Greek Guide

 

Santorini Car Hire Greece Greek Rentals

Santorini has more than its fair share of modes of transport. You can get around by bus, taxi, moped, horse or mule. The best way of seeing all the island has to offer is to hire a car.as long as you're not a nervous driver. Some of the roads here are narrow, winding and treacherous with unprotected edges perilously close to steep drops.

There are plenty of car and moped rental firms around the island, especially in Fira. Don't try to park in Fira town centre or any other designated no parking zones because the local police will remove your licence plates and demand a hefty fine for the car's return.

You can reach all the main places of interest on the island by bus but if you're travelling in high season you'll find the buses can get horribly crowded and you don't get the chance to explore the many different aspects of Santorini at leisure.

With the benefit of a rental car you'll be able to visit the island's two important archaeological sites of Akrotiri and Ancient Thira, travel through the unspoilt inland villages, soak up the sun on the black sand beaches of the east coast and explore the breathtaking cliffside town of Ia in the north.

For anyone interested in the island's ancient history, a visit to Ancient Akrotiri on the south coast is a must. Since archaeologists started excavating the site in 1967, Akrotiri has provided a fascinating insight into the sophisticated culture of the Minoan civilisation which existed before the cataclysmic volcanic eruption in 1600 BC. The town was frozen in time by ash from the eruption and the excavations to date have revealed only a fraction of the treasures which still lie buried beneath the site. It's a good idea to visit Fira's Museum of Prehistoric Thira first to view the wonderful wall paintings which have been discovered here.

Ancient Thira, on the east of the island, is in a spectacular hilltop location with dramatic views of Santorini and the neighbouring islands. The site was inhabited as far back as the 9th century BC and excavation work has revealed the ruins of Roman and Byzantine temples, a theatre, gymnasium and marketplace.

Ia, in the north of the island, is well worth a visit as it's Santorini's loveliest village, perched on the rim of the Caldera with sunset views to die for. The village has some fine (albeit expensive) boutiques and souvenir shops, excellent restaurants and impressive neoclassical 19th century mansions at the top of the town near the castle. Walk to the base of the cliff to swim in the crystal clear waters of the lagoon at the bottom of the village and take a donkey ride back up to the top.

Tour the island beaches beautiful Red Beach on the south coast, frantic Kamari on the east coast and the less crowded more family orientated beach of Monolithos six kilometres east of Fira.