There are several ways to get to Oia once you arrive at Santorini (JTR) Airport/Thira Airport. The best way for you depends most on your budget and group size. So let’s go through the various ways you can travel up to Oia when you fly into the island.
This is the most expensive, but it’s the fastest way and probably the least stressful option since you can set everything up before you arrive.
Expect to pay around 45 euro whether you arrange this through your hotel or a private transfer service.
When you get to the airport, your driver will wait outside the arrivals building, holding a sign with your name on it. From there, you can relax into your vacation/holiday and let one of the professional drivers take over.
Coming from Athens? Here are some hotels close to the Athens International Airport
If you don’t arrange this in advance, you can use Yafy private airport transfers. They’re based at the arrivals area of Thira Airport and also offer VIP/Limo transfers as well as standard minibus shuttles.
Remember that in Oia, not every hotel is accessible by car. However, your driver will know where to go to get you as close as possible. The benefit of using a hotel transfer service is that they’ll arrange for your luggage to be transferred to the hotel.
Solo travellers, this is an expensive option, as you’ll pay for two people as a minimum. But if you’re travelling as a bigger party and want to transfer together, this is definitely one of the best options.
If you’re happy to be in a mini-bus with a few other people, then this is a cheaper option for an Oia transfer. Usually, you’ll only make a maximum of four stops, so you’ll still get to your accommodation in a fairly timely manner.
As I mentioned above, there’s a Yafy shuttle bus office just outside the arrivals exit. It costs 15 euro per person to go to Oia, and they run the shuttle service once they have a minimum of six passengers.
If you book a tour in Santorini with them, you get a discount on your transfer booking too. Although their tours are on the pricier side…helicopter tour, anyone?
Santorini airport taxis lined up at the taxi rank outside the terminal building
If you don’t already have a transfer booked, you can hop in one of the silver taxis waiting outside the airport.
You might have heard me mention before that there are only around 40 taxis on the island. So, at busy times, particularly in the summer months, you’ll likely need to wait.
Or you can call a Santorini taxi if you have data on your phone. The numbers for Santorini Taxis are: +302286023951 and +302286023952. The Santorini airport taxi rank runs all year round.
You can expect the taxi fare from the airport to Oia to be around 45 euros. The taxis here are a flat rate and don’t use a meter. The cost can vary a bit depending on the time of day (i.e. how much traffic there is) and how many suitcases you have.
Discuss and agree the price with the driver before you leave. The taxi drivers generally speak good English.
K.T.E.L. Public Bus
Getting the bus to Oia is the cheapest option. The public transport in Santorini is pretty good despite the fact there’s no direct bus to Oia from the airport. The buses are clean and airconditioned and, in my experience, they mostly leave on time.
In 2023, the total bus fare costs 3.20. Both the airport to Fira and the Fira to Oia tickets cost 1.60 euro.
Getting on the Bus at the Airport
The Santorini airport bus arriving for passengers going to Fira.
The airport bus stop is right outside the building near departures, in front of the Caldera coffee shop. From the arrivals exit, you’ll need to turn left and walk along to the bus stop.
You can check when the next bus to Fira is coming by scanning the QR code on the yellow sign. When the K.T.E.L Santorini website loads, scroll down to see the timetable.
When the bus comes, put your luggage in the storage area underneath. Just take your small bag and valuables with you and find a seat.
(Unless it’s early in the morning or late at night. Then you might have a different style of bus and need to take your case on with you.)
The journey to Fira cost 1.60 euro and is usually about a 10 minute bus ride (depending on traffic). But if you get on one of the airport buses that goes via Monolithos then it’s more like 25 minutes.
You get your ticket to Fira from the bus conductor who’ll come round and take your payment during the journey. The conductors have change, but it’s ideal to have small notes rather than a 50 euro.
Changing at Fira
You’ll need to change buses at Fira Bus Station. From Fira to Oia, it’s about a 25-minute journey.
