As mentioned in an earlier blog post of mine, there is a well-organised public bus service in Santorini, connecting the airport to Fira (where the central bus station is located) and various destinations on the island. Do take note that the busses to all destinations depart from Fira. For example, to get to Oia from Santorini National Airport, one would have to take the bus first to Fira, then take another bus to Oia, vice versa.
The Central Bus Station in Fira
From Central Fira Hotel, we made our way up the cobbled street and walked towards the central bus station located not too far away. We passed by several shops, cafes, hotels, and tour operators along the way. Several buses and people were already waiting at the bus station when we arrived.
We boarded the correct 12.30pm bus to Oia and waited patiently for the bus to depart. Fyi, the bus tickets are purchased on the bus (issued by the bus conductor), and not from the information counter or anywhere else. The bus tickets cannot be booked or purchased online.
The bus fares are priced at €1.80, €2.00 or €2.30 per person, per way, depending on the destination. The local buses run between every 30 minutes to every other hour. The timetables are available on the notice board at the central bus station in Fira or online at http://www.ktel-santorini.gr. We paid €1.80 each for our Fira to Oia local bus tickets. Not long after that, the bus made its move to Oia.
The central bus station in Fira, Santorini
The local buses in the central bus station in Fira, Santorini
A Scenic Local Bus Ride From Fira To Oia – Featuring The Steep Cliffs Of The Caldera & The Sea-Facing Flat Farmlands
The streets in Fira are narrow and at some places steep, yet you will be amazed how the buses are able to navigate effortlessly through it. Most vehicles on the road gave way to the mighty buses to pass without much problem. If you happen to drive on the road in a car or an ATV, do have the courtesy and common sense to give way for the buses to pass, else you will be honked mercilessly until you give way.
Santorini is divided into two types of terrains; the magnificent steep cliffs facing the caldera and the astonishing sea-facing rolling hillsides with flat farmland on the other side of the island. The local bus ride from Fira to Oia gave us the opportunity to witness the beauty of both sides of the island.
The beautiful scenery that we always see on postcards depicting Santorini is the caldera facing side (mostly taken in Oia). The other flat side of island is pretty much unknown to the world, well… to me that is so, imagine the surprise and excitement I had when I first laid my eyes on it! It was such a beautiful and breathtaking view! It reminded me of the time I cruised along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. I love that road trip so much! That reminds me, I shall share about that experience soon.
The local bus ride from Fira to Oia costs €1.80 per person, per journey
ATVs roam the streets in Fira and throughout the island of Santorini. Riding an ATV is a fun way to explore the island!
The bus making its way through the narrow streets in Fira, Santorini
A memorable bus ride along the scenic Fira - Oia route with views overlooking the flat farmland of Santorini
The mesmerising cobalt blue Aegean sea surrounding the island, as seen during our journey from Fira to Oia, Santorini
The astonishing sea-facing flat farmland on the other side of island, as seen during our journey from Fira to Oia, Santorini
The breathtaking, scenic route/journey from Fira to Oia, Santorini
Dreamy Cycladic Architecture & The Safety Concerns Of The Island
The majority of the buildings in Santorini have white-washed walls and some, bright blue domes. The dreamy blue and white colour combination reminds people of the clear blue skies and white clouds, the cobalt sea of the Aegean and the white gentle waves – the unforgettable beauty of Santorini.
In certain areas along the journey, we caught a glimpse of the Cycladic caves houses built within the cliffs of the island. At some points of the road, it brought us precariously close to the edge of the cliffs. For that reason, driving around the island is no child’s play; that is why a valid driver’s license is required to rent a car or an ATV in Santorini.
One thing I noticed is that there are not street lights on the road in between the major towns. That means it is quite risky to drive on the road after sundown. That explains why the last bus to/from every destination on the island ends at 7pm-7.30pm, so be sure to plan your journey well. Fret not for taxis are available throughout the day and night through phone bookings.
Driving around the island of Santorini is no child's play because certain areas of the road are precariously close to the edge of the cliffs!
One of the 250 churches scattered around the island of Santorini. Do make it a quest to explore and see every one of them!
Cycladic buildings and architecture in Santorini
Cave houses built in the cliffs, Santorini
A scene from Fira, Santorini
A view of the caldera from Oia, Santorini, as seen from the local bus
Our Local Bus Ride Experience
To sum it up, our local bus ride from Fira to Oia was pleasant, comfortable and most importantly, affordable. The journey took about 40 minutes. We requested for the bus to stop us at the “Saint George” stop which was very near to the place we were going to stay in Oia, Santorini. From there, we made our way towards MarylouJohn Villas, a lovely accommodation booked via Airbnb.
Up next: An account of my first Airbnb experience and an honest review of our stay in the Captain's Budget Studio for 2 at Maryloujohn Villas, Oia
Labels: Greece, Santorini