses that go to Pyrgos.
There is also a Perissa Express bus that bypasses all villages north of Megalochori, then turns east to the beaches.
• Fira to Perissa Price: €2.40 – Stops: Fira Bus Station, Karterados, Mesaria, Vothonos, Santo Wines, Pyrgos, Megalochori, Emporio, Perivolos Beach, Perissa Beach
• Perissa to Fira: Price: €2.40 – Stops: Perissa Beach, Emporio, Megalochori, Pyrgos, Vothonos, Mesaria, Karterados, Fira Bus Station – does not stop at Perivolos Beach
• Fira to Perissa Express Price: €2.40 – Stops: Fira, Santo Wines, Megalochori, Emporio, Perivolos Beach, Perissa Beach – Bus marked with an “E”
• Perissa to Fira Express Price: €2.40 – Stops: Perissa Beach, Emporio, Megalochori, Santo Wines, Fira – Bus marked with an “E”, does not stop at Perivolos Beach
• Fira to Perissa/Vlychada Price: €2.40 – Stops: Fira Bus Station, Karterados, Mesaria, Vothonos, Santo Wines, Pyrgos, Megalochori, Emporio, Perivolos Beach, Vlychada Beach, Perissa Beach – about every 3 hours, the Perissa bus route adds this loop to Vlychada
•Vlychada/Perissa to Fira Price: €2.40 – Stops: Vlychada Beach, Perissa Beach, Emporio, Megalochori, Pyrgos, Santo Wines, Vothonos, Mesaria, Karterados, Fira Bus Station – does not stop at Perivolos Beach
The most straightforward bus line in Santorini. The bus follows the exact route to and from Kamari Beach.
• Fira to Kamari: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Fira Bus Station, Karterados, Mesaria, Exo Gonia, Episkopi Gonias (at Santorini Brewing Company), Cine Kamari (open-air cinema), Kamari Beach
• Kamari to Fira: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Kamari Beach, Cine Kamari (open-air cinema), Episkopi Gonias (at Santorini Brewing Company), Exo Gonia, Mesaria, Karterados, Fira Bus Station
Another straightforward route that makes almost the same stops in both directions. This is the bus to take to reach the Akrotiri excavations and Akrotiri Beach, from where you can hike to Red Beach or take the little boat that goes to the Red and White Beaches.
• Fira to Akrotiri Price: €2.00 – Stops: Fira Bus Station, Karterados, Mesaria, Santo Wines, Megalochori, Grigoris Bakery, Caldera View Resort, Akrotiri Village, Akrotiri Archaeological Site, Akrotiri Beach
• Akrotiri to Fira Price: €2.00 – Stops: Akrotiri Beach, Akrotiri Archaeological Site, Akrotiri Village, Calera View Resort, Grigoris Bakery, Megalochori, Santo Wines, Mesaria, Karterados, Fira Bus Station
The Airport bus route runs between the Airport and Fira; every other bus will make a detour in Monolithos before turning back to Fira. The bus stop at the Santorini airport is immediately outside of the arrivals doors.
Airport buses have plenty of space to store luggage, either under the bus or in the overhead shelves inside. The overhead shelves do not close; if you have a laptop or any other breakable item, it’s best to hold it in your lap or at your feet. All Airport buses leaving from the airport go to the Fira Bus Station. To get to the other villages (Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia, Kamari, Perissa, Perivolos, Akrotiri), get off the bus in Fira, buy another ticket, and board a second bus.
There are no night buses (12am to 5am) from the Airport to Fira or from Fira to the Airport.
• Fira to Airport: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Fira Bus Station, Airport – no extra stops
• Airport to Fira: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Airport, Fira Bus Station – no extra stops
• Fira to Airport/Monolithos: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Fira Bus Station, Airport, Monolithos Beach – every other Airport bus adds a loop to Monolithos
• Monolithos to Fira: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Monolithos Beach, Fira Bus Station – does not stop at the Airport
Fira-Athinios Ferry Port Route
The bus connecting Athinios Port (Ferry Port) and Fira costs €2.30 and takes about 20 minutes, much of it spent idling on the steep, zigzagging road running up the side of the caldera. The views from here are incredible.
There are always buses waiting at the port to meet arriving ferries, and Athinios Port buses go directly to the Fira bus station. To get to other villages (Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia, Kamari, Perissa, Perivolos, Akrotiri), change buses and buy a second ticket in Fira. Sometimes there is a bus connecting the Ferry Port to the Airport, but it is rare and only offered during the peak of the summer.
Athinios Port buses offer plenty of storage space for luggage under the bus or on the overhead shelves, but as previously mentioned, do not put anything breakable on the overhead shelves.
The Athinios Port bus schedule changes daily depending on the ferry schedules and weather. In bad weather, ferries and buses will be delayed or canceled. The port schedule is handwritten and posted one day in advance only at the Fira bus station.
• Fira to Athinios Ferry Port: Price €2.30 – Stops: Fira Bus Station, Karterados (caldera), Santo Wines, Athinios Port
• Athinios Ferry Port to Fira: Price €2.30 – Stops: Athenios Port, near Santo Wines, Karterados (village), Fira Bus Station
Santorini Bus FAQs
Where can I buy Santorini bus tickets?
Tickets are sold as you board (usually when boarding at Fira Bus Station, Oia Bus Station, or Athinios Port) or after you have taken your seat (when boarding from a smaller village bus stop). Cash only.
Can I pay for a bus ticket with my credit card?
