Santorini, a stunning Greek island famous for its picturesque caldera, has become a popular destination for tourists who want to explore its beauty at their own pace. Many visitors choose to rent a car in Santorini to make the most of their vacation. However, there are some restricted areas where driving a rental car is either prohibited or not recommended. In this article, we will explore these areas and explain the reasons behind these restrictions.

Oia Village - The Pedestrian Zone

The first area to avoid driving your rental car is the pedestrian zone in Oia village. Oia is a beautiful and famous village, well-known for its narrow streets and white buildings with blue domes. The pedestrian zone is closed to vehicles, making it impossible to drive your rental car through the village. Driving in this area can lead to fines and other penalties, so it is best to park your car outside the pedestrian zone and explore Oia on foot.

Pyrgos - Steep and Narrow Streets

The village of Pyrgos is another area where driving a rental car is not recommended. Located on top of a hill, Pyrgos offers panoramic views of the island and features narrow, winding streets. These streets can be challenging to navigate, especially for inexperienced drivers or those unfamiliar with the area. Furthermore, parking is limited, so you may struggle to find a suitable spot for your rental car. To avoid any issues, consider parking at the village entrance and explore Pyrgos on foot or using public transportation.

Akrotiri Archaeological Site - Limited Access

Another restricted area for driving rental cars is the Akrotiri Archaeological Site, a prehistoric settlement that was preserved under volcanic ash. The site is closed to private vehicles to protect the fragile archaeological remains. If you want to visit this remarkable site, you can park your rental car at the designated parking area and take the shuttle bus or join an organized tour.

The Caldera Road - Safety Concerns

Although not entirely restricted, driving along the Caldera Road with a rental car is not recommended due to safety concerns. This road runs along the edge of the caldera, offering breathtaking views but also presenting potential hazards. The narrow and winding road can be difficult to navigate, and there is a risk of rockslides, particularly during windy or rainy weather. If you wish to enjoy the views without risking your safety, consider taking a guided tour or using public transportation.