How to Get from Athens to Santorini

By Alice Ross | EUROPE

Oct 01
How to Get from Athens to Santorini

Santorini is definitely one of the most famous islands in Greece and a dream summer destination for many. Although it takes a bit of planning, it’s not too hard to figure out how to get from Athens to Santorini. Here is our complete guide for those who want to travel from Athens to Santorini.

There are two major ways to get to Santorini from Athens: by plane and by ferry. Both means of transportation have their own advantages and downsides. We will explain their differences below.


Travel from Athens To Santorini By Boat

Taking a ferry to get from one Greek island to another is affordable, and with the beautiful landscapes you’ll pass by on the way, it’s going to be an enjoyable trip. This is a very smart option if you're looking for a scenic way to travel from Athens to Santorini.

You will find different types of ferries that run between these two islands: fast ferries and slow ferries. The journey duration differs quite widely between these two types of ferries.

Visitors travelling between Athens and Santorini often opt for an overnight ferry to their destination.

Fast Ferry

Fast Ferry

If you want to save time, then the 5-hour fast ferry trip from Athens to Santorini is a good option. There are several boat lines that run fast ferries. From Piraeus, you can buy tickets from Blue Star, Hellenic Seaways, and SeaJets.

Booking your ferry crossing online is going to be much more convenient. There are several dedicated websites that allow you to see all the departure times available from the different ferry companies operating boats between Athens and Santorini, and to compare prices. We recommend using Ferries in Greece. It has the most complete information and an easy booking interface.

You can also get tickets at the port if you forget to arrange this online. The fast ferry going to Santorini usually costs about €40 to €70 depending on the season and your departure time. Boats depart frequently from Piraeus throughout the day.

Expect to pay more if you choose to take the first morning boats, which usually leave at 7 in the morning. However, they're the best option if you want to enjoy more time on the island.

Slow Ferry

Santorini By Boat

If you like the idea of seeing the Greek Islands in a more exciting and romantic way, then you might want to take the long but beautiful slow ferry ride. This is definitely the best option if you're wondering how to get from Athens to Santorini in style and want to make the journey itself an experience.

The trip takes about 8 to 10 hours. You can easily catch a boat from Blue Star Ferries, as they operate often. Alternatively, plan ahead and book a ferry operated by Zante Ferries, which run on a weekly basis. If you get hungry during your trip, you'll be able to buy food on board, but it's going to be cheaper to buy some snacks at the port.

Slow ferries from Athens to Santorini are run by several maritime companies. To find the ferry schedules, you may want to search on general ticket websites like Ferries in Greece. You can also make ticket reservations online - something we recommend in order to save time and hassle. The site also shows the routes that the ferries take, together with the tariffs.

travel to santorini

Because the distance between Athens and Santorini is pretty long, there are many types of accommodations you can select on the ferry. You can choose from different classes, and the rates vary accordingly.

If you want to save money, you can choose the economy class. If you have a larger budget and are more worried about your comfort than the money you’ll spend, you can upgrade to more luxurious cabins. This will allow you to relax fully and to sleep properly on your journey, so you can arrive in Santorini fresh and rested.

If you’re taking the ferry from Athens to Santorini for the first time, make sure to get to the port early. Athens has a lot of ports and it’s extremely important to figure out which one you will need to go to, and what area of the port you will leave from. Rafina and Piraeus are two of the most popular ports in Athens. Indeed, ferries from and to Santorini dock in these ports.

When purchasing tickets, make sure you know where you’re going. If you’re planning to take the ferry during peak season, we recommend making an advance booking to avoid hassles.

Book your ferry now:

Travel from Athens To Santorini By Plane

travel to santorini by plane

If you are looking for an even faster option, then taking the plane to get from Athens to Santorini is the way to go, as it takes only about 45 minutes. Besides, you can also catch connections at the airport if you are planning to head to other beautiful cities in Europe, like London, Vienna, or Rome. Prices depend on how early you book. Thanks to Europe's many low-cost airlines, if you’re planning your trip early, you can usually book plane tickets that are more affordable than the ferry.

As with the ferry option, you can choose from many airlines that fly from Athens to Santorini. These include Ryanair, Skyexpress, Olympic Air, Volotea, and Aegean. Flights from Athens leave from the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, which is located about 30 to 40 minutes outside the center of Athens by train. Flights to Santorini arrive at Santorini international airport, about 15 minutes outside the town of Fira.

Private Helicopter

Private Helicopter

If you're not worried about money and want to take your trip to Santorini to the next level, a bonus option is to fly in a helicopter! Many companies provide private helicopter transfers to the island. And of course, you can expect sensational views.

Plan your trip

Once you've figured out how to get from Athens to Santorini, there are a few other things you may want to think about to plan a successful trip. Here are our top tips and resources to help you plan an amazing stay on this magical island.

Read more: 12 Exciting Things To Do in Santorini in March

Accommodation on Santorini

From unique Windmill Villas to charming guesthouses and luxury cliffside hotels, Santorini truly has some of the world's dreamiest accommodation. Between infinity pools with epic caldera views and homely whitewashed buildings, there's something for every taste and budget. However, keep in mind that Santorini is a very popular tourist destination that attracts visitors year-round. Top accommodation options fill up fast, so book your stay early to have the best choice and avoid disappointment. Browse your options.

Car rental

It's a good idea to rent a car on Santorini to make the most of your stay on the island. We use and recommend Discover Cars for car rentals in Greece. They offer the most comprehensive range of options, great prices, and three different pickup and drop-off locations on Santorini.

Travel insurance

Granted, this is not the most exciting part of travel planning. But we've heard too many horror stories to ever travel abroad without reliable travel medical coverage. We use SafetyWing, a flexible and affordable provider that can protect you against mishaps from just $1.32 per day. If you ask us, it's a steal to be able to enjoy your holiday with greater peace of mind!

If you're looking for more extensive coverage that also protects you against theft of your electronics and belongings and covers you for all types of sports and activities, World Nomads is a pricier but more comprehensive option used by many global travelers.

Top activities on Santorini

To make the most of your time on the island, book one of our favorite top-reviewed tours:

As you can see, it’s not too complicated to figure out how to get from Athens to Santorini. Hopefully, this short article helped you decide which method is the best suited to your needs and preference. If you have other questions on this topic, don’t hesitate to ask us in a comment below. If you find this helpful, you may also want to share this on your social media to help others plan their trip too!

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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