Santorini is an island full of beauties. Thus, we highly recommend you rent a car if you want to discover unexplored villages, hidden coves and remote places to enjoy the sunset in Caldera. Greece is an EU state, so it follows the European rules respecting driving. We gathered here the most important information about driving and car rental in Santorini in order to be completely safe during your holidays on this breathtaking island.
Priority and traffic signs
Driving in Greece is on the right side, the same as in the United States and most European countries, except from United Kingdom, Ireland and Cyprus. Vehicles coming from the right have priority unless there is a traffic sign that gives priority to the other side. Cars that enter a traffic circle also have priority, unless there is the traffic sign STOP. Traffic signs in Greece are generally in Greek and English, while at the same time Greece uses internationally recognized traffic control and stop signs. However, many signs are old, damaged or hidden, so you need to be careful when reaching a crossroad or square.
Santorini is a volcanic island with steep cliffs and mountains. Driving around the island gives you the opportunity to admire the amazing view, but you should be really careful and drive slowly in order to avoid nausea or an accident with other reckless drivers. During the high season, there are so many tourists that there is high chance of an accident. The road quality is not bad, but the connection between the islands is achieved by narrow streets and not highways.
Parking is allowed in villages and beaches outside the area of Caldera, such as Perissa and Akrotiri. However, to go to places with caldera view, such as Fira, Imerovigli and Oia, you have to park the car in a parking area outside the pedestrian zone.
Most gas stations close at 20:00, but there are many stations on the central roads that close later. On the island during the high season, there is at least one gas station, which is open during the night. There are no self-service gas stations in Greece, and there is always staff to fill your vehicle. Thus, you cannot be served automatically after closing times.
There are no emergency telephone devices on the roads of Santorini. In case of an emergency, you should use your cell phone. The number 112 is the emergency number, which is the same to all European countries. It is a free 24-hour line.
Read here more information about car rental in Santorini.