Santorini is an island but has different options for arriving. Santorini is unique because it has its own airport, found on the main island. This airport operates many international flights. It has seasonal service to many popular destinations from Europe and in the Middle East as well as private charter flights. There are several land transportation options available after leaving from the airport to Fira which is the central tourist area of Santorini.
The best way to get from Santorini Airport to Fira is by Airport transfers/prepaid taxis due to its convenience and reasonable price. Alternately, car rentals are another way to go if one prefers driving and saving some money.
Click here to book a transfer from Santorini Airport to your hotel in Fira at Getyourguide.com
Here are the ways to get from Santorini Airport to Fira(explained):
- 1 How to get from Santorini Airport to Fira
- 2 Flights to Fira Santorini
- 3 How to get from Athens-Fira
- 4 Getting Around Santorini
- 5 Things to Do in Fira, Santorini
- 5.1 1. Climb up the 587 steps hiking trail in Santorini for the magnificent view of the Caldera.
- 5.2 2. Take the Cable Car in Fira.
- 5.3 3. Hike from Fira to Oia.
- 5.4 4. Get into Santorini’s history in the ancient city of Akrotiri.
- 5.5 5. Cherish every sunset in Fira.
- 5.6 6. Go on a boat trip in Fira or anywhere in Santorini.
- 5.7 7. Take a dip at the Red Sand Beach.
- 5.8 8. Go crazy on wine tasting.
- 5.9 9. Ride a Donkey on the stairs down to the port in Fira.
- 5.10 10. Take a selfie at the Blue Domes in Oia.
- 5.11 11. Rent an ATV in Santorini.
- 6 Santorini Boat Tours
- 7 Best Time to Visit Fira ,Santorini
- 8 What will I wear for a trip to Santorini?
- 9 Things to Know Before You Travel to Santorini
How to get from Santorini Airport to Fira
Santorini Airport to Fira by Bus
Santorini also has a local bus service that is the cheapest way of getting around Santorini. If you’re traveling from the airport to Fira, there’s a particular bus that operates on this route. Fira is a hub on Santorini, so many of them operate from this center to other parts of the island. You can easily transfer at Fira to access any of these other areas. Some buses can take you directly to Fira and then you can transfer from there, but depending on the season(peak season/low season) the bus service varies. The trip takes 15-20 minutes, and it costs 2.50 euros one way.
Cons: The buses, however, takes almost an hour of waiting and on some occasions longer that. An average trip from the airport to Fira would take 90 minutes. That’s a long trip!
Tips when taking the bus:
Tickets can be purchased inside the bus. Only cash(EURO) is accepted.
Some hotels provide shuttles for their guests free of charge or at an additional cost. They can sometimes offer to book a taxi for you to make traveling around Santorini much simpler. But not all hotels offer this kind of service.
Santorini Airport to Fira by Taxi
You’ll come across taxis from the time you leave the airport and even just around the different parts of the island. Santorini Airport to Fira by Taxi . The duration of the trip by taxi is 30 minutes.
Depending on the taximeter, the average meter from the airport to Fira is approximately 30€-45€.
At night time, an average fare would be 40€.
You’ll see many of these taxis hanging around areas such as Fira or Oia, where most tourists are.
The taxi services can usually take you to where you need to go around the island.
It may take a long wait during the peak season getting a taxi at the airport and very hard to find one during nighttime.
Pro tip: It is advisable that you book a taxi in advance.
Santorini Airport to Fira by Airport Transfers
There’s a variety of choices for Airport transfers to Fira. Perhaps, the cheapest of them all is Rideways . Their rates range from 26 Euros(4 passengers) – 38 Euros(8 passengers).
Pre-booked Car Rentals
Pick up your rental car waiting for you at the airport. Renting car is the most efficient transportation when visiting Santorini. You have the freedom wherever you go and don’t have to worry about bus schedules and taxi prices. Car rentals cost as low as 30 EUROS.
Cons: You do the hassle to navigate your way to the hotel.
If you’re picking up your car at the airport, you’ll probably see some rental counters. At the counter you need to prepare 4 things:
4)International Driving Permit
Flights to Fira Santorini
Flights from the US/Canada- Santorini
If you are traveling from the US or Canada, visit Kayak.com. You will see flight schedules to Santorini on the page. If you plan to land directly on Athens, Toronto and New York normally have direct flights going there. However, for other cities in Greece, you will have to go via New York, Toronto, Paris, London, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam.
There are two ways to get to Santorini, it’s either by plane or by ferry. If you want to travel by plane, look for flights from Athens or other hub cities in western Europe to Santorini. North America also has no direct flights to Athens. It mostly takes around forty-five minutes to travel by plane.
