getting around: Santorini, Mykonos

Jan 2nd, 2007, 02:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
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getting around: Santorini, Mykonos

We'll be in Santorini for three nights and Mykonos for three nights at the end of April. I know this is low season and the tour we will be on (Gate 1 Travel) does not offer a lot of options for sightseeing (more of a "day on your own") until its May tours, when you have optional trips to nearby islands. Can you recommend the best way to maximize our time on each island and let us see as much as we can? Are car rentals practical? Someone mentioned motor scooters---are they safe? Would we be smart hiring a car and driver for a day? We're staying in Fira on Santorini and have heard Oia is quite picturesque. Can anyone recommend "must see" or "must do" activities?

Thank you.
BobandBunkie is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 02:30 PM
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I think a rental car would not only be more practical than a scooter but also the safest. But some of the roads are extremely curvy, and the road to Oia comes with steep dropoffs, so unless you're a confident driver and can put up with the crazy local ones, hiring a car and driver would be a good idea. Also Santorini has an excellent bus system with its hub in Fira so you can reach every corner of the island efficiently and cheaply until about 8 PM. After that it's taxis until midnight. If you do get a car be sure to have lunch at Katina's Fish Taverna below Oia on the wharf at Ammoudi. Also take a drive to Kamari Beach and Ancient Thera on the mountain above the beach.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 02:36 PM
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We stayed in Santorini last September in Oia - you need a ful day to wander the main pathway as it is full of great little shops and cafes. A must is watching the sunset there. there are public buses from Fira to Oai - easy way to travel. if you do get a car, may not need it for the whole time as you don't need it in Fira or Oia.
Fun to do is the donkey ride from the top of Oia to the base.
SusanD is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 03:41 PM
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PLEASE DO NOT RIDE THE DONKEYS. I know they're cute and some people want to take photos riding them and experience the ride up or down the steps in Fira and Oia, but believe me, these poor animals are abused on a regular basis. The donkey men use sticks with nails to prod or whip them into moving along their way. I've seen this myself countless times. It's no wonder they try to wipe their passengers off their backs by rubbing up against the sides of the steps. I've also seen some pretty badly scraped legs from people who weren't able to avoid that circumstance.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 06:25 AM
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Mykonos has a good bus system or you can rent a car to visit beautiful outlying beaches. The boat trip to historic Delos should be included. Our hotel made the arrangements for us.
I would never ride a scooter on Santorini with its hairpin curves and sheer drop offs;rent a car or take the bus to Oia from Fira.
SuQue is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 03:41 PM
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I stayed at Oia in Sept. The only time we ventured outside of Oia we took the bus to Fira--the bus ran late and was packed with people, but it was inexpensive. In Fira, we took one of the sunset cruises that stopped at the volcano for a short hike. It was okay, but I would have been just as happy sitting on the patio back at the room or roaming the streets of Oia. In Fira, there were donkey rides down to the dock. My brother-in-law walked down the donkey path and said the stench was pretty overwhelming, he had to hold his breath as much as he could. Didn't seem like much fun to me.

There were two things I planned on doing in Santorini, see the better beaches and do the winery tour--did neither. Thought about getting a cab, but in Ia, we were pretty far away and seemed like too much effort. Yea, I was feeling pretty lazy; it was just so beautiful, I was happy soaking up the views.

Driving looked pretty scary, so I like the idea of hiring a driver for the day and touring the Island.
Jackie is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 03:47 PM
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You could take a tour to Akrotiri (sp?) on Santorini. The first time I went it was on a tour that also included a winery. It was nice and the person who explained what we were looking at at the ancient city brought the city to life. The second time we went on our own and there was no one to explain anything and nothing was printed in English. The whole thing was practically wasted on my friend, so I recommend taking a tour. Also, read up about it before walking through and it will mean more.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 04:05 PM
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..we rented motor bikes on Santorini..we had wonderful day trips. We never ventured out at night. I know some people might be uncomfotable with this but I had driven a cycle before and my SO had a Harley when he was young. Please take advice re a trip to Delos when you are staying in Mykonos. There is 1 day when the ferry doesn't run so be sure you are aware of this when you plan your trip.
travelbunny is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 05:22 PM
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Akrotiri has been closed indefinitely for repairs to the protective roof covering, but if you're lucky it will be open when you're there. Just ask in any travel agency on the island for current information.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 06:43 PM
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We were in Mykonos and Santorini in August. We missed something that I probably regret for the rest of my life and that was a classical concert in Delos that takes place at night once a month when the moon is full.We didn't know about it and were there when the moon was full.
adeleh is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 07:10 PM
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Wow, that sounds fantastic. One of my favorite things to do when I'm in Oia on Santorini is to watch the full moon rise over the far end of the island, backlighting the distant villages just before casting sparkling reflections in the water below the cliffs.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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KarenKM is offline  

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