Tom, my fiancé, bought a scooter a couple weeks ago. Since between school (which is too far to ride the scooter to), work (which is too far to ride the scooter to), and wedding planning (yes, I require his help) he obviously has time to ride it.
I call it his pre-wedding bachelorhood crisis. I’m not a fan of two-wheel motorized vehicles so my theory is that he bought it before we start sharing everything. Like finances. He also may have still been holding a grudge because I ixnayed us renting a scooter in Santorini – that thing looked like it would tip over the edge of the caldera at any second.
Instead, at my pleading, we rented a 4-wheeler while in Santorini. Now, a 4-wheeler I’ve ridden before – albeit on wide farmland gravel roads where maybe my cousins and I would pass another car, but a cow was much more likely.
So 4-wheeling in Santorini? I was sure I could handle it. I must have momentarily forgotten about my fear of falling off a cliff to my death (I was allowed to watch Cliffhanger with Sylvester Stallone when I was way too young).
We started off the ride in bustling Fira and I was fine, despite the multitude of automobiles jerking their way around pedestrians – and us – through the town. Then we got out of town and the ride went something like this.
Tom: Wheeee! Woo-hoo!
Me: Oh. My. God. This cliff is straight down.
Tom: Isn’t this great? (Sound of 4-wheeler accelerating underneath me.)
Me: Tom! Slow Down!
Tom: (gleeful, maniacal laughter)
Me: We’re going to die.
Only then did I remember how much I disliked riding on the back of 4-wheelers while my cousins drove when I was younger. I have no control.
Eventually, I figured out that if I had one hand on the back bar and one arm looped around Tom’s waist, I could stop panicking about falling off the bike. (Falling off the cliff was another story – it still presented a very real danger to me, which I tried to ignore.) I lifted my head from where it was buried in Tom’s back in fear and looked around.
And I began to become happy that Tom was the one driving. While he was concentrating on the road – at least I hoped he was – I was able to look around the gorgeous island we were driving through.
I’d driven around Santorini once before on a previous trip, but that had been inside a rental car which had its own driving dilemmas (finicky clutch, smell of burning rubber, that sort of thing). This time around was different, though. I was driving through Santorini with the salty breeze darting off my face, the smell of the ocean alongside the long ago lava-infused soil and rocks filling my noise. Best of all, I could look around in every direction to see the vineyards spreading below us on one road; the volcano jutting from the middle of the caldera from another road; Oia’s white and vertically-challenged architecture coming into view as we arrived into the town – all without any blocking of window pane glare or being on the wrong side of the car.
I loved it. Tom was proving to be an adept driver so I began relaxing about him driving off a cliff and even convinced him to let me drive, during which I think he began to have fears of us driving off a cliff, despite me reminding him that I had driven one of these things before and was probably better at it than him. As I was driving slower than he did, which he apparently considered to be a terrible crime, he didn’t take my word for that.
Since I love him though and he was as excited to be driving this 4-wheeler as a 15-year-old getting his driver’s permit, I let him do most of the driving. Luckily, no one fell off a cliff.
And now we are owners of a scooter. We’ll see how that driving goes.
Hi Vanessa, I have yet to actually drive a scooter, but my husband says they are very easy to get the hang of. 🙂 To go around the whole island may be too much of a time commitment depending when you have to be back to catch your cruise, so I’d focus on just a couple areas you most want to see and then travel to others if you find yourself with extra time. Just remember to give yourself some buffer time to return the scooter and get back down the caldera to your cruise.
We will be leaving in July on a cruise. So we will be in Santorini for one day. I really like the idea of riding the scooters. My concern is how easy or time duration. That it takes to get around the island.
When I was there, it was about $20-$30.
How much the is the price to rent a scooter or the 4 wheeler in Santorini?
It was a lot of fun! And was a really great way to get around Santorini.
Wow that looks like a lot of fun riding the four wheelers on the street. I bet it’s easy to find a parking place too haha since you can create one of your own. I don’t take my ATV in urban areas but your pictures make it look awesome!