We were told that the bus journey to Fira was an easy one to manage and so set off to the modern day capital of Santorini by bus. We had been advised that the buses ran to GMT (not Greenwich Mean Time but maybe Greek Maybe Time) and so set off in good time preparing ourselves to sit at the roadside for a fair time. It wouldn’t matter because there were seats in the bus turning bay and we could enjoy the sun and the slight breeze that was emanating from the water’s edge. However, we didn’t have time to enjoy the view of the sea or bask in the sun because the bus arrived only minutes after our arrival. We’d seen a bus travelling down the narrow dusty road to Perivolas but assumed it was a tour bus – it looked too modern and “up-market” to be a service bus. That proved to be absolutely false as this smart coach was the standard service bus and contrary to public belief the timing was immaculate. We were sat in our seat by 9-38 and the bus was manoeuvring its way back up the lane just before its due time.
It was an uneventful, if not long winded, journey as the bus made a couple of significant stops off the main Perissa/Fira road but as it was all new to us we were happy to take in the scenery and enjoy the villages as we passed on by. The whole journey took around 30 minutes and at 1-70 Euro for a single ticket I do not think this was bad value. It’s certainly a great way to orientate yourself to the island and we both felt it would give us a bit of confidence when we hired a car the following week
The seats were comfortable and the bus modern and fully fitted with air conditioning. The island’s “bus hub” is in Fira so any trip to anywhere else will require a change of bus in the capital. So when we reached Fira we together with all other passengers disembarked (those passengers going on to other parts of the island located their new bus via the small enquiry office, which was on site).
For our part we checked out the conveniently sighted map of the town - a large arrow indicated where we were and we saw it was only a short walk up the hill to Fira’s town centre. Before I write more about Fira I can confirm our bus (an express) left the depot prompt at 16-15 on our return (buses continue to run until 21-00) and arrived at Perivolos just before 16-40, again spot on time. Although sorting out which bus is the one for your journey is a little bit tricky as they don’t all seem to siplay the destination on the front and it seemed that every time a bus arrived at the terminus there was a surge of passengers pressing towards it. A bit like a rugby scrum it seemed to me. But despite the chaos at the bus station we managed to get on the right bus and have a relaxed journey back to the resort.
Public transport on the island is cheap and it seemed to us fairly reliable and efficient.