Santorini Buses

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Updated: Jan 31, 2020

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Santorini Buses – The Basics

  • Buses are the cheapest mode of transportation in Santorini besides walking. Standard adult tickets cost between €1.80 to €2.50 depending on the destination.
  • Santorini buses are air-conditioned, safe, and reliable (though not timely).
  • 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 included. Bus tickets are sold individually; there are no daily or weekly bus passes.
  • Fira is the main hub for bus transportation, and all bus routes begin and end in Fira. The Fira bus station is where to find the most current bus timetables, including info on the Athinios Port (Ferry Port) route, which changes every day.
  • Most areas in Greece have public transportation strikes on various dates throughout the year. These strikes can affect all forms of transit, including, buses, trains, ferries, flights, and taxis. During strikes no buses, no ferries, and only a handful of 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 that day.
Boarding the Fira Express Bus in Oia.

Passengers board the Fira Express bus at Oia bus station. The ticket taker is selling tickets outside the bus while the driver takes a quick break.

Getting Around Santorini by Bus

KTEL is the company that runs the public buses in Santorini. The site is updated irregularly 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, including minor routes that aren’t always posted at the Fira bus terminal.

Standard 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 disabled riders, 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, buy a ticket in Oia and take the bus into Fira. Get out at the Fira bus station, buy a second bus ticket, and transfer to another bus to Akrotiri. A round trip from Oia to Akrotiri takes four bus rides. And if traveling from Oia to Kamari, Akrotiri, and back, it would take a total of 8 bus rides. If time is limited, a taxi or car rental is a better option.

Santorini bus schedules change often. Buses run year-round with greater frequency and more routes added during the summer high season, especially from May through September. For the main caldera villages (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia) buses run about every 20 to 30 minutes throughout the year. For other villages, buses run about every 30 minutes to 1 hour during high season.

Spring and fall seasons also have frequent bus service. During the winter months, especially from 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

Find your bus. Look for the yellow sign in the lower left of the window to see the bus’ destination.

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 right arm, wave, and try to make eye contact with the driver.

Pay the driver or ticket taker after boarding from a streetside 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 it more likely that you’ll receive the necessary change due.

Stow any luggage before taking your seat. Luggage is often stored under the bus on routes heading to or from the ferry port or airport. For village or beach routes, use the overhead shelves inside.

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, but there are handles on the seatbacks for those 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 ahead of time.

Santorini Bus Routes

Main Routes

Oia: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Fira, Oia

Firostefani/Imerovigli: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Fira, Imerovigli, Firostefani, Fira (circular route)

Perissa: Price: €2.40 – Stops: Fira, Karterados, Messaria, Vothonas, Pyrgos, Megalochori, Emporio, Perivolos Beach, Perissa Beach

Kamari: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Fira, Karterados, Messaria, Exo Gonia, Kamari Beach

Akrotiri Price: €2.00 – Stops: Fira, Karterados, Messaria, Vothonas, Pyrgos, Megalochori, Akrotiri Village, Red Beach

Airport Express: Price: €1.80 – Stops: Fira, Airport (no stops in between)

Athinios Port: Price €2.30 – Stops: Fira, Karterados, Messaria, Vothonas, Athinios Port

Athinios Port Express: Price €2.30 – Stops: Fira, Athinios Port (no stops in between)

Note that the Athinios Port and Athinios Port Express bus schedules change daily depending on the ferry schedules. The port bus timetable is posted one day in advance at the Fira bus station.

Minor Routes

Monolithos: Price €1.80 – Stops: Fira, Karterados, Messaria, Airport, Monolithos Beach

Oia: Price €1.80 – Stops: Fira, Pori Beach, Koloumpos Beach, Oia

Baxedes: Price €1.90 – Stops: Fira, Baxedes Beach

Vlichada: Price €2.50 – Stops: Fira, Vlichada Beach

Vourvolos: Price €1.80 – Stops: Fira, Vourvolos

Exo Gonia: Price €1.80 – Stops: Fira, Monolithos Beach, Exo Gonia

Emporio: Price €1.80 – Stops: Fira, Emporio

Santorini Airport Bus

The Airport Express bus route runs between the Airport and Fira with no stops in between. The bus stop at the Santorini airport is immediately outside of the arrivals doors. The bus costs €1.80 and takes around 10 minutes.

Airport buses have plenty of space to store luggage, either under the bus or in the overhead shelves inside. All Airport buses leaving from the airport go directly to the Fira bus station. To get to 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 from the Airport to Fira or from Fira to the Airport.

To get to the airport from the Fira bus station, take the Airport Express bus if possible; this is by far the fastest route. If the Airport Express is not available, take the bus bound for Monolithos. The second to last stop on the Monolithos bus is the Airport.

In high season there can also be a bus between the airport and ferry port, but don’t count on it.

Athinios Port Bus

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.

