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TheBandit

Oia - how to get there independently

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Hi,

going on a Cruise in September / October this year. Not our first cruise, but it's been a while. And it'll be our first time in Santorini. Arrival is at 7am, departure at 5pm.

I checked the shore excursions with independent time in Oia. But it will only give us 90min in Oia. And we really wanna spend more time there. There are busses and of course taxis from Fira to Oia. Which is the better option? Any company I could (or should) book in advance? I know the cable car up to Fira will take lots of our time, so I wonder if it is worth to travel on our own or is the shore excursion still the better option?

Thanks for any help and advice!

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Welcome to Cruise Critic!

 

If you look down the board there are many threads on the topic. The choices you have are fast ferry (from the dock below the tram), taxi, bus, even walking (it is a healthy walk).

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Do you know how many ships will be in port? 7am arrival is good and if your on one of the first tenders you might not have a long wait for the cable car. The fast boat will leave when it’s full and it won’t be the only one so which will fill first? You don’t know... if you can take the cable car and rent a car that would be the best option and most flexible.

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We just came back from our RCL cruise last week. There are buses running between Fira and Oia every 20 min. We got off the ship at 7:30 am and no waiting line at cable station. We asked locals where bus station was and took the bus to Oia. You can find schedule at bus station. Bus fare is only 1.8 euro per person each way. We spent more than 2 hrs in Oia and took the bus back to Oia. No waiting line there as well. There were there cruise ships at Santorini port that ship.

Transportation was much convenient than what we thought and we saved money by taking public bus. No crowd at bus.

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When we were there a couple of years ago the boats to Oia from the tender area were not running. (I think it was due to a temporary strike.) We took the cable car up to Fira with no issues and then took the public bus over to Oia. Very inexpensive and easy. To find the bus station in Fira: with your back to the sea turn right when you get off the cable cars and walk through the town. The bus station is in the area behind the small archeological museum (also very good!) kind of on the back edge of town (if thinking of the cliff and the sea as the "front edge") It is a short walk and not hard to find. When you have had enough of Oia simply take the bus back again from where it dropped you off. Very easy and no problems. The bus ride is pretty interesting too.

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Bandit, we are also planning a cruise, for this time-frame, for next year.

I would very much like to hear how it goes for you when you arrive at Santorini !

 

I would like to take the Ferry from the Dock at Fira, over to Amoudi Bay, below Oia.

(this would avoid the Cable Cars, at least one way)

 

But, I have heard that if there are not enough passengers, it might not run.

Their website states that the Ferry runs on the hour.

I have just sent them a contact to see if the Ferry might be delayed, or not run... since we could be the only large ship at Santorini that day.

We will see if I get a good reply.

 

After your cruise, any info about your visit to Santorini would be much appreciated!

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We will be on the Reflection next September. We both use mobility scooters. It looks impossible for us going to shore with them. Hopefully my DH can use a walker. I am thinking a ship tour would be best. The downside is they drop folks at the cable car. Does anyone have any other ideas?

Ruth Ann

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After my return in mid-october I'll report back and let you know how it went.

 

 

Bandit, we are also planning a cruise, for this time-frame, for next year.

I would very much like to hear how it goes for you when you arrive at Santorini !

 

I would like to take the Ferry from the Dock at Fira, over to Amoudi Bay, below Oia.

(this would avoid the Cable Cars, at least one way)

 

But, I have heard that if there are not enough passengers, it might not run.

Their website states that the Ferry runs on the hour.

I have just sent them a contact to see if the Ferry might be delayed, or not run... since we could be the only large ship at Santorini that day.

We will see if I get a good reply.

 

After your cruise, any info about your visit to Santorini would be much appreciated!

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About the so-call fast-ferry from Tender port

a) It is normal boat (slower than NYC waterways)

b) They always lie that it is leaving "soon". They leave when it is full. There usually two boats. So guess which one will get full. (luck)

c) There is small steep hill when you get off the boat (no problem for most people)

d) Bus that takes you up from Amoudi bay shore to Oia will have less seats than boat so few people wil have to stand during that zig zag ride

e) Bus from Oia to Fira that is through this boat company is unmarked and chaotic.

f) They constantly lie about last time for the included bus

 

If cable car is backed up then boat option is still better but set expectations as per above

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We will be on the Reflection next September. We both use mobility scooters. It looks impossible for us going to shore with them. Hopefully my DH can use a walker. I am thinking a ship tour would be best. The downside is they drop folks at the cable car. Does anyone have any other ideas?