No, all bus ticket sales are in cash only. There are ATMs near the bus stations in Fira and Oia.
Can I buy an all-day or multi-day pass for Santorini buses?
No, bus tickets are sold individually and are good for a one-way ride to or from Fira. Transfers are not included. Trips requiring two or more buses also require two or more tickets.
How much does a bus ticket cost?
Bus tickets cost between €1.80 and €2.50, depending on how far the destination is from Fira.
Do buses in Santorini run on Sundays?
Yes. Buses in Santorini operate 7 days a week.
What are the hours of operation for Santorini buses?
In general, the earliest regular bus routes begin at 5:30 a.m., while the latest regular buses run until about 12:30 a.m. There are some night buses running from 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. that serve the main caldera villages mostly during high season. Night buses operate on an erratic schedule and should not be relied on.
Can I take the bus from the Airport or Port directly to Oia?
No. All bus routes begin and end in Fira. It will take 2 buses to reach Oia from the airport or port. Take the first bus into Fira, then transfer to a second bus (and buy a second ticket) to Oia.
Are Santorini buses wheelchair accessible?
No. All buses have a few steps to climb at the entrances and exits. There are no ramps or wheelchair lifts. Once on the bus, the aisle is narrow and there is no space to park a wheelchair.
Which bus goes to Santo Wines?
The Perissa, Vlychada, Akrotiri, and Athinios Ferry Port bus routes stop a short walk from Santo Wines. Tell the driver when you board to that you want to stop at Santo Wines, and they will drop you off directly in front of the winery. Other great Santorini wineries are accessible via these same buses by getting off at the Pyrgos, Megalochori, or Exo Gonia stops and walking a short distance.
Which bus goes to the beach?
Several beaches in Santorini can be reached by bus. The Perissa route goes to Perissa and Perivolos Beaches and sometimes Vlychada Beach. The Kamari bus goes to Kamari Beach. The Airport/Monolithos bus goes to Monolithos Beach. The Akrotiri bus stops at Akrotiri Beach, just a short hike (10 to 15 minutes) to Red Beach. The Oia to Fira bus stops at Baxedes Beach (but to get back to Oia, you have to bus down to Fira first, then change onto an Oia-bound bus).
Which bus goes to the archaeological excavations?
The Akrotiri bus goes to the excavation site of the Prehistoric Town of Akrotiri. The same bus also goes to Akrotiri Beach.
Which bus goes to Ammoudi Bay?
There are no bus stops in Ammoudi Bay, but the bus from Fira to Oia stops a 15-minute walk from Ammoudi. The hike down is along a steep, winding footpath, so most people walk down then call a taxi back up. Buy a drink or meal from any of the restaurants there, and the server will be happy to call a taxi for you.
Santorini Buses by Season
Summer: High Season
Summer is high season in Santorini with all bus routes operating at full capacity, especially from late June through early September. The busiest bus routes connecting Fira with Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, Kamari, and Perissa will be running about every 20 to 30 minutes throughout the day. Buses from Fira to Oia, Kamari, and Perissa (the three most popular routes) run 35 to 40 times a day each direction from early morning until around midnight. Even with the high number of buses running to these hotspots, buses often fill to capacity and won’t be able to take on additional passengers. If time is limited, it may be better to call a taxi or rent a car. Other popular routes, such as the Fira to Akrotiri line, the Airport bus, or the Fira-Firostefani-Imerovigli route, run about 15 to 20 times a day. Buses heading to the smaller beaches, like Monolithos, Baxedes, and Vlychada run several times a day. The Athinios Port bus schedule changes daily, but there is always a bus waiting at the port for every arriving ferry. The bus from Fira to Athinios Port runs an average of 12 times a day in summer; check the schedule at the Fira bus station up to one day in advance.
Spring and Fall: Shoulder Seasons
Spring (mid-March through early May) and fall (end of September, October, and early November) see frequent bus service to all major villages and to the main beaches at Kamari and Perissa. Buses from Fira to Oia and Kamari Beach runs about every 30 minutes almost 30 times a day from early morning to 10:00 at night. Other major routes, such as the Perissa and Akrotiri lines, run about 20 times a day from morning until 9:00 or 10:00 at night. Beach clubs and bars at the smaller beaches like Monolithos and Vlychada aren’t always open during the shoulder seasons, so buses headed that way run less often. Buses between Fira and the Airport run hourly 15 times a day on average. The Athinios Port bus schedule changes daily, but there is always a bus waiting at the port for every arriving ferry. The bus from Fira to Athinios Port runs about 6 times a day; check the schedule at the Fira bus station up to one day in advance.
Winter: Low Season
Winter is the low season in Santorini, and the island is quiet from late November through February. Most hotels and restaurants on the caldera and all beach clubs completely shut down in the winter, so buses run infrequently. Fira and Oia are the best-served villages during the winter months, with buses running between the two villages 15 times a day about every hour. Buses from Fira to Kamari, Perissa, and Akrotiri run about 10 times a day about every 75 to 90 minutes from roughly 7:30 in the morning until 7:00 in the evening. Buses to the smaller beaches and less-traveled villages, such as Vlychada or Exo Gonia, run twice a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). Some routes halt service through winter. Airport buses run 6 times a day about every 2 or so hours. The Athinios Port bus schedule changes daily, but there is always a bus waiting at the port for every arriving ferry. The bus from Fira to Athinios Port runs only a few times a day; check the schedule at the Fira bus station up to one day in advance.
A Photo Guide to Santorini Buses