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Basic info and car hire in Santorini

Location: Southern Aegean Sea, Southeast of Greece's mainland

Population: 15,550 (2015)

Official language: Greek

Currency: Euro (€)

Weather: Santorini has Mediterranean climate, the season mainly split into two – summer (with daily average lows at around 20°C, whist daily highest can reach over 30°C) and winter (average daily low temperatures range between 10°C and 14°C, whilst daily high temperatures range between 19°C and 25°C). Read more» 

Public holidays in Santorini: For public holidays in Santorini click here»   

Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés are mostly equipped with Wi-Fi. Free wireless Internet access is available in main points in Fira, Oia, Messaria, Imerovigli, Exo Gonia, Pyrgos, Karterados and Akrotiri.

Road conditions: Roads are quite narrow and often cobbled.

About Santorini

Santorini is a charming Greek island in the Aegan Sea, most known for its white houses covered with blue roofs, surrounded by traditional windmills on the hills, and crystal-clear waters underneath. Santorini looks like a perfect summer postcard. 

Santorini - also known as Thíra – is the largest island in the circular archipelago that forms the Cyclades, which was the site of biggest volcanic eruptions more than 3.600 years ago. The eruption destroyed the thriving Greek civilization. The remains and evidence of this natural disaster can be found at the Minoan Town of Akrotíri – one of the most important ancient sites on Santorini. Car hire at Santorini Airport and drive up to this historic site to explore the excavations of the Minoan prehistoric civilization that lived there centuries ago. Santorini’s east coast is lesser known than the celebrated, elevated west coast. The east side of the island is filled with black sand beaches; however, on the south coast you will find the dramatic Red Beach – best known for its multicolored sand. 

Car hire in Santorini will allow you to discover and experience a mythical treasure with breathtaking views over the Aegean Sea. 

 

Driving in Santorini

Within the various towns and villages, the roads on Santorini can be narrow and often cobbled, adding a little bit of charm to your car hire experience. Still, it’s essential to bear in mind that the environment and obstacles differ from European roads – keep an eye on for the steep and curved roads, sharp turns, pedestrians, and local drivers.

  • Age limits: In order to rent any vehicle you have to be 18 years old (some rent a car companies require that the driver has to be older than 23 and have a valid drivers license for at least a year)
  • International Driving Permit: For visitors who are residents of the USA, Canada, Australia, India, China, Korea, Japan, and some others.
  • Additional papers: Your insurance policy and passport.
  • Additional requirements: If you plan to drive your own car, you need a valid registration and proof of internationally valid insurance (check beforehand with your insurance company) in addition to your IDL.
  • Children in the car: Passengers under the age of 10 years old cannot sit in the front seat. Additionally, children under 3 years old are required to use a car seat.
  • Driving side of the road: Drive on the right side of the road.
  • Lights: Dipped headlights have to be used at night and in poor daytime visibility, but it is recommended to use them every time.
  • General speed limits: Typically, urban areas have speed limits of 50 kilometers per hour (30 miles per hour) while non-urban roads have a speed limit of 110 kilometers per hour (68 miles per hour), and freeways and expressways have speed limits of up to 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).
  • Parking suggestions: There are free parking places everywhere, so parking is not a problem.

Drive your rental car around Santorini

Santorini is a stunning island! To fully enjoy all the benefits of a car hire in Santorini you should take a road trip around the island.

Firá is the cosmopolitan capital of Santorini, located upon the high edge of Caldera cliff. From the city you will be able to get an amazing view of the volcano, that is still active to this day. But don’t worry, the last, rather small and weak eruption was recorded over 70 years ago. For all those explorers out there, that wish to take a closer look at the volcano, we suggest you take your car hire in Santorini and drive down to the Fira old port where they offer boat tours to the site of the volcano and Caldera. 

Oia is considered one of the most beautiful sights on Santorini. This picturesque village attracts thousands and thousands of tourists every year from all over the world to catch a glimpse of the idyllic sunset. Keeping that in mind, make sure to reserve your spot at least 30 minutes before the sunset, since the sunset viewing spot tends to get crowded. To avoid the crowd, we suggest parking car hire in Santorini and walking up to the old windmills and lighthouse to get a better view of the sunset. 

Santorini is dotted with vast vineyards and traditional villages that let you see beyond the tourist hustle. Make a stop in the town of Pyrgos and wander through charming streets, and while you are there grab a traditional gyro. Car hire at Santorini Airport makes the trips between villages easier, as the region is easily accessible by road connections. 

On your road trip, you simply have to include a visit to one of many Santorini wineries. Most of them can be found in the central and southern part of the island, for example: in villages like Mesa and Exo Gonia, Megalochori and Messaria. Most of the large wineries are available for an organized wine tour with tastings. We recommend visiting one of the most famous Santo Wines or Volcan Wines. The volcanic soil and the Mediterranean climate gives the wine its special and unique flavour like you never tasted before. All the local wineries are easily reachable if you book a car hire in Santorini. 

What to see in Santorini

Santorini is considered one of the top places to visit in the world. Check our Santorini travel guide to discover the most magical sights on this unique island. Let the exploration begin!

Santorini is considered one of the top places to visit in the world. Check our Santorini travel guide to discover the most magical sights on this unique island. Let the exploration begin!

Our favourite spots

Hotels in Santorini

Where to eat, drink and party in Santorini

There are lots of places to eat and drink in Santorini, as the island us one of the top tourist destinations in Greece. Restaurants, cafe, and bars are found all around the island, from popular spots like Fira, Oia, Perissa, and Kamari, to more secluded places.

Major events and festivals