Ruth Ann

 

Your information is correct. We are not aware of other options.

 

Hank

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Hi,

 

came back from our cruise and just wanted to give you some feedback about our experience.

 

The shore excursion we booked worked out perfectly (on the ShoreBee website). Did cost us 15 Euros each. Departure on time at 8.30am with a boat directly from the port to the Oia port. From there a quick bus ride up to Oia. Arriving at around 9.45am. Then we had time to explore the town completely on our own. Buses back were at 11am, 12noon, 1pm and 2pm. No reservations needed, just show up about 15' before time. They have enough seats and busses ready for the transport to Fira (about 20'). From Fira back to the port you are on your own though (cable car or walking). We walked....took about only 30' and there weren't many donkeys around - it's end of season soon I guess. Great experience all around, well organised and on time. And for that price a real steal.

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We were in Santorini last Monday,  and we decided to tender at 8 AM over to the port,  and we took the cable car.

there was no line  whatsoever  at that time. 

We  then strolled around Fira  attempting to find the bus depot  but took a wrong turn,  so we took our time and had a little coffee and pastry there,  and the shopkeepers were very helpful about directing us to the bus depot.  

 We got to the Depot at 10:10  and there were about 50 people waiting around in the parking lot,  and shortly there after one of the best drivers yelled out the word Oia, and we all went running for the door LOL

 A definite free for all ,  but there was still room for everyone on the bus.  

 As mentioned above, the bus ride was €1.8,  and we did not need exact change, as the attendant on the bus came along and was able to make change. 

 We were all instructed just to pay on the bus.  The ride out to oia took a good 30 to 35 minutes,  and for our return, we lined up in the spot exactly where the bus had dropped us off originally,  even though it wasn’t marked clearly or at all that we noticed,  but the bus will pick you up in the parking lot above where all the tour buses park.  

The Blanc du Nil store  is very near the bus stop . If looking at that store,  there is a little café to the left and to the left of the café is a little market.   We all formed a line near the little market,  precisely the spot where we were left off in the morning. 

 We spent four hours in Oia and returned at approximately 2:30 .

The return trip felt significantly shorter than the inbound trip,  due to taking a shorter route back, 20 minutes.  Had we arrived at the bus depot earlier, I think it would have been a little less chaotic. 

 I think it is safe to say if one makes it to the bus depot by 9 AM, it will be calmer Taking the local bus was definitely the way to go. 

 Since we were there in October, it is probably easier to do the bus thing.  Also, we were the only ship in port that day   

Edited by 4cats4me

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Thanks for the responses from recent visitors. We are there in April 2019, only ship in port but don't arrive until noon and leave at 10pm. We're thinking of waiting until we get off the tender and deciding---if there's a long line for the cable car, we'll take the boat to the port below Oia and then take the bus up.  Then city bus to Fira and cable car down. I wonder how late the busses and cable car run? I'm sure the cable car would keep running into the evening if there are still ships there, but who knows for sure? Can we just book the boat to Oia when we arrive or does it need to be pre-booked?
Thanks

Tony

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My advice is know your options (bus, rental car, ferry, taxi) and make your decision based on the circumstances at the time!  The so-called ferry (its more of a small local boat then a ferry) is operated by a small private company.  To be kind, they are not very reliable and seem to put their own profit ahead of maintaining a schedule or pleasing customers.  If they are running, and you can ascertain that will be leaving within a reasonable period of time, then this is often the best option.  If they are not running or you get the impression they will leave you sitting for 1-2 hours until they can fill their boat (if not, they will often just cancel and tell you "bye bye") then you have to move to one of the other options.  The main taxi parking area (in Fira) is very close to the bus station.  So you can walk over to that area (its about a 15 min stroll from the cable car station) and take the bus if its not too crowded and will be leaving soon...or you can grab a taxi (they used to charge 25€ one-way...although now the price might be higher).

 

Getting back from Oia is not to be left for the last minute!  The buses do generally run on schedule but if there are lots of ships in port they bus can quickly fill-up and leave some cooling their heels on the outside.  And at that point when you get desperate and need a taxi there may not be any taxis sitting around Oia.   

 

As to rental cars, we do agree that it is a terrific option.  With a car you can drive over to Oia and also go to other places on the island before returning your car to Fira.  There are some wineries,  the ruins at Akritori (if open), some nice beaches (our favorite is Red Beach), restaurants, etc.  It is hard to beat the flexibility of having your own transportation.

 

Hank

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