In case you want to stay longer in Athens, you can ride a ferry to Santorini, and ride a bus or taxi to Oia, Fira or to any city you will be staying in. You can check the prices and the schedule of the ferry at Letsferry.gr.
Make sure to get the ticket printout from the ferry booth at the port of Piraeus (Athens Port) or any Greek travel agency like Aktina Travel Agency at the Athens port as this is required by the law. You can choose to ride the SeaJets, the Blue Star Ferries, or the Hellenic Seaways to get to Santorini. If you choose BlueStar Ferry, it takes eight hours at thirty-five to forty euros per ticket. Meanwhile, the SeaJets Ferry takes five hours at seventy to seventy-five euros per ticket.
How to get from Athens-Fira
The cheaper option to get to Athens would be to book a flight from the hub cities in Western Europe. After that, book the ferry ticket online via a travel agent or directly at the port. You can take the metro to the Piraeus port; most ferries usually arrive an hour early. However, the best way would be to take the Athens Airport Bus X96 with the X96 Bus Route to the Athens Port. The route travels every twenty to thirty minutes. The bus ticket costs six euros for adults and three euros for children. You can also pay using the ATH.ENA Card. Ride the ferry and enjoy the view as you enter Caldera.
Getting Around Santorini
Santorini is a great place to explore by foot. Fira’s town center will place you right in the middle of many of its attractions. You’ll be within walking distance from many shops, restaurants, and even nightlife entertainment. Perissa is another example of an area where walking is common. This area is known for its beaches. There’s an entire boardwalk of places to visit that one can easily access by walking.
Nothing beats the thrill of exploring Santorini on your own. By far the best option, when the buses tend to be a little overcrowded during the high season. Santorini is a very scenic island, and there are several beautiful beaches to explore. Roads wind along its coast making it an enjoyable ride to your destination or just sightseeing. Fira has smaller roads, especially around its center.Prices may vary depending on the car and if you’re lucky you can bargain for a better price. Average price for a car rental per day costs €45 while motorcycle/quad costs €15-€ 30 per day. Don’t forget to bring your international driving license with you.
Things to Do in Fira, Santorini
1. Climb up the 587 steps hiking trail in Santorini for the magnificent view of the Caldera.
Walk up to five hundred eighty-seven steps to see the view of Caldera. If you are walking by foot, be prepared for a long and steep hike. When you reach the peak, you will see a breathtaking view of Caldera. The trail will follow the same path as those who are riding a donkey, so keep a sure footing.
There are many tourists who go on a day trip to the picturesque town of Fira especially in the summer months. They travel by small boats and are brought in on the shore. Plenty of cruise ships dock at the bay. During the peak season, there are about five cruise ships that dock on the port below Fira.
2. Take the Cable Car in Fira.
Teleferique, also known as the Swiss-made cable car, was made a few years ago. It was given by a wealthy ship owner. The mule owners are given a percentage of the cable-car’s income as well. The cable car is open daily. It opens at six thirty o’clock in the morning and closes at ten o’clock in the evening. It travels from the Old Port every twenty minutes, and it travels in three minutes up to the town of Fira located at an altitude of two hundred twenty meters. The price of the ride is usually around four to five euros.
It is important to remember that you will have to climb steep steps to get to the station of the cable car, and you will need to be unafraid of heights. Once you pay for the ride, you can start to enjoy the view without consuming energy that you can use for shopping and be browsing through the local shops later. Take note that if you are in Fira on times that large cruise ships dock on the port, be prepared for your patience to be tested as you will have to wait for a long time to ride the cable car. The lines to purchase tickets will be longer as the tourists will more likely choose to ride the cable car than walk.
3. Hike from Fira to Oia.
See the best view of the Greek Island by hiking. The trail will pass through the picturesque villages of Santorini. You will also get to see Santorini’s majestic coastline and its well-known volcano. It also has markers that will ensure you will not get lost.
Here are other things that you should know if you plan to take a hike from Fira to Oia:
● The distance from Fira to Oia is about ten kilometers or six miles, so prepare to walk for about three to four hours. The hike does not need any technical knowledge or skills. You will not get lost easily. As long as you follow the markers on the trail, you’ll never lose your way.
● Remember to have a hat and sunglasses to protect you from the sun. Have plenty of water as well for the long hike ahead.
● Bringing babies on strollers and pushchairs is not advisable although children that are seven years old or older can join the hike.
4. Get into Santorini’s history in the ancient city of Akrotiri.
Santorini’s history isn’t a totally happy one. The island has many museums that tell the story of the people who have lived in the island. The Minoans were the original inhabitants of the island until the eruption of the massive volcano at the center of the island that led to the formation of the Caldera. The ancient city of Akrotiri was discovered after it was excavated. The city is in the south of the island, and it was buried in ash after the eruption. You can find some of the artifacts at the Museum of Prehistoric Thira. The museum also has other exhibits including Santorini’s geology. With the Minoans gone due to the eruption of the volcano, Santorini was able to experience a number of invasions through the years. The invaders include the Dorians, Romans, Phoenicians, and the Ottomans. You can see the influences they have left like carvings, ceramics, sculptures, and other relics from those eras in Santorini Archeological Museum.
