Santorini to Crete | Best Flights, Ferries & More Travel Ideas

Melina Thalassinou
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Key Takeaways

  • Santorini and Crete are both picturesque Greek islands with plenty to see and do, making them ideal destinations for a day trip or longer visit.
  • Greek ferries are the quickest and most convenient mode of Greek transportation between Santorini and Crete, offering daily connections during the summer months.
  • Flying from Santorini to Crete is an alternative option, but it involves a longer travel time as there are no direct flights between the two islands.
  • Private yacht hire is available for those seeking a more luxurious and customizable travel experience, especially for larger groups or island-hopping adventures.

sunset in oia santoriniSunset in Oia, Santorini - credits: Cara Foto/Shutterstock.com

There are many things to see and do when visiting Santorini and Crete, two of the most picturesque Greek islands, at any time of year. Santorini is sunny and packed with new people to meet, and Crete is gorgeous, with amazing sights and fun things to do.

So, the best way to see both of these spectacular places has to be a Santorini to Crete day trip, right? This way, you can see all the sights from our Santorini travel guide and head to Crete to explore this beautiful island the next day. The best part of this trip has to be the Santorini views you'll see along the way. What’s there not to love?

So if you're wondering how to get from Santorini to Crete, this is the place to be. Ferries, boats, and planes are all ways to get from point A to point B, each with pros and cons. Let's dive in.

How Far Is Crete From Santorini

crete cruise blue lagoonCretan cruise in Blue Lagoon - credits: Igor Tichonow/Shutterstock.com

It's an 88-mile-long (141 km) trip across the dazzling Aegean Sea from the magnificent Cycladic island of Santorini to the bigger, southernmost Greek island of Crete. We know it's quite a trek, but there are plenty of travel options to make it a breezy and stress-free experience.

Depending on which travel option you choose, the distance in hours will differ.

How to Get From Santorini to Crete

crete knossos palaceKnossos Palace - credits: Scorpp/Shutterstock.com

Ferries are the quickest and most convenient way to travel between Santorini and Crete. The route between the ports of Santorini Thira and Heraklion on the island of Crete has various ferry companies.

You can also hire a yacht and crew if you want a more opulent choice. This allows you to travel whatever route you wish between Santorini and Crete.

Alternatively, you can fly from Santorini to Crete to avoid getting sealegs. Nobody likes that. Sadly, no direct flights between the two islands mean a longer travel time than by ferry. Typically, flying takes you up to Athens before going to Crete.

Santorini to Crete Flights

cretan musicianCretan musicians - credits: T-photography/Shutterstock.com

Since there are no direct flights between the two islands, you must fly for 50 minutes from Santorini Airport to Athens International Airport (ATH). The duration of waiting varies at the Athens International Airport.

We know it's a bummer, but it's not all bad. Athens International Airport's dining options and cozy seating will make the wait worthwhile.

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You can fly into the larger and more well-known Heraklion Airport (HER) or the Chania Airport (CHQ) on the Greek island of Crete. This flight will also be around 50 minutes.

Buses from Heraklion Airport to Eleftherias Square run like clockwork, while buses at Chania Airport are a little less reliable. Plenty of taxis and private transport are available at both airports, so getting to your Crete accommodation should still be easy.

heraklion portHeraklion Port - credits: Sergey Lyashenko/Shutterstock.com

A flight to Chania Airport will cost, on average, €222, and a flight to Heraklion Airport will be around €256.

If you head to Chania, booking this day trip to Cretan villages is a must. If that's not your jam, there are still plenty of fun things to do in Crete.

Ferry From Santorini to Crete

elafonisi beachElafonisi Beach - credits: Alexandros Kant/Shutterstock.com

Once all the things to do in Santorini are ticked off the bucket list, it's time to head to Crete. Ferries are the best and most well-liked method of transport from Crete to Santorini or vice versa.

Throughout the summer, there are daily multiple ferry routes connecting the ferry port of Santorini and Heraklion (Crete). You can find the ferry schedule and book ferry tickets online on Ferryhopper

hiking samaria gorgeHiking Samaria Gorge - credits: Efstathios Chatzistathis/ Shutterstock.com

The conventional ferry 'Superferry' offers the least expensive ferry tickets but also the slowest ferry trip. Even though it takes four hours, the cost is only €40 per ticket, which is cheaper than fast ferries.

Depending on the business and type of ship, you can take your pet on the Santorini-Crete ferry. Luckily, Golden Star Ferries allows you to bring your furry friend (because they should also be allowed to visit Greece). 

heraklion harbourHeraklion harbor - credits: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

'Champion Jet,' which will get you there in roughly two hours, is the quickest ferry trip. First-class seats might cost up to €80 each, but you save time.

So it's time to weigh your options. What is more important - time or money? Keep in mind that during severe weather, quick service cancellations do occur.

The 'SeaJets Powerjet' boat departs every day of the week and is the most frequent ferry from Santorini to Crete. It is also probably the most popular Crete ferry schedule, although it doesn't offer cheap ferry tickets.

knossos palaceVisitors at the archaeological site of Knossos Palace in Heraklion - credits: Valentyn1961/Shutterstock.com

The earliest ferry departs from Santorini to Heraklion at 3:15 pm and arrives at Heraklion's port at around 5 pm, where you will find a Heraklion bus station nearby. In general, ferries depart Santorini for Crete at 5:30 pm and arrive at 7:45 pm.

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It's a good idea to obtain your ferry tickets in Santorini at the ferry kiosk or to have them printed at any local travel agency. We know it's old-fashioned, but it's nice having that extra travel protection.

lion square heraklionLion's Square, Heraklion - credits: lornet/Shutterstock.com

The frequency of ferries can significantly reduce from November through March. Also, remember that extremely windy conditions can disrupt ferry operators and ferry connections, so keep an eye on the weather before booking. Besides, it’s not easy to focus on the gorgeous sights with your hair in your eyes.

Private Boat From Santorini to Crete

gramvousa creteGramvousa, Crete - credits: N.B photo/Shutterstock.com

Although hiring a yacht is an option, we only advise doing so for groups of people more interested in luxury. You can take a boat to Crete by yourself, but who wants to party on a ship alone?

Some boats can accommodate eight to twelve people and a crew of two or three boat workers for maximum comfort and security. Hiring a yacht is also the perfect way to go island hopping in Greece, something we strongly recommend doing.

Final Thoughts on the Best Way to Travel From Santorini to Crete

Harbor of Chania CreteThe harbor of Chania, Crete - credits: Neirfys/ Depositphotos.com

It's fair to say Santorini and Crete are two majestic parts of an effervescent country with plenty to offer. So wanting to get the best of both islands is understandable. Simply put, there is a world of travel options from Santorini to Crete.

Whatever you decide to do, your trip from Santorini to Crete will be unique and unforgettable. So make sure to add all these amazing things to do in Crete to your list.

Our Tailor-Made Trip Planning
Hop on a quick call with a local expert from our team
Receive a tailor-made itinerary for your journey
Fine-tune the details and you're ready to go

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Ferry Ride From Santorini to Crete Rough? 

How Many Days Should You Spend in Santorini and Crete? 

What are Santorini and Crete Known For?

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