Where is Santorini | Location, Travel Methods & More

Melina Thalassinou
Table of Content
Table of Content
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Key Takeaways

  • Santorini's breathtaking beauty and allure make it a standout global destination.
  • Geographically, Santorini is located in the southern Aegean Sea and is part of an archipelago resulting from past volcanic activity.
  • Travelers can access Santorini through ferries, flights, island hopping packages, or private sailing tours.
  • Getting around Santorini is easy, with options including walking, cycling, using local buses, or renting a car for exploration.

messaria santoriniMessaria Village, Santorini - credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com

It's not a secret that Santorini is hands down one of the most stunning places to visit on Earth, while the romantic hotels in Santorini, the hotels in Oia, the hotels in Imerovigli, and the Santorini hotels with caldera views are a sight to behold.

Sweeping panoramic sunset views across the Aegean Sea, dramatic cliffs, quaint villages, blue-domed churches, wine-tasting opportunities, and spectacular white-washed houses all await you.

It's easy to understand why so many travelers instantly fall in love with the island once they set foot on it. 

woman santorini blue domesWoman taking selfies with the famous blue-domed churches as the background - credits: Maridav/Shutterstock.com

In fact, they set foot on volcanic ash, which is a strong indicator of its past and the reason for the island's black sand beaches that you won't have the opportunity to admire in all the Cyclades islands.

If you're planning a trip to Greece anytime soon, there's no debate whether or not Santorini should be on your travel bucket list. It just has to be!

Whether you're planning a family vacation, a Santorini honeymoon, or even a solo trip, this amazing island has something for everyone to enjoy. 

Where is Santorini? 

old port amoudi oia santoriniAmmoudi Bay - credits: kavalenkava/Shutterstock.com

So now that we've settled the fact that you should visit Santorini, Greece, a few questions arise, including where the island is located. There's no longer a need to wonder since we're nice enough to share the secret. 

Here's everything you need to know about Santorini when planning your Greece vacation, including: 

  1. Santorini's location
  2. A brief history of Santorini Island
  3. How to get there

Santorini's Location

pyrgos santoriniPyrgos Village, Santorini - credits: cge2010/Shutterstock.com

Santorini sits in the southern Aegean Sea, about 125 miles (200 km) southeast of mainland Greece. It belongs to the Cyclades Islands group and sits in the middle of the Cyclades islands close to it, Ios and Anafi. 

It's roughly 130 nautical miles from Athens, 64 miles from Mykonos, and 60 miles from Greece's largest island, Crete. 

Brief History of Santorini Island

red beach santoriniRed Beach, Santorini - credits: Lucian BOLCA/Shutterstock.com

Contrary to what most travelers believe, Santorini, also called Thira, is, in fact, more than just one island.

It's part of an archipelago of five volcanic islands: Thira, Thiasia, Palea Kameni, Nea Kameni, and Asporonisi. 

Santorini was once one large island, but after it suffered a series of small volcanic eruptions, eventually one large volcanic eruption in 1600 BC, the islands created from it were five.

How to Get to Santorini Island, Greece

santorini islandSantorini Island - credits: turtix/Shutterstock.com

So now that we know a bit about the volcanic island of Santorini, how do you get there? Here’s a quick rundown of the best ways to get to Santorini:

  • Heading out on a ferry
  • Catching a flight
  • Island hopping your way around
  • Chartering a private boat


santorini landscape
Santorini landscape - credits: Netfalls Remy Musser/Shutterstock.com

Taking a ferry is usually the best way to travel to Santorini from other significant locations in Greece or other Greek islands.

From Athens, you can catch a direct ferry from the Piraeus Port or Rafina Port, and direct ferries are available all year round. 

Depending on whether you take a traditional or high-speed ferry, the journey from Athens to Santorini by ferry should take between six and eight hours.

Amazing Santorini: Full-Day Highlights Tour, Lunch & Wine Tasting

We'll admit there are better ways to travel than this, but it makes for a rather epic and scenic journey as you sail along the gorgeous Aegean Sea.

If you ask us, taking a slow ferry is a fantastic way to start your Santorini tour. So if you've got a flexible itinerary (lucky you), we highly recommend using this method of transport. 

Vlychada Beach IndustryAndTravel shutterstockVlychada Beach, Santorini - credits: IndustryAndTravel/Shutterstock.com

You can also hop on board a ferry to Santorini from some neighbors, including Naxos, Mykonos, Paros, Ios, and Milos.

Some ferry operators offer multi-stop itineraries where you can get off at a few of these islands and explore before heading to Santorini. 

Yes, this will be a long journey, but come on, if you've got the time, then why not make use of the opportunity for some epic Greek island exploring?

You'll eventually disembark at the Santorini Port, regardless of the ferry port you depart from. 


santorini swimming poolInfinity pool in Santorini - credits: Netfalls Remy Musser/Shutterstock.com

If Seabreeze and boat rides don't sound like your kind of transport, we have some good news for you. You don't have to travel by boat if you don't want to!

Santorini's International Airport of Thira receives daily direct flights from Athens International Airport.

Plus, the flight is only 45 minutes and reasonable in terms of price, so you'll be in Santorini in no time. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Mykonos and some of the other Cycladic islands.

If you come from other areas in Europe, you'll be happy to know that Santorini's airport also receives many direct international flights. 

Island Hopping Around The Greek Islands

santorini villageSantorini village - credits: Stockforlife/Shutterstock.com

You can also opt for a Greek island hopping package or cruise ships, which we personally think is a great idea.

All you have to do is choose an itinerary that includes the Greek island of Santorini as one of its stops among the many Greek islands you will visit.

Private Sailing in the Aegean Sea

Sunset sailing tripSantorini sailing trip - credits: Maximusmeridi/Shutterstock.com

Some of us don't do well with having to share our space with other people. We get it. That's why we also recommend a private sailing tour.

This is a luxurious way to travel to Santorini from Athens, Mykonos, and other islands. This is an excellent way to travel, and you're entirely in control of your itinerary. 

Bespoke Santorini: Private Customized Tour With Driver-Guide

You can charter a boat where a skipper will do all the hard work and navigating so you can sit back and enjoy a romantic sunset cruise that only a few islands in the world can offer.

If you consider yourself a modern-day explorer, you can captain the boat if you hold a boating license. 

How to Get Around on Santorini

Santorini wine tastingSantorini wine-tasting - credits: Ludovic Farine/Shutterstock.com

Santorini's main island, Thira, is a tiny island, so getting around is easy. Here are four simple methods to get around: 

  • On foot: Some areas are not far from each other, so it's pretty easy to get from one place to the other by walking. It's also a great way to discover some of the island's hidden gems. 
  • Bicycle: You can easily rent a bicycle and explore the island. 
  • By bus: Certain areas in Thira are steeper than others, and walking between towns like Oia and Fira is not always easy. In such cases, we advise taking the local bus, which is convenient and affordable. Here, you can read all about the best hotels in Fira, Santorini.
  • Car rental: Hiring a car gives you the freedom and flexibility to get around Santorini with little hassle. 

Final Thoughts on Santorini's Location 

thera santorini WitR shutterstockThera, Santorini - credits: WitR/Shutterstock.com

Well, there you have it! Everything you need to know about Santorini, one of the favourite islands of locals and foreigners alike, including where it is and how to get there.

All that's left to do is choose the best time to visit Santorini and what you will do when you get there. 

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

Where Exactly is Santorini Located?

What is the Best Way to Travel to Santorini in Terms of Budget? 

What is the Quickest Way to Travel to Santorini from Athens? 


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