5. Cherish every sunset in Fira.
Have you ever seen a postcard from Greece? The blue doors, bougainvillea-covered terraces, and the white domes of the churches? See the postcard in real life and the sunset of Santorini yourself. Make sure that at sunset, you are in a place where you can have a great view of the Caldera. Make yourself comfortable as the Greek sun sets right before you. It is best to find a good restaurant that offers great wine and a fantastic view of the Caldera. Fira, also known as Thira, is the island’s main town. You can surely pass through the town if you visit Santorini. Fira is where the cruise ships dock, and it is also where most of the hotels are located. The town overlooks the Aegean Sea, and it is located at the top of a two hundred sixty-meter-high cliff. It also has a fantastic view of the Caldera and the sunset.
6. Go on a boat trip in Fira or anywhere in Santorini.
Explore the waters of the Aegean Sea and go on boat trips. You will have a wide array of boat trips to choose from – from luxury yachts to traditional sailing boats. You can also experience sunset viewing at the sea while taking a boat ride. Sail along Santorini’s coastline and visit Nea Kameni island at the heart of Caldera. You will see the volcano, and you will also get to smell sulfur and see the steam vents that surround it. You can sail to Palea Kameni; it has a lot of hot springs and mud baths that you can visit. The Agios Nikolaos bay has a hot water beach as well where you can dive in and relax.
7. Take a dip at the Red Sand Beach.
You can find the Red Sand Beach in Santorini. It’s right beside the ancient city of Akrotiri, located at the south of the island. The beach has varying shades of red due to volcanic rocks and the color of the sand. It is one of the top beaches for sunbathing. When you arrive at the location, you will see the chapel of St. Nicholas, and you will see a trail. The path to the coast starts from there. It is advisable to wear protective footwear like closed shoes when walking down the path because it can get a bit rocky. If you decide not to take on the path, you can choose to go through the headlands which will give you the best view of the beach and its shades of red. You can also choose to hire a yacht to reach the beach and enjoy the view of the beach from the boat.
8. Go crazy on wine tasting.
Santorini is well-known for its wine. It has a long history of viniculture. The Assyrtiko grape is the primary variety in the area. The wine culture started with the invasion of the Romans, but it was the Venetians who introduced new ideas and techniques during the middle ages. You can taste a sample of the delicious wines on the island when you visit the Santos Wines Winery that you can pass through while touring around. Visit the Pre-Historic Museum for exhibits on the island’s history of viniculture. If you love wines, then this tour is something you must not miss.
9. Ride a Donkey on the stairs down to the port in Fira.
Have you ever wanted to ride a donkey? If so, Santorini will give you that rare chance. You can ride a mule up to the cable cars. The best place to catch a mule ride is to go to Fira’s old port, Santorini’s capital. You can also travel to Ammoudi or other villages from Oia by riding a donkey. Mule rides are available all year round. You can check more about the mule ride by visiting www.greeka.com.
10. Take a selfie at the Blue Domes in Oia.
Oia is located on top of an immensely high cliff which offers a spectacular view of the volcano of Palia. You can also see the islands of Nea Kameni and Thirassia from this cliff. It is located at the northern part of the island and is about eleven kilometers away from the capital. The village is filled with traditional houses and narrow streets. It also has blue-domed churches that you see on the postcards of Santorini. It also has a number of tourist shops that you can visit and taverns and cafes that will offer you traditional delicacies. You will have access to other shops as well. You can take the bus from the Fira to get to the blue-domed churches. It takes about thirty minutes and costs around one to two euros for the ride. Go to www.greeka.com to check out more of what the village can offer.
11. Rent an ATV in Santorini.
Add a sense of adventure to your trip by renting an All-Terrain Vehicle. Experience a unique sense to your journey and taste the sun and salt in the air. Increase your adrenaline level and get pumped up by just driving the ATV around Santorini. You will get to experience a different side of the island. It can access common tourist spots like beaches and small villages. You can also opt for off-road sites like caves where you might stumble on a hidden gem yourself. This mode of transportation will make your trip closer to the culture of Santorini.
Santorini Boat Tours
There are many different options for exploring Santorini on your schedule. Santorini also has a variety of tours that take you to some of the special highlights of the island that you may miss on your own. Many tourism companies operate in Santorini, but there are good deals that you can find among them.
