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Two days in Santorini to drive or not to drive.

Two days in Santorini to drive or not to drive.

Old Feb 4th, 2018, 06:22 PM
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Two days in Santorini to drive or not to drive.

My 14 year old granddaughter and I are arriving late July 3rd and leaving early July 6th for Athens so this leaves only 2 full days on this island which I cannot extend. I'd love some advice on where to stay - either right in Fira at a hotel or a studio apartment in Firostefani with a knock out view. We'd like to visit some historical parts of the island and also some beaches so the question is do I rent a car and drive. I'm 68 - not a bad driver but my navigator is a 14 year old. Otherwise, we could take the bus. She will also want to shop but from what I've read, we can do that in Fira.
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 06:36 PM
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Rent a car for maximum use of your limited time. The island is small; it's virtually impossible to get lost if you have a map. Here's a good one: Santorini Map by Motor Inn | Motor Inn: Santorini Rental System

Fira and Firostefani sound right for you. If you want hotel recommendations you need to reveal your maximum daily room budget. You can also use the filter system at www.booking.com to find a nice hotel. Get one with a pool. It will be scorchingly hot in July, and remember that the beaches are black sand/pebbles/grit, and as such will burn the bottoms of your feet if you're not well-protected with beach shoes. Flip-flops are useless for the beach.
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 06:44 PM
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If there is any chance that you will have jet lag, I would strongly encourage you to take public transportation for your first night or two. Although many people are not aware of it, there is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to yourself and others -- as driving drunk, and nothing you can do will prevent the microsleeps (which you might not even notice) that are the apparent culprit. Seriously -- NOT a good idea, no matter your other constraints and no matter your prior experience! And please be patient with me if you think I’m being overly adamant, but I know too many people who have died or been seriously injured in accidents to which jet lag was a contributing factor, and I know too many people who will spend the rest of their lives dealing with the knowledge that they were responsible for accidents that resulted in multiple deaths, including those of children, all because they were too confident in their ability to drive safely with jet lag. The issue has become a bit of a cause célèbre for me….
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 06:59 PM
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Thank you for your thoughts Kja. We are flying in from London on the 3rd so I'm not too concerned about jet lag however, it's true.... there is a great responsibility in traveling with a young person. I am quite happy to take public transportation especially since we can take a bus to Ammoudi which sounds like an excellent swimming area. There are day tours to see the rest of the island but I'd almost prefer to take the local bus so we aren't spending 7 hours driving from one sight to another. I just think for a 14 year old girl with only 2 days ..it's not a very good idea.
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 07:20 PM
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I'm glad to hear that jet lag won't be a problem and I thank you for your responsivity!

In that case, I'd be inclined to defer to brotherleelove's expertise, while noting that parking can be such a problem that using the bus would have advantages.

I don't know your interests, but if you can find an hour or two for the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, I don't think you would regret it -- some of the artifacts from Akrotiri, including preserved wall paintings, are truly stunning.

Enjoy!
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 07:31 PM
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We've had two holidays on Santorini and if it was me, I'd use the buses. They run frequently and are cheap but be aware, they can get very crowded. From memory, roads are narrow and crowded and parking difficult.

First visit we stayed in Fira and second visit in Oia. Oia is prettier and quieter but I think as you only have a short time, stay in Fira or Firostefani. A pool is a good idea, July will be hot. There are loads of places to eat so if you don't need the facilities a studio apartment will offer, a hotel room might work out cheaper.

Kay
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 07:34 PM
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There is no bus to Amoudi Bay, only the steps a road for cars and scooters. You can take a taxi down there from the Oia bus square.
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 08:59 PM
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That will work. Thank you
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 10:40 PM
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The bus service on Santorini is quite good, but sometimes very crowded. Fira is the hub for bus service to all other parts of the island. I've been travelling to the Greek Islands for years, and always depend upon buses wherever I go. I do enough driving in the UK where I live, because public transport from my village is almost nonexistent, so look upon good bus service a luxury.

That said, one day when I was on Santorini brotherleelove drove me around to places the bus didn't go. Thanks, Lee!
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 02:06 AM
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For a two day trip, I would most definitely rent a car. There isn't the time to waste relying on buses, which can be crowded to the point of not being able to get on. The journey length on a bus can be quite long in comparison to a car journey. With a car, you can go where you want (not just where the bus goes) and whenever you want, not all of the roads are narrow. Rent a small car. We picked up our rental car at the airport and returned it to the airport when we left.
Ammoudi is an excellent swimming area but it is a small area with challenging entry into the water and many steps down that you can walk from Oia. In the evenings, we were happy we had a rental car to get there and back from the tavernas.
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 04:01 PM
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Okay... think I'll rent the car. Now I'd like some advice on what we could reasonably do in two days accepting the fact that I'm travelling with a 14 year old who may want to swim and shop for a few souvenirs but otherwise is curious about the history and other sites in Santorini.
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 04:07 PM
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As already noted, I thought the Museum of Prehistoric Thira well worth visiting. And if he's interested, actually seeing the site from which those artifacts came, Akrotiri, could be worthwhile.
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 05:17 PM
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I would rent a car but only for one day to explore the island, probably the second. Your hotel may or may not have parking, so that’s a consideration. You only need a car to get to the ruins and beaches. Everything else is easily reached by bus or taxi, including Oia. And both cars and gas are expensive. I’d stay in Firastefani or imerovigli for the amazing views, but a couple of hotels in Fira have views.
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 11:12 PM
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I'm going to check with the hotel to see if there is parking. Thank you for all your comments and recommendations. I've had some great advice and helpful hints on this forum not just now but for other trips I've taken. So appreciate all the experience and insight.
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 11:13 PM
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Another place to visit is Ancient Thera, an archaeological site on a mountain high above the black beaches of Perissa and Kamari. The views from there are on the opposite site of the island from the caldera, but stunning nevertheless. You can actually look down (not up) to see planes landing at the airport! It is possible to drive up most of the way, but the road is very narrow with lots of switchbacks. If you are energetic you can leave your car at the bottom and walk up instead.
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