Renting a Scooter on Santorini
Santorini is an island that is well suited to the two wheeled motorized scooter. Even on the crappy Typhoon model that I rented it was about 1 hour and 15 minutes from one end of the island at Perissa Beach, to the other at Oia. If you haven't ridden a scooter or motorbike before, you might be best renting an ATV or Quad as they tend to be a bit more stable, although they are painfully slow!
My experience renting the scooting on Santorini was interesting to say the least. I had forgotten to renew my international drivers permit, which is basically a piece of paper you pay your local auto association for that certifies you can drive in your own country. I honestly don't understand why you need one, as there is no additional testing, but suffice to say you should buckle and get one as it will make your vehicle renting experience ten times easier while overseas. Those in Europe won't need this, but Canadians, Americans, and everyone else will.
I went to several rental places and was turned down for any rentals including an ATV at the first place, and then offered an ATV at the second place. Determined to rent something with two wheels and not have to take public transit, I went back to my hostel in a huff. The main man there took a look at my Canadian drivers license and decided that I was indeed legit. 15 minutes later someone from the rental shop was picking me up and taking me to rent a scooter — oddly enough taking me to the first place that had flat out denied me.
Cash is currency in Greece and the promise of not paying with Visa, and renting for 4 days was enough to sway them into backpedalling on their initial position. Shortly after I was on my way on the little moped that could.
All-in-all riding around Santorini on the scooter was an excellent way to get around. If you're considering doing the same, here are some suggestions based on my experience and questions that people keep asking me.
Is it safe to ride a scooter around Santorini?
- The roads on Santorini are old with lots of potholes — be careful!
- There is a lot of vehicle traffic, particularly around the hours before and after sunset time. If you're not comfortable with traffic leave earlier. Also, pull over and let faster traffic pass, rather than create irrational impatient drivers behind you.
- Get accustomed to your scooter on some side roads before hitting the big highway.
- If you're not comfortable with riding a two wheeled motor vehicle find another mode of transport. Santorini has car rentals, buses, and taxis also, which might be safer if you're hesitant in the first place.
- Where a helmet always. It would be stupid not to, even if you're the coolest and best rider in the world there are other idiots out there on the road.
Where to Rent a Scooter on Santorini
- Finding a rental shop on Santorini is easy. There are shops in the "major" centres including Fira, Oia, and Perissa. There is also a car rental agency at the port of Athinios where you can rent scooters.
- If you have time shop around and negotiate to get the best price.
How much does it cost to rent a scooter on Santorini?
- The longer you rent the cheaper it gets
- Be prepared to pay cash for the best deal, and possibly lenient return times
- The price varies typically between 12-20 Euros per day depending on season, scooter, etc.
Chris Stenberg is a Canadian travel photographer, filmmaker and researcher. When he’s not wielding a camera or raising a family you can find him running, biking and boarding in the mountains or eating an apple under a tree in an orchard.