Cruise Travel to Santorini

Cruise ships anchor in the spectacular caldera, and in almost all cases passengers are tendered to the small port of Skala Fira, a sheer 1,000 feet below the capital, Fira. You can either take the funicular to the top or take a donkey ride up the steep winding path that claws its way to the top; regardless of your mode of travel, the cost is the same (€5). The donkey drivers are very persistent, but be aware that the poor beasts are not well treated and you may not want to contribute to this tourist-based enterprise. You should also keep in mind that donkey droppings make the path slippery and smelly (especially relevant if you decide to go up on foot, which is also possible).

Regular bus services (approximately every 30 minutes in summer, dropping to every hour in winter with shoulder seasons) travel from Fira to Ia and Akrotiri. Schedules are posted in the bus depot. Ticket prices range from €1.40 to €3. The main taxi stand sits next to the bus depot in the main town square. Fares are reasonable, with a trip from Fira to Ia costing approximately €20.

If you rented a car for the day, you could probably see most of what Santorini has to offer—even a one-day tour could take in a winery or two, one of the beaches on the southern end of the island, and ancient Akrotiri, as well as stops in Fira and Ia. The island is compact, and it's difficult to get lost. Prices are €50 per day for a subcompact manual vehicle, but you can get an ATV for around €25 or a motorbike or scooter with prices starting at about €15 a day, including third-party liability coverage. If you rent a quad, bike, or scooter don’t wear shorts or sandals, insist on the helmet (which the law requires), and get a phone number, in case of breakdown. Don't rent a scooter if you aren't an experienced rider and be extremely cautious in the traffic around congested Fira.

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