The best ways to get to Santorini (Ferry & Flight, schedules, info) faster & cheaper
To travel by ferry from Athens to Santorini or to opt for a flight from Athens to Santorini?
That’s the question!
The truth is that both options come with pros and cons. In our guide, we’re going to go through all the details regarding traveling by ferry and by plane to Santorini. Availabilities, tips, and schedules, we’re going to talk about everything. Let’s dive in!
How to get from Athens to Santorini: fly or ferry
There are two ways to get from Athens to Santorini: by ferry or by plane. Getting to Santorini by ferry is the slowest, yet cheapest way to reach the island. Flying to Santorini is the fastest, yet more expensive way to get to Santorini. Depending on your preferences and schedule, you can choose what works best for you.
Read also: Ferry from Athens (Piraeus) to Mykonos
Traveling by ferry from Athens to Santorini
Taking the ferry is the easiest and most inexpensive way to get from Athens to Santorini! It is also a great option for those who want to enjoy the trip to the fullest, marveling at the sea views and having a glimpse of other Cycladic islands, like Mykonos, Paros, and Naxos along the way. What’s more, the ferry is the best way to get from Santorini to Mykonos and other islands of the Cyclades, as well as from Santorini to Crete.
Ferry companies that travel from Athens to Santorini – reviews
The ferry companies that travel from Athens to Santorini are Blue Star Ferries, Zante Ferries and Aegeon Pelagos Ferries (conventional) as well as Seajets and Golden Star Ferries (high speed/catamaran).
Athens to Santorini with Blue Star Ferries
Blue Star Ferries have a fleet of big conventional ferries that will get you to Santorini in 8 hours. Thanks to their size, these ferries are very stable despite the wind. What’s more, on your way to Santorini, you’ll have the chance to see other Greek islands like Ios, Paros, and Naxos, as the ferry makes stops on other islands, too.
Athens to Santorini with Seajets
The Seajet ferries are faster than the Blue Star Ferries and will get you to Santorini in 5 hours. These ferries don’t have a deck, so you won’t be able to enjoy the view from the outside. What’s more, the ferry routes with Seajets are likely to get cancelled due to weather conditions.
The best types of ferries to travel with
Both conventional ferries and high-speed/catamaran ferries sail to Santorini. Conventional ferries are the best option if you want to enjoy the trip and the sea views or if you suffer from seasickness. High-speed/ catamaran ferries are the best option if you want to reach your destination faster.
Athens to Santorini ferry routes
Ferries from Athens to Santorini operate daily throughout the year. In peak season (June to August) there are many ferries to Santorini daily. Ferries from to Santorini depart both in the morning and at night from Piraeus and Rafina ports in Athens. The first ferry from Piraeus usually departs at 7.00 in the morning and the last at 17.00 in the afternoon. However, sometimes there’s also a night ferry, at 21.30. What’s more, there are more than 2 ferries from Rafina to Santorini every day throughout peak season.
Read also: Island-hopping from Athens
How long is the ferry ride from Athens to Santorini?
The trip from Athens to Santorini lasts for 5-9 hours, depending on the ferry. Conventional ferries are slower, while high-speed and catamaran ferries are faster. More specifically, conventional ferries will take you to Santorini in 8-9 hours, while high-speed/ catamaran ferries will take you to Santorini in 5-7 hours.
How to get to the ports of Athens?
The main ports of Athens that serve the route between Athens and Santorini are Piraeus and Rafina. If you don’t have a private means of transportation, you can reach the ports either by taxi or by bus.
A taxi will get you from Athens Airport to Piraeus port in about an hour and will cost you 50-60 euros. As for Rafina port, it is about 15 minutes away from the airport, so getting there by taxi costs 25-35 euros.
Public transportation is a cheaper way to get to Piraeus port. There’s a bus from Athens airport to Piraeus port (X96) that runs 24/7. The bus ticket costs as little as 6 euros and will get you to Piraeus in 90 minutes. There’s also metro line 1 that connects Athens city center (Monastiraki square) with Piraeus port. A ticket for the metro costs 1.40 euros and the duration of the trip from Athens to Piraeus is about 20 minutes.
If you want to get to Rafina port, there’s a bus to Rafina that departs from the bus stop between Exits 3 and 4. This bus has frequent routes every hour from 6.00 in the morning to 21.45 at night.
Athens to Santorini flights
A flight from Athens to Santorini is more expensive than a ferry. However, traveling from Athens to Santorini by air is way faster than by boat. One of the main advantages of flying to Santorini is that you have the chance to depart almost immediately after arriving in Athens (if you choose to get from Athens to Santorini) or book a direct flight to Santorini from your country.
Airlines that fly from Athens to Santorini
There are many airlines that travel from Athens to Santorini, both local and international. Some of the local airlines that serve the route from Athens to Santorini are Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air, and Sky Express. International airlines that serve the route from Athens to Santorini are Volotea, Ryanair, British Airways, Germanwings, Transavia, Lufthansa and many more.
Flight schedules from Athens to Santorini
There are daily flights from Athens to Santorini throughout the year. In low season and shoulder season, there are 1-2 flights from Athens to Santorini every day. In peak season, there are 3-5 flights to Santorini every day. If you’re interested in traveling to Santorini off season, Olympic Air has at least one daily flight to Santorini all year round. The best way to score the best flight deals from Athens to Santorini is to book your tickets a few months in advance.
The duration and cost of the flight from Athens to Santorini
A flight from Athens to Santorini lasts for approximately 50 minutes and costs 80-250 euros (round trip). It is a very quick trip, so if you are in a hurry or don’t want to explore Athens before departing to Santorini, a flight is a good option for you.
How to get to Athens airport
If you aren’t planning to hire a car, you can get to the airport in Athens either by taxi or by the public means of transportation (metro or bus).
You can get from Athens city center (or anywhere in Athens) to the airport by taxi. The distance between the city center and the airport is 20 km. A taxi from the city center to the airport should cost approximately 30 euros (from 5.00 am to midnight) or 50 euros (from midnight to 5.00 am).
The bus is a way cheaper option than the taxi. There are four bus lines that connect several districts of Athens with the airport and operate 24/7. These bus lines are X93, X95, X96, and X97. You can choose what bus line serves you depending on where you’re staying in Athens.
Taking the metro is another budget-friendly option for getting to the airport. Metro line 3 (Agia Marina-Athens International Airport) connects the city center and other districts with the airport. This metro line runs every 30 minutes and will get you to the airport in 40 minutes (if you take it from Syntagma).
To sum up, taking a ferry from Athens to Santorini is the cheapest yet slowest way to reach the island, while a flight to Santorini is a more pricey but faster way to get to Santorini. Depending on your itinerary and preferences, you can choose what works better for you.
One thing is for sure: You’re going to have an unforgettable trip!