A Santorini's Port Survival Guide

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Key Takeaways

  • The port of Athinios is the main port of Santorini, where most ferry and cruise ship arrivals and departures take place.
  • It can get crowded and chaotic, so it's essential to arrive early if you have a scheduled departure
  • The port of Athinios is relatively basic, with limited facilities. There are restrooms and a small convenience store, but amenities are minimal.
  • To reach your accommodation or explore the island from the port, you take a taxi, a public bus, or book transportation services, which is recommended.

Santorini - credits: roganassoc.gr

With Santorini being one of the most visited summer destinations in Greece and around the world, it’s only fair we dedicate a whole post to this tourist hub to allow you to gain all vital information in one single reading.

The Cycladic Islands are always popular with travelers around the world. However, Santorini has something special. Maybe it is the nearby volcano, the Caldera cliffs, the picturesque Santorini town, or the convenient Santorini airport that boasts direct flights from some European capitals, or maybe it's all the above.

One thing is for sure: the island hosts its visitors every year with care and consideration.  

Read below our Santorini port survival guide and learn all you need to know about one of the most beautiful ports in Greece, Athinios port for your next visit on one of our Greece vacation packages!

Where is the Santorini Port?

Athinios port in Santorini- credits: greece.com

Santorini, officially called Thira, is the southernmost Greek island located in the Cyclades complex, in southern Aegean. Known around the world for its unique beauty and luxurious lifestyle, it attracts thousands of tourists every year. Such a popular and wonderful island, however, couldn’t lack an equally wonderful port! In fact, recently, Athinios port in Santorini was voted as one of the most beautiful ports in the world.

Athinios port in Santorini is considered the gateway to the Cyclades, and while visiting it is not considered one of the must things to do in Santorini, it is worth your time as its boasts the most amazing sunshine you will ever see, and you will remember forever. Anyone who visits the ports of Santorini can not forget the eerie feeling and the amazing view.

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Athinios port, as the main port of Santorini, is called, is located 10 km south of Fira. It is located at the foot of the caldera and is 8 km from Fira, the island's capital, and 7 km from Santorini International Airport.

It is the main pillar for visitors to the island coming from the sea. It is connected to the port of Piraeus daily and throughout the year, as well as to the surrounding islands with numerous passenger ferries. No ferry company that serves Santorini doesn't get tendered ashore at the port of Santorini. Itineraries and responses multiply during the summer.

There are various restaurants, cafes, and mini markets in the Athinios port in Santorini, while in the air-conditioned passenger lounge you have the possibility of free wireless internet connection. Finally, in the Santorini port, you will find a taxi rank and the starting bus station for your transfer to all areas of the island.

Arriving by passenger ferries or cruise ships

Arriving by ferry to Athinios port in Santorini - credits: greecetravelsecrets

The main Santorini ferry port (Athinios port) is located in the western part of the island, in the same village of Athinios. This is the ferry port of Santorini where the vast majority of conventional ferries and cruise ships stop when approaching the island.

Regular ferry services from the port of Piraeus to Athens through the Greek companies Blue Star and Hellenic Seaways. It is very important to keep in mind that there are two types of ferries, regular and fast, the difference between them is that the journey between Piraeus and Santorini ferry port with the regular is 8.5 hours and with the fast 5.30. Of course, the fast is more expensive, but the time transport is significantly reduced.

oia santorini Contributor shutterstockOia, Santorini - credits: Contributor/Shutterstock.com

Of course, there are boat connections between Santorini port and the other circular islands; you just have to look for them on the websites of the respective ferry companies or platforms such as Ferryhopper. Of course, during the summer, there are many more connections than in the spring or fall. 

Please note that many of the Santorini beach hotels, and not only, offer free transfers from the ferry port if you have previously agreed with them.

Santorini Ferry Port Transportation

Ferries that go to Athinios port in Santorini - credits: bluestarferries.com

You can reach the ferry port of Santorini from most areas of the island, and definitely the most central ones. A KTEL bus service is great for getting around Santorini as it takes both visitors and locals all around the stunning island, including the Santorini port.

You can reach the Santorini port from Fira in 14.3 km. The ferry tickets come up to 2 euros during the day and 2.30 euros if you choose to take the night bus. The route from Santorini port to Pyrgos and Vothonas will set you back 1.80 euros during the day and 2.30 during the night.

santorini Andrew Mayovskyy shutterstockSantorini - credits: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com

From Karterados, Athinios ferry port of Santorini is at a distance of 12.4 km, with the ticket costing 1.60 euros for the day bus and 2 euros for the night bus. 