The bus services between both the airport and Fira and Fira and Oia village do change regularly through the seasons but are frequent between April – October.
There are fewer services running in the months over the winter. But they’re still fairly regular since daily flights run to and from Athens, and the buses coincide with those.
You can check the schedules on the Santorini’s K.T.E.L bus website or scan the QR code on the back of the bus ticket you got from the airport.
The timetables are also kept up to date on the old ticket kiosk at the station in Fira. (Although you always get your ticket on the bus.)
Bus timetables from November on display at the bus station in the town of Fira
Drive to Oia
Driving to Oia takes about 25 minutes plus time to get parked. I’d use the car SATNAV or the GoogleMaps app to find your way. It’s probably best to go on the new road to Oia, which is the route that goes along the east coast. (Rather than up past Imerovigli.)
Booking a Hire Car at Santorini Airport
The airport arrivals hall has several car rental places (although I’d highly recommend booking in advance). But if you find an alternative company with good prices online, then most places will bring your rental car to the airport for you to pick up from there.
See more below about renting in Santorini.
Some of the car rental companies at Santorini International Airport
Benefits of Driving
Driving around Santorini can be a great option for seeing the sights. It’s definitely the easiest way of following your own itinerary and stopping at whatever piques your interest.
But the biggest issue with that is parking, especially in the high season. The picturesque village of Oia is the worst place for parking.
I have more info here about renting a car in this country if it’s your first time doing so.
Parking Situation in Oia
If you’re staying in Oia and choosing this option, find out about the parking situation. Many of the hotels are cave hotels built into the caldera cliff face, one on top of the other. They’re not even accessible by car, let alone have parking.
However, some hotels have private parking somewhere else in the village. Others don’t offer parking at all, and the public parking fees in the summer can add up.
In the winter, it’s easier to park in the free parking areas.
A Note on Quad Bikes
ATV/quad bikes are quite popular in Santorini. But I personally don’t recommend them for most tourists, especially since it’s not really a small island. And I wouldn’t recommend getting one for the drive from the airport to the north.
Remember, the island’s a popular place with a lot of traffic on the road. Never mind your driving or how used you are to quad bikes; taxis and other drivers get impatient when they’re held up behind the slower quad bikes.
You’re quite vulnerable, and people often do silly things to pass ATVs on the road. I’d stick to cars.
If you decide to go the taxi route but find yourself at the airport with not a taxi in sight, give the Uber app a quick try. It’s a bit different here in Greece – you’re basically hailing local rides, not the official Uber cars you might be used to.
📲 I cover other useful apps for Greece in this post.
But you can book a taxi to come pick you up through the app (during the summer season). It might say ‘metered’, but it still means the fixed-price local taxis. So, as above, have a quick chat with your driver when they arrive to confirm the fare before you get going.
If you fancy a bit of an upgrade, you can pick the “comfort” transfer option in the app. It’s usually some kind of plush SUV-type thing.
And if you’re travelling as a large group, booking a van might just be the budget-friendly move to go for. Like the private pre-booked transfers I mentioned at the start it’s a good way for you to travel together.
Out of Season Transfer Information
If you’re travelling to Santorini between the second week in November and the beginning of April, your options are a bit more limited.
Most of the transfer services stop for the winter. And the Uber app doesn’t run.
Buses run, and taxis are available at the airport all year round, so one of these is probably your best option.
Stone Travel is also open throughout the seasons for transfers (with mixed reviews).
If you’re staying at one of the hotels, like Rocabella, that’s open in the winter season, they probably have a transfer option you can arrange via them, too.
You can also look on Get Your Guide to see what transfer options are available for your travel dates. The benefit is that you can see reviews from other travellers.
More Useful Information About Santorini
You can see all of my posts about Santorini island here. I have loads of posts about what to do, how to get around, what to wear and more.
And go here for general advice about travelling to Greece and tips to know before you go.
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