ATV vs Car (from Oia to Imerovigli)

Dec 22nd, 2006, 08:03 PM
  #1  
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ATV vs Car (from Oia to Imerovigli)

Hello,

Much has been said between which sunset in Oia vs Imerovigli is better. Though at first I had reserved at Astra Apartments in Imerovigli, I have now changed our hotel accommodations to Aspaki/Oia Castle in Oia (though some said that Imerovigli's sunset might be as good if not better than Oia's).

In any case, I'm trying now to figure out if we could possibly divide our stay in between the different areas with a car/ATV rental.

So 3 questions I have for Fodor's experts or anyone else who might know from past experience:
(1) How far in driving minute is Oia from Imerovigli by car? 11km?
(2) Is Oia too far from Imerovigli to even consider renting an ATV?
(3) What are the requirements for a US citizen to rent an ATV in Santorini?

I look forward to your advices as responses to my past postings were very helpful and guided us in planning our trip to Greece next year.

Again, thank you so much!
annamxdanceprod is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2006, 08:21 PM
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By car it's about 15 minutes between Oia and Imerovigli. ATVs are fun but not for the faint of heart. The road is windy and there's a very steep and high dropoff with guardrails only at the most dangerous spots. If you do drive, whether it's in a car or on an ATV, approach the blind curves carefully. You should also be aware that there is a seldom-used secondary road between Oia and Imerovigli that follows the far coastline. It's flat and fairly straight. When you leave Imerovigli for Oia you will need to go down a very steep hill, then turn left at the bottom to continue along the main road. Instead of turning left, go straight ahead and you'll eventually end up on that other road. It's not paved so it'll be a bit dusty, but it's in good shape.

Technically you're required to show an international driver's license to rent a vehicle. You can get them at any AAA office. The reality is that the rental agencies, for the most part, don't care at all. You will have no trouble finding one to rent you a car, scooter, motorcycle or ATV. But if you do get in an accident, regardless of fault, and you don't have your IDL, you will be up the proverbial creek legally and insurance-wise. Pay the $15 to AAA and leave that stress at home.

The sunset is beautiful from any village on the cliff. There are no bad views of the caldera.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 08:14 AM
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Hello Brotherleelove2004:

Thank you so much for your quick response!

I did contact already the nearest AAA office for the IDL ($10 in our area + 2 passport pix) and they are helping us with the car rental as well.

I'm used to driving a manual car here in the US but do you highly recommend an automatic or we should be ok with a manual taking the road you recommended?

Thank you.
annamxdanceprod is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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Since you're used to it, a manual transmission will pose no problems. That being said, the road down to Amoudi below Oia is steep, and so is the road to Ancient Thera from Kamari Beach. If you're arriving by ferry and are picking up a car at the ferry port of Athinios, the zig-zag road up the cliff is probably the most challenging for a driver in a car with a manual transmission. If you've driven successfully in hilly situations (e.g. San Francisco) you won't have a problem.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 11:47 AM
  #5  
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Hello Brotherleelove 2004,

I'm glad you brought up the issue of picking up a car by the port in Santorini.

I was going to rent a car to be picked up/dropped off at Thira airport, completely forgetting that we are planning to arrive from Mykonos to Santorini by ferry but then leaving by plane from Santorini back to Athens.

Could you please advise how many ports there are in Santorini, which port do you recommend if we're planning to lodge 3 nights in Oia and possibly the last night in Imerovigli before we fly back to Athens?

After thinking about what you said, though I'm used to driving a manual in Los Angeles (which is pretty much flat),hills like those of SFO do not sound so attractive to drive on a manual, especially in a foreign country!

Thank you.
annamxdanceprod is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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There's only one ferry port on Santorini, Athinios, on the south end of the island. Oia is on the north end, about 15 miles away. Imerovigli is sort of in the middle between the two, a mile from the main village of Fira and the road to the airport. The only other "port" is where the cruise ships drop off their passengers and there's no chance you'd be disembarking there. There are a couple of rental car agents right on the wharf at Athinios, one is named Spiridakos Rent-A-Car. Be sure to specify an automatic transmission because they're scarce and one will have to be especially reserved for you. Also, recently someone had a problem with one of the Santorini car agencies, so be sure to save your gas receipt for when you return the car with a full tank (have your hotel make a copy for you to give to the rental agency when you return the car), and when you pick it up go over the car with a fine tooth comb for dents and scratches and loose pieces (including the undercarriage) and take photos with your camera of anything you find. Make sure it's noted on the rental document and _don't for one minute_ accept "No Problem" as a response to what you might find. BE SURE it's noted. Above all be sure you take out the best insurance package and don't rely on your credit card's automatic insurance. You won't be able to get off the island if you don't have immediate coverage (or a lot of cash on hand!!!) for any problems. I probably made this sound scarier than it really is. I just wanted to make sure you take proper precautions.

Something else that might influence what you do: The ferry from Mykonos to Santorini, and there's only one that makes this trip directly, is the Hellenic Seaways Highspeed Catamaran #4. Last season it didn't begin service until the very end of May. You can see on their website, http://www.ferries.gr/hfd/ that this year service begins in March and continues daily until October. This is good news, but usually this information isn't available until much closer to the beginning of the season, so keep an eye on this website for changes. If in fact you run into problems with scheduling, just know that you can get from Mykonos to Santorini by an alternate route that doesn't take up too much time. Take the morning ferry from Mykonos to Paros, then catch the noon ferry the rest of the way to Santorini.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 10:14 PM
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Hi Brotherleelove2004,

You are so helpful with all these insights. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all this info with us.

