Last Updated on: 26th January 2024, 02:19 pm

Santorini buses are safe, air-conditioned and convenient. They make it easy to commute between Fira and various other towns and villages on the island.

KTEL Santorini’s extensive bus network makes exploring the island easy and affordable without needing personal transportation.

As I’m not keen on driving on the narrow, curvy roads of small Greek islands like Santorini, I was pleased to see that I could rely on buses to take me from Fira to Akrotiri, Perissa, Kamari, and Vlychada.

If you do the Fira to Oia hike, you’ll be glad to take a bus back from Oia to Fira or Imerovigli, so that you don’t have to hike in the dark.

If you’re traveling to Santorini alone, you’ll be able to visit all nooks and crannies of the island for cheap.

Learn how the public bus system connects major towns and beaches across the island.

santorini buses map

Santorini buses map – Fira is the central hub, all bus lines emerge from this station

How the Bus System Works

Santorini’s bus network is efficient, economical and accessible for visitors to navigate.

Buses run at regular intervals following fixed route schedules based on destination connecting villages and resort areas across the island.

KTEL Santorini provides bus operations with modern, air-conditioned buses and dedicated routes fanning out from the main terminal in Fira.

Bus fare rates run between €1.80 to €2.40 depending on trip distance, paid directly to the driver upon boarding.

Buses to and from the airport offer plenty of luggage storage. You’ll need to load and unload your luggage yourself, as I’m not sure the driver would be able to help all of the passengers.

How To Buy Bus Tickets

You can only buy bus tickets on the bus, right after departure.

You can only pay by cash, so make sure you do have some Euros available to pay for your rides.

The ticket you buy on the bus is good for that specific ride only. Should you need a transfer to get from A to B, you’ll pay for the second leg of your journey on the second bus.

How To Ride the Bus in Santorini

Catching a bus from Fira bus station is easy; just find out which line you need, then line up with other people to get on the bus.

When catching a bus from a bus stop, make sure you wave your arms and move around, in order for the driver to stop for you.

If you don’t make a move, no bus driver will ever stop to take you.

In Oia, if you need to take the bus to Fira after completing the hike, go to the main bus station.

I made the mistake to wait at the previous bus stop on the road. As buses were full as they were passing by, none of them stopped.

Keep in mind that drivers don’t stop at all stops on their itinerary as they do in other European countries. Should you want to get off the bus before the end of the line, make sure you do let the driver know of your intention.

Fira Central Bus Terminal

The central bus station in Thira serves as the network’s main transport hub.

Located in Fira’s town center adjacent to the main taxi stand, travelers can easily catch buses from here out to all island points.

Firostefani is also within 10 – 15 minutes of walking from this central bus station.

Timetables clearly display departure data. Make sure, though, that you use the proper timetable for your desired destination.

The central bus terminal in Fira is the place to go for up-to-date information on bus schedules, prices and advice.

Popular direct connections from the Fira terminal include:

– Kamari Beach – 15 minutes
– Perissa/Perivolos Beach – 30 minutes
– Oia – 40 minutes
– Akrotiri Village – 30 – 45 minutes

perissa black beach frappe

Cafe frappe with ice cubes on Perissa beach

Major Beach Connections

Convenient bus lines connect inland towns directly with popular Santorini beaches both north and south along the coast.

The Kamari route services Santorini’s main resort strip filled with dining and lively bars.

Meanwhile, the Perissa/Perivolos line connects east side beaches famed for long stretches of black volcanic sand kissed by blue Aegean waves.

Also, the Akrotiri route connects to the White Beach and the Red Beach.

Accessing Oia Bus Hub

While most visitors assume buses only leave from Fira terminal, the village of Oia maintains its own small transport hub as well.

Travelers wishing to take road trips across or around the northern half of Santorini island will find regular bus schedules departing from Oia station to smaller coastal villages like Ammoudi or Baxades not serviceable from Fira center.

Bus, Taxi or Private Rides? Is There Uber in Santorini? What’s Best?

Riding along Santorini’s scenic coastal roads or between charming Aegean island villages proves extremely straightforward utilizing the island’s efficient and economical public bus network.

The downside of using the buses is that you need to pass by Fira and change the bus to commute between other places such as Kamari and Perissa or Perissa and Akrotiri.

In such situations, you’d be better off with a taxi ride.

There’s Uber in Santorini, but the app connects you to regular taxi drivers.

I don’t know if there’s also an app for taxis, but Uber works just fine, so you won’t need anything else to find a ride.

When Are Buses the Best Option?

Buses are best when you want to go to the airport to leave Santorini.

As the island is small, there aren’t too many cabs around. At the same time, Santorini is hugely popular, so it is always chocked-full of tourists.

Now imagine 200 people willing to grab a ride to the airport to catch the same flight as yours! Good luck with that!

Pre-booked private transfers are usually reliable. Nonetheless, it happened to us that the car broke just before our scheduled picking time. The company couldn’t find a replacement in due time for us to catch our flight, so our host drove us to the airport himself.

Next time I’ll catch the airport shuttle bus from Fira.

Fira - Caldera sunset view

Fira – Caldera sunset view