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Santorini Vacation Tips

Santorini General Information :
General Information about Santorini
useful phone numbers, banking hours, list of museums, archaeological sites, santorini open air cinema ...
Santorini Vacation Tips
the donkey syndrome, shopping hours, tipping in restaurants, driving in santorini ...
Santorini Taxis & Buses
bus routes in santorini, taxi service ...
Santorini Cable Car
santorini cable car - timetable & prices ...

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The Donkey Sundrome

Donkeys and mules in Santorini are part of the native charm of the island and can be loads of fun. During the summer the main business of the day is carting the tourists up and down the endless steep steps which connect Fira town down to the small port of Ormos, and Oia to Ammoudi harbour. They are extremely adept at negotiating the steps, but they do have a tendency to go very fast and take the bends like racing motorcycles.
One true story tells of a well built Greek lady having to use the donkeys as local transport since the cable car had done its last run. She was also carrying bags and suitcases. As the line of four legged friends were haring up the mountain side, she called out to the donkey driver " slower my man, I am going to fall off " to which the donkey driver replied " even better, one woman less in this world to plague us ".
Santorini donkeys also have a nasty habit of defecating on the pavements.

Words of Advice
Avoid arguing with a donkey or the donkey driver & watch where you step.
A point to be noted
Without the assistance of these hard working creatures, most of the Caldera as you know it today would not exist. All the work of transporting contruction materials to create the homes and hotels up and down this unbelievably difficult terrain was done by our furry friends. During the winter months this practice still continues.

Driving in Santorini
Renting a Car
To rent a car in Santorini you need an international or national driver's license, held by the driver for at least 1 year. The minimum driver's age is 21 years for cars and jeeps. We advise you pay the extra for Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). It's worth the money.
Renting a Bike
If the customers come from a country-member of the European Union (exempt is Greece), a moped driving license valid in their country is sufficient. For customers coming from countries outside the European Union, an international moped driving license is compulsory. Crash helmets are compulsory.
Drinking & Driving
Drinking and Driving is frowned upon with harsh penalties be you four wheeled or two. Alcotests / police blocks are a regular thing all year round, especially in the summer season on Saturday nights. Seat belts are compulsory.
The main roads only have 2 lane traffic, and within the villages, the roads are very narrow. Fira the capital and other prominent villages on the island have free public parking areas. Use them to avoid traffic congestion and parking fines.
Driving in Greece
When driving in Greece you must drive on the right hand side of the road.

Medical Points of View
Don't Drink the Tap Water
The Cyclades islands have a general problem with water, the lime content is at an all time high. And since there has been no successful solution with de-salinating the water, except in Oia which has its own desalination plant, anything you drink should be bottled. For bathing and general washing feel free to use tap water. Water conservation is high priority & considered valuable on the island, since it is brought in from the mainland, & visitors should respect this. All kiosks sell bottled water, but more reasonable prices can be found at larger supermarkets.
Using Drugs
Drug offenders are harshly delt with in Greece. Visitors are subject to detention, court trial and severe penalties such as imprisonment, deportation and/or being blacklisted.
Sunbathing is one of the main attractions of coming to a Greek island. But the sun is fierce, so avoid the hours of 12 midday to 3 in the afternoon, wear a cap, plenty of sun block and drink a lot of water. TOO much alcohol the night before could result in severe dehydration and sun stroke

Santorini Shopping
Late night shopping is a must on the island - many places stay open till after midnight (summer season only). Pharmacies take a lunch time break, on weekends you will find a note in the door telling you who is on duty.

Many cafes, restaurants, bars & clubs don't include tips for the staff on the bill, so anything extra you feel you would like to leave is much appreciated.

You will find electrical current at 220 volts, 50-cycle AC. Appliances of lower voltage would require a transformer.


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