Athens to Santorini | Best Ferries, Flights & More

Melina Thalassinou
Table of Content
Table of Content
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Key Takeaways

  • Athens and Santorini are two of the most popular destinations in Greece, and a trip from Athens to Santorini is a fantastic way to see both of these wonderful places.
  • There are several ways to travel between Athens and Santorini, including taking a ferry, flying, or going on a cruise. The best option depends on your preferences and travel style.
  • A traditional ferry ride is a scenic journey that takes around 8 hours, while a high-speed ferry cuts the travel time by at least two hours. Flights from Athens to Santorini take only 45 minutes and are the quickest way to get there.
  • If you want a hassle-free travel experience, a cruise might be the best option for you. Many cruise liners depart from Athens' Piraeus Port and make their way around a few of the Cycladic Islands, including Santorini, depending on the cruise itinerary.

athens rivieraAthens Riviera - credits: Pixabay.com

So you've booked your trip to Greece. Fantastic! You're in for a real treat, especially if it's your first visit. So where should you spend your epic Greek vacation?

Well, if you ask us, the vibrant capital Athens and the stunning island of Santorini are good starting points. 

Athens and Santorini couldn’t be more different (apart from being nearly 200 miles from each other). In the capital, you’ll find a great mix of Greece's old and modern culture.

santoriniSantorini - credits: Pixabay.com

Santorini, on the other hand, is one of the most idyllic places in Europe, with its beautiful white-washed buildings overlooking the Aegean Sea and rugged cliffs. 

A trip from Athens to Santorini is a fantastic way to see both of these wonderful places.  

So with all that said, you can stop scratching your head wondering how to get from Athens to Santorini.

That's where we come in, and we'll take you through the best ways to get from Athens to Santorini with this comprehensive guide.

How to Get From Athens to Santorini

santorini churchSantorini - credits: Pixabay.com

So, where is Santorini, and how do you travel from Athens to Santorini? If you’re not an expert navigator, it's pretty simple, actually, since the two destinations are 186 miles from each other. Here's how you can travel between the two. 

Ferry From Athens to Santorini

piraeus portPiraeus Port - credits: Pixabay.com

We’ll be honest, a ferry trip might not be the most exciting part of your trip, but it is certainly a spectacular voyage. A traditional ferry to Santorini from Athens takes about 8 hours or longer.

While this might be a slow journey, it's very scenic since the gorgeous Aegean Sea surrounds you. If you're not in a hurry, taking a traditional or "slow" ferry is a great way to start your Santorini tour.

Bespoke Santorini: Private Customized Tour With Driver-Guide

A journey on a slow ferry gives you time to relax and take in the (immense) beauty of the Mediterranean on the ferry's deck. Some ferry companies, such as Blue Star Ferries or Golden Star Ferries, even stop at some of the other Cycladic Islands along the way (bonus), so it is an excellent way to get a glimpse into some other Greek islands. 

Here’s something a lot of people won’t tell you. Traditional ferries can also carry more passengers, and there's a lesser chance of your trip getting canceled due to poor weather. 

If slow and steady isn't for you, you can catch a high-speed ferry from Athens to Santorini port. This will cut your travel time by at least two hours, while the ferry tickets will be significantly cheaper. 

santorini viewSantorini view - credits: Pixabay.com

The downfall of a high-speed ferry is that there's a greater chance of the trip getting canceled if there is bad weather. If you’re one of the unlucky few that get seasick easily, you might want to skip taking a high-speed ferry (don’t say we didn’t warn you). 

In low seasons two traditional ferries depart from Athens daily, and one high-speed ferry. In peak season, more options are available, with about five or six ferries leaving daily at various times. 

During the low season, ferry tickets start at around $45 (€41), and in peak season, they usually start at around $91 (€84). You can use a tool like Ferryhopper.com to help you secure the best deals on Santorini ferries. 

Note: These prices are without ferry transfer costs

Flights From Athens to Santorini

acropolisThe Parthenon Temple on the Acropolis Hill - credits: Pixabay.com

Okay, so maybe you’re not after a scenic and slow journey.

If you’re all about precision timing and efficiency (much like the Germans), then flying is the quickest way to get from Athens to Santorini. The flight from Athens airport to Santorini airport will only take about 45 minutes and will get you to Santorini in no time. 

Not to mention that with Santorini airport having only one baggage carousel, you are less likely to lose your suitcase

Multiple direct flights leave from Athens International Airport, arriving at Santorini National Airport a day. You can choose from a range of airlines, including Olympic Air, Aegean Airlines, Sky Express, and Ryanair.  

One-way tickets start at $36 (€33), while round-trip flights will cost you under $100 (€91). Please remember that the earlier you book your tickets, the higher the possibility of finding cheap flights.

Athens to Santorini by Cruise

athensAthens Streets - credits: Pixabay.com

So we've covered ferries from Athens to Santorini and flights, which are both great ways to get around, but what if you want to laze around and not run from one port to the next on your Greek island-hopping adventure? Then a cruise might just be up your alley. 

Many cruise liners depart from Athens' Piraeus Port and make their way around a few of the Cycladic Islands, including Santorini, depending on the cruise itinerary. 

Santorini Private Cooking Class and Wine Tasting

So if you're not in a hurry to get from Athens to Santorini, this is a very relaxing way to travel because everything is taken care of for you.

The ship will dock in Santorini for a few hours, where you'll disembark and venture into scenic attractions like Oia before returning to the boat.

Which Port Is Easier to Depart From in Athens? 

greek soldierGreek Soldier on Syntagma Square, Athens - credits: Pixabay.com

Athens has two ports with countless ferry routes. The larger and busier of the two is Piraeus Port. It's about 7 miles from Athens' city center.

It's easily accessible via the Athens metro, local bus, or taxi. Piraeus is more convenient if you want to stay in Athens longer or catch the first ferry to Santorini in the morning. 

Rafina Port is the smaller of the two, but it sees its fair share of traffic in peak season. Rafina is closer to the airport, so it's more convenient to travel to after your flight lands, especially if you decide to stay in one of Athens' airport hotels

When to Book Your Trip From Athens to Santorini

island santoriniSantorini Island - credits: Pixabay.com

The earlier you book your trip from Athens to Santorini, the better! Especially if you plan on going in peak tourist season (June - August) when ticket prices for ferries and flights double.

If you would like to save some money, it's best to travel between Athens and Santorini in the shoulder season (September - March) when ticket prices are reasonable.

Something to keep in mind, though, is that there are fewer ferry options departing during this time. 

Best Way to Travel From Athens to Santorini Summed Up

santorini golden hourSantorini Island during golden hour - credits: Pixabay.com

The best way to travel from Athens to Santorini depends on what you want out of your traveling experience. 

The quickest way to travel between the two destinations is by flying from Athens International Airport. If a scenic journey is what you’re after, you can take a traditional ferry ride and enjoy some picturesque Santorini views.

Depending on which ferry you take, you may even see some of the other Greek islands in the Cycladic group. 

If you'd still like to take a Santorini ferry but want to get there faster, then a high-speed ferry is your best bet. Now if you want to take the hassle out of figuring out how you will get from one destination to the next, then opt for a cruise holiday where everything is pre-planned

No matter how you choose to get from Athens to Santorini, you're surely in for a wonderful time, and after Santorini, depart for even more exotic destinations within Greece!

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

How long is the Ferry from Athens to Santorini?

Is It Possible to Make a Day Trip From Athens to Santorini?

How Many Days Should You Spend in Athens and Santorini? 


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