Athinios Port buses offer plenty of storage space for luggage under the bus or on the overhead shelves. All 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.

There are no night buses from the Athinios Port to Fira or from Fira to the Athinios Port.

The Athinios Port bus stop is at the east end of the port. When disembarking from the ferry, walk about 100 to 150 meters to the left to find the buses.

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 at the Fira bus station.

In high season there is sometimes a bus between the Ferry Port and the Airport, but it’s never a sure thing.

Santorini Bus FAQs

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.

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 station 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. Routes requiring two or more buses also require two or more tickets.

Where can I buy Santorini bus tickets?

Tickets are sold on the bus. Cash only.

Do buses in Santorini run on Sundays?

Yes. Buses in Santorini operate 7 days a week. Weekend buses run slightly less frequently than weekday buses.

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., mostly serving the main caldera villages and 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?

Both the Perissa and Akrotiri 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 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 Perivolos, Agios Georgios, and Perissa Beaches. The Kamari bus goes to Kamari Beach. The Monolithos bus goes to Monolithos Beach. The Akrotiri bus stops near the Red Beach. The Pori bus goes to Koloympos (aka Koloumbos aka Columbo) and Pori Beaches.

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 the Red 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 road, 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 May through 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-Imerovigli-Firostefani circular route, run about 15 to 20 times a day. Buses heading to the smaller beaches, like Monolithos, Koloumpos, and Vlichada run about 10 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 late April) and fall (end of September and October) 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 Koloumpos aren’t always open during the shoulder seasons, so buses headed that way run less often, about 7 times a day. 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, especially from 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, 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 Baxedes 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

A typical Santorinian bus.

This is a typical Santorinian bus. Buses have two doors, one in the front and one in the back. Buses usually board from the front.

The Fira bus station.

Fira is the transportation hub of Santorini. All bus routes begin and end here. The Fira bus station is especially busy in the summer.

Boarding the bus at the Fira bus station

Passengers wait to board a bus at the Fira bus station. Toward the middle of the bus is a raised panel. Luggage is stored under the bus here.

The Fira bus station information desk.

The Fira bus station information desk is the best place to check for the most current timetables, routes, and rates. The workers here speak English well and can help answer most questions. They do not sell tickets here. The Athinios Port bus schedule is posted here daily to the right of the main window.

Bus timetables in summer.

Here are the bus timetables shown at the Fira bus station information desk. These bus timetables are typical for summer, the high season, when buses run frequently. The handwritten sign is the timetable for the Athinios Port bus, which is different every day. The Athinios Port bus timetable is posted one day in advance only at the Fira bus station.

Typical bus timetables in spring.

These are typical bus timetables in spring, the shoulder season. Buses run frequently in spring, but not as often as summer.

Bus from Fira to Imerovigli and Firostefani.

Find the right bus. Bus routes are posted in yellow signs on the left bottom sides of the front windows.

The Oia Express bus.

This is the Oia Express bus waiting for departure at the Fira bus station.

The taxi stand at the Fira bus station.

The Fira bus station has a taxi stand in front, which is easily seen from the main road. The Fira bus station information desk is seen here on the left in the background.

ATMs at the Oia bus station

Ticket purchases are done by cash only. The main bus stations, including Fira and Oia (seen here) have ATMs. Fira and Oia stations also have restrooms nearby, like the blue and white one seen in the center right here. The silver cars in here are taxis.

A bus at the Oia bus station.

A bus boarding at the Oia bus station. Oia is the second busiest bus station after Fira.

Boarding a bus at the Oia bus station.

An alternatve view of the Oia bus station.

Departing the Oia bus station

A bus departing from the Oia bus station.

A bus stop with a purple sign.

Most Santorini bus stops have are marked by a purple sign like this one here.

A bus station with a green sign.

Some bus stations are marked with green signs and have timetables attached.

A bus stop with a blue sign.

The least common bus stop sign is the blue one seen here.

A bus stop in Santorini with two signs.

Some bus stops have a combination of signs.

A hidden bus sign.

Some of the minor bus stops and their markers are hard to find.

A covered bus stop.

Most bus stops are just signs on their own, but a few have covered waiting areas attached like this one.

The bus stop in Imerovigli

The covered bus stop in Imerovigli is north of Sunbird rental cars.

The bus stop in Pyrgos.

The covered bus stop in Pyrgos is here on the right with a very banged up purple sign.

Bus stop in the main square of Emporio.

The main square of Emporio has two bus stops. Seen here on the left is the bus stop for routes headed to Perissa. On the right (blocked a little by the scooter) is the bus stop for routes bound for Fira.

The bus stop at Perivolos Beach.

The bus stop at Perivolos Beach. This stop is toward the end of the Perissa bus route (or the beginning of routes headed to Fira from here).

The Akrotiri beach bus stop.

This is the final stop on the Akrotiri line. Get off here to hike to the Red Beach.

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