Boat tours are in high demand in Santorini. These boat tours will take you to the volcano and hot springs. An eruption formed Santorini and the large crater, called the Caldera, was a result of many years of natural development. You can see the reason for this beautiful island up close on tour here. You’ll have the opportunity to hike up the volcano which will give you incredible views of the entire island.
Here are a few activities in Santorini you should consider:
Since it’s such a picturesque island, Santorini also has several boat tours that cater towards families or big groups.
The two main types of Boat tours in Santorini are :
1)Day Cruise(lots of swimming) Starts early in the day without sunset watching.
2) Sunset Cruise(swimming+sunset watching). Sunset boat tours are some of the most common tours that you’ll find. These trips will take you out to the water to enjoy a meal and a few drinks. You have the opportunity to swim in the sea or just lounge on the deck while having one of the best views in the world. Almost all the boats are inclusive of food and hotel-pickup.
Best Time to Visit Fira ,Santorini
The peak season in Greece is usually in the months of May, June, and August. There will be many tourists during this period. The prices of tickets and everything else can skyrocket at this time due to the number of tourist arrivals. The temperature can get hot, too, so wear clothes that will make you feel comfortable under hot temperatures. The beaches and tourist spots will also be packed at this time. Unless you have to be in Greece, it would be best to avoid these months. It is best to visit Greece in April and September. The tourist arrivals will drop by twenty percent during these periods. The temperature at this time will still be quite warm, so bring comfortable clothes and pack light as well.
You will surely have a wonderful time in Santorini no matter the season you plan to visit. The best season will depend on what you want to experience. If you want to be under the sun and go to beaches or pools, travel to Santorini in Summer or at its peak season. If you prefer quiet walks, cooler temperatures, and no swimming, visit Santorini on the winter and fall months or at its lean season. Santorini will definitely have something to offer at any time of the year.
What will I wear for a trip to Santorini?
If you plan to travel to Santorini during its winter months like December, January, and February, it is best to wear warm clothes. It can get extremely cold, windy, and humid, although there’s no snow and the temperature does not reach below zero. You will surely need long sleeves, jackets, sweaters, and even jumpers. Don’t bring short sleeves, summer dresses, and shorts. Santorini is an island, so it is prone to rapid change of temperatures. Remember that January and February are the coolest months in Santorini. The island also has an unpredictable weather although it is not severe. You will still experience temperatures from three degrees Celsius to twenty degrees Celsius. The winter in Santorini will be like the fall or autumn of major European cities like Paris and London.
The spring months of March, April, and May have the warmest weather. Although the month of March has an unpredictable weather in Santorini, it is nothing to worry about. However, you will have temperatures that can reach fifteen to twenty Celsius. During April, the weather will become warmer. The heat can rise to twenty-five degrees Celsius. You will have clear skies and warm days on this month. You can wear your swimsuit and start jumping into the waters of the Aegean Sea in the month of May although the sea will still be a bit cold from winter. Bring light clothes like shorts, summer dresses, and t-shirts. The weather in May will feel like summer in London and Paris or other major European cities.
The summer months in Greece are June, July, and August. You will experience the best summer in Santorini. You will need all the light clothes you can get. Bring with you your short dresses, bikinis, shorts, shirts, and every light wear you have. Do not forget to bring your flip-flops as well. The summer in Santorini can be dry and hot although not as much as the desert. Trousers, long sleeves, and jackets are not advisable.
Autumn or Fall
The fall months are September, October, and November. September will still feel like summer. You can go swimming on most days, but the nights will become cooler. It is best to start swimming in pools. Bring some long sleeves if you plan to visit Santorini in September.
When you visit Santorini in October, it can be a bit different from the previous month. It is also the last month where the waters are still comfortably cold enough to swim in. Read the detailed guide on Santorini in October and what to expect.
If you plan to travel to Santorini in November, the temperature will be slightly colder. Swimming will be less comfortable as the waters get cooler. You can now wear long sleeves although you can still get clear skies and warm days with temperatures of twenty degrees Celsius.
Things to Know Before You Travel to Santorini
Most countries do not need visas to visit Greece. Tourists from these countries can stay for a maximum of ninety days. The countries that do not need visas are USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the countries in Europe as well. Just remember to check your passport. Make sure that your passport is still valid for three months after your departure date.
The currency used in Greece is euros. You can find ATMs available in all the cities that are commonly visited by tourists like Thessaloniki and Athens. However, it’s harder to find ATMs in smaller villages or cities that are not commonly visited by tourists. Although Visa and MasterCard are commonly used, it is best to have some cash with you. You can use these in less visited areas such as family-run businesses like the ones in Naxos and Kavala.
Tipping is common in Greece.
We were even chased down by the waiter on our way out demanding we service charge wasn’t in included.
If there isn’t any service charge, you can tip between ten to twenty percent. You can give tips to restaurants and even taxis.