The distance between Athinios port and Mesaria and between the port facilities and Perissa is 10.3 km and 11.2 km respectively, while they both cost 1.60 euros during the day and 2 euros during the night. Last but not least, you can reach the port from Kamai in 19.9 km, which will cost you 2.20 for the day bus and 2.80 euros for the night bus you can take from the bus station you'll be guided to if you ask around.

Buses at the Santorini Ferry Port

Buses near Athinios port in Santorini - credits: transfers.gr

Outside the port of Santorini, the local company KTEL buses take you to most of the surrounding cities, as we have already mentioned before. Buses run every 30 minutes in summer and every hour in winter. You have to keep in mind that public buses are green and that the other colors are tour buses. 

The buses are coordinated with the ferries so that every time a ferry reaches the port of Santorini, there is a bus that is waiting to service the passengers. As for the bus itineraries, you can confirm them on the island or on the KTEL website here

Taxis at Santorini Ferry Port

Taxis near Athinios port in Santorini - credits: santorinitaxis.4ty.gr

In addition to buses, there are taxis available outside Athinios port in Santorini. However, during the summer months, it can be quite difficult to find a free taxi.

We highly suggest you first agree with the taxi driver about the price of the trip before kicking off your ride because unfortunately, there are many taxi drivers that will attempt to charge you even double the price if you don’t. 

As in most ports in the world, there are car rentals available in Athinios port in Santorini island, where you can rent any pretty much vehicle of your choice -provided you have a driver’s license. 

Tickets for Santorini Ferries

Should I buy my ferry tickets in advance or at Athinios port in Santorini?

Santorini - credits: greeka.com

Booking your ferry tickets for your vacation in Santorini in advance, and in fact, as soon as possible from the moment you decide you want to visit this magical Greek island will be the best move.

Especially if you plan on visiting Santorini during the high-season summer months, when the island is extremely popular with travelers from all over the world, booking your tickets in advance is essential. 

Santorini caldera JIERE shutterstockSantorini Caldera - credits: JIERE/Shutterstock.com

In case you’re extremely lucky and want to travel to the small island of Santorini without a vehicle, you might also be able to find a ticket at Athinios port, however, if we were in your shoes we wouldn’t try it.

It would be such a pity for you to come all the way to Greece with a dream to catch the sunset from the famous Santorinian caldera, a remnant of the volcanic eruption, and instead, be left in the port of Piraeus bare-handed.

How Early to Arrive for Santorini Ferry Departures in Athinios port?

Greek ferry - credits: ferryhopper.com

Depending on when you’re going to Santorini, the time you need to arrive at Athinios port in order to have a smooth departure varies.

During the high-season summer months and now with the Covid checks that need to be done, it is advised to reach the port approximately 1,5 hours before the time of departure, so you can be there as soon as the ferries arrive.  

It is likely you’ll receive either a text message or an email from the shipping company you’ve booked your tickets with to inform you about the preferred time of arrival a couple of days before your departure.

The old port

The old port of Santorini - credits: fira-blogspot.com

The small port of Fira, also known as the old port of Santorini, lies about 900 feet below the town of Fira and just below the caldera. This leads to 587 cobbled stairs of helical formation, something that might make your visit to it a bit challenging, especially if you're traveling to Santorini with kids

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The port is a destination for large cruise ships that leave a large number of tourists every day, who go up to Fira either by traditional donkeys or by cable car.

For that reason, it is often referred to as the Santorini cruise port, while you can come upon several boat rental agencies around the area. Excursion boats also start from the port to the islands of Nea and Palia Kameni, Thirasia, and Oia. Around the pier, there are cafes, souvenir shops, and taverns.  

Also check: Our Santorini tours and activities collection

Final Thoughts

There is nothing that should come between you and the extraordinary island of Santorini. If you’re having second thoughts, don’t. Taking a trip to Santorini in the summer will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.

Let your eyes feast upon the spectacle of Athinios port in Santorini, and begin your adventures with a magical view of the volcanic land. We’re jealous!

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 much is a taxi from Santorini port to Oia?

What are some other taxi rates I should know about?

Where is the cruise ship port in Santorini?

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