My boyfriend is sensitive to sea-sickness and so I was wondering: are you recommending that we fly instead? But from Mykonos, doesn't the airplane go back to Athens before going to Santorini, and wouldn't it take longer to fly?

Also, I went on the recommended site for the ferry and though I see the prices for Mykonos to Santorini, I will not see the timetables until later on, but when would that be?

Thanks!
annamxdanceprod is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 10:43 PM
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It's true that Aegean and Olympic Airlines don't fly island-to-island, so yes, you'll have to fly back to Athens to change planes. But the fares on Aegean are very cheap, as low as 19 Euro plus taxes for each leg, so it's quite affordable. And timewise you might not waste too much time if your connection in Athens is a good one. Check with Aegean to see what they have to offer on your travel dates.

If your boyfriend feels uneasy about taking the boat then you do have a cheap alternative. Also, there's another small local airlines that does fly directly between these islands, but I've never read any comments about them: Sky Express out of Crete.

http://www.skyexpress.gr/

http://www.aegean-air.gr/aegeanen/home/

About the timetables on the website I gave you-What I am saying is that you should keep an eye out for any changes that might occur. But until any changes do appear what you see is what the schedule for 2007 will be.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Hi Brotherleelove 2004,

I did go on www.ferries.gr and maybe I'm not looking in the right places but only saw rates not yet departure/arrival time from Mykonos to Santorini. So I emailed them and they said that they will release the timetables early Feb 2007. (Oops, maybe I forgot to mention that this trip is planned for the month of May 2007).

I also visited aegean airlines but nothing is coming up for a one-way ticket. I did find a ticket with Olympic Airlines for $ 203 per person. Way too much to my taste. Especially when the ferry seems a lot cheaper. My boyfriend will just have to take anti-motion sickness medicine!

But I'll go check sky express.

Thanks so much.
annamxdanceprod is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Hi Brotherleelove2004,

Ok, I think maybe I got it: looking at the hellenic seaways Departure from Heraklion Schedule, tell me if I'm reading it correctly: there is a ferry leaving from Mykonos at 14:45 to arrive in Santorini at 17:25? But this itinerary is stopping at 2 different places before Santorini and is not direct. Something like that?

Also, I checked out sky express and found one way ticket from 69-79 euros but had to email them to ask them what the seat assignments below meant: eg: MESAIA / Berth/Seat, YPSILH / Berth/Seat, AccommodationLeg1Pass2XAMHLH / Berth/Seat.

It would only take 30min to fly with sky express and it is a small plane with 18 seats. I couldn't find much reviews of this airline from my brief search. But I think I would rather deal with a couple of hours of motion sickness than fear of a small plane!

Again, sincere thanks to you and the time you put into writing us back!


annamxdanceprod is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 10:48 AM
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Yes, that's the schedule. Also, www.ferries.gr is NOT the website I gave you. I gave you http://www.ferries.gr/hfd/. Not quite the same.

You and I have different definitions of "direct." Direct means no change of vessel. I think you meant "non-stop."

What are your projected travel dates from Mykonos to Santorini?

Another ferry option on the very large and stable car ferries would be for you to take the morning ferry from Mykonos to Paros and then at noon take another car ferry from Paros to Santorini. This option should be available to you in Mid-May.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 08:51 PM
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Hi Brotherleelove2004,

Oops, sorry for the mistype. I did go on http://www.ferries.gr/hfd/.

And yes, I did mean nonstop.

Our projected date to go from Mykonos to Santorini is May 22nd, 2007.

Thanks to all of your input we have pretty much finalized all of our flights and accommodations for our trip to Greece. Now, last is the transportation choice from Mykonos to Santorini and the car rental.

annamxdanceprod is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 10:57 PM
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Sometimes the Aegean website doesn't work properly, I tried finding flights from Mykonos to Santorini on May 22 several different times. It worked on the third try. Enter each leg separately instead of trying to book both at once and you might have better luck. Try several times. It may be that their server was too busy when you tried. Some of those 19 Euro flights are still available on that date.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 08:11 PM
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Hello Brotherleelove 2004,

Been awhile since my last posting. Three weeks close to our departure date, and still trying to finalize some last booking... I'm trying to figure out the best way to rent a car still.. From Mykonos, we are arriving in Santorini by ferry yet leaving from Santorini back to Athens by plane. Would it be possible to rent a car out of Athinios, drive it for a few days before returning it back at the airport? Or would you recommend to find a way to get to the airport from Athinios and do our rental out of the airport? Don't know what is most economically efficient?

If you could please kindly advise us.

Thank you.
annamxdanceprod is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 09:21 PM
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I'm pretty sure you can find a rental agency that will allow you to pick up at Athinios and drop off at the airport. Start with Spiridakos Rent-A-Car, send them an email, and if they don't offer that service then google "santorini car rentals," etc, and make more inquiries.

Be sure to take the maximum insurance coverage you can get, don't rely on your CC company's coverage. Also be sure to indicate every scratch, dent, nick, chip, stain and loose part inside, outside and underneath the car on your rental contract and DO NOT accept "No Problem" as a substitue for a notation on that contract, no matter how insignificant the blemish might seem.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 12:09 AM
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Let me just throw in that the stops made by FlyingCat4 are very quick, taking only about 15 min at each port. You get a chance to see a little bit of Paros and Ios during the stops, and watch the hustle and bustle of the ports as ferries arrive and depart.
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 04:30 AM
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My husband and I stayed in Vourvolos, between Thira and Oia, for our honeymoon. We rented a moped and were able to go back and forth around the whole island many times. You really don't want to rent a car because it will be very hard to get around on the small and windy roads.

By the way, the sunset is spectacular anywhere on the island of Santorini! Enjoy...
mayaj is offline  

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