How to get from Athens to Santorini by ferry and plane

Santorini is one of the most popular islands not only in Greece but around the world as well. If you are coming to Greece through Athens there are to ways to get from Athens to Santorini; by ferry and by plane.

Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages. Here you will find all the information you need on how to travel from Athens to Santorini.

Athens to Santorini by plane

The easiest and fastest way to get from Athens to Santorini is by plane. There are many companies that fly from Athens to Santorini; Skyexpress, Ryanair, Aegean and Olympic Air (which is the same company) and Volotea. The flight between Athens and Santorini is 45 minutes.

Flights from Athens depart from Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport which is located 30 to 40 minutes outside the center of Athens by metro.

Flights to Santorini arrive at Santorini international airport which is 15 minutes outside the town of Fira. (Just to prepare you that despite the many flights and the thousands of passengers that arrive at the Santorini airport, it has basic facilities and it is extremely small.)

Sky Express:

It doesn’t fly all year round. In 2017 it flies to Santorini and back until the end of October and has between 3 to 5 flights per day depending on the season.

Volotea:

From the end of May until the end of September Volotea flies daily from Athens to Santorini the rest of the year flies 2 to 3 times per week.  Volotea is a low-cost airline and tickets start at 19.99 €.

From the end of May until the end of September Volotea flies daily from Athens to Santorini the rest of the year flies 2 to 3 times per week.  Volotea is a low-cost airline and tickets start at 19.99 €.

Aegean and Olympic air:

They fly daily from Athens to Santorini all year round. There are more flights per day during the high season. You can book tickets at either site; the price will be the same.

Ryanair:

It flies all year round from Athens to Santorini and back. It has one return flight per day during the low season and two return flights per day the high season.

How much does a flight to Santorini cost:

During the high season, the flights between Athens and Santorini can get expensive. Try to book them as early as possible and do research on the airline websites. If you are planning a trip to Santorini between the middle of October until April, try to book a flight early as Ryanair has some excellent prices like 20€ return.  I have taken advantage of an offer like that and did a day trip to Santorini. I wasn’t the only one; many tourists did the same.

When it is best to fly from Athens to Santorini:

  • During off-season when tickets are cheap
  • If you are in a hurry (the boat takes between 5 to 8 hours on average to get from Athens to Santorini depending on the type of ship)
  • If you get seasick

Tip: Plane tickets to Santorini sell out fast, and prices go up quickly, so I suggest that you book as soon as possible.

Athens to Santorini by ferry

Even though it’s faster and more convenient to visit Santorini by plane, going there by ferry is much more rewarding regarding views and overall experience. You usually have a dramatic arrival at the bottom of the cliffs that form the volcanic caldera.

Types of ferries from Athens to Santorini

There are two main types of ferries that you can choose from; Either the traditional ones or the speedboats.

Traditional ferries:

These are usually modern ferries that give you the feeling of a real sea cruise. They are huge and can carry up to 2.500 people, cars, trucks and much more. They usually include restaurants, bars, shops, and sundeck areas where you can spend some time outside and marvel at the views. Most of them also have several stops so you can check out the different islands and snap some pictures before moving on to the next destination.

Even though you get an overall incredible experience, they usually take much longer than speedboats, and trips usually range from 7 to 14 hours depending on the company. If you’re in a hurry, the traditional ferries are not a good option for you.

Speedboats:

The speedboats are usually either hydrofoil or jet ferries that travel at very high speeds and carry between 300 to 1000 passengers. They usually take from 4 to 5 hours, so you get to cut at least 4 hours from your trip and arrive quickly to the island if you’re in a hurry. Even though you can get snacks and drinks at the lounges, there are no outdoor areas, so you miss the views as you arrive and you spend the whole trip strapped into your seats. Also, the motion can cause sea-sickness to people who are already prone to that.

I usually don’t recommend that you travel by those especially the smaller ones that don’t carry cars as with the smallest wind you can get really seasick. Even if you don’t, most of the people around you will and it won’t be nice as it is a close space.

Ferry Companies going from Athens to Santorini

Hellenic Seaways:

Conventional Ferries:

From Piraeus:

Price: 40 euros one way for the deck (super economy tickets 19 euros- they sell out fast)

Journey time: 8 hours

Speedboats:

From Rafina

Journey time: 5 hours

Price: 48 euros one way

From Piraeus

Price: 59 euros one way.

Journey time: 5 hours and 30 minutes

SeaJets

Speedboats:

From Piraeus

Price: From 59 euros to 70 euros one way

Journey time between: 5 hours to 6 hours

Blue Star Ferries

Conventional Ferries:

From Piraeus:

Price from 32 euros to 40 one way for the deck.

Journey time between 7 hours and 30 minutes to 8 hours.

Golden star ferries:

Conventional Ferries:

From Rafina:

Price from 35 euros one way for the deck.

Journey time between 9 to 10 hours.

Speedboats:

From Rafina:

Price from 40 euros one way for the deck.

Journey time around 7 hours.

Click here for the ferry schedule and to book your tickets.

The ports of Athens and Santorini

Piraeus Port

The Piraeus port which is where most people go to, and it’s the closest to Athens with the largest variety of boats.

Τhe ferries depart from gate E7 exactly opposite Piraeus train/metro station.

How to get to Piraeus port from the airport

The bus is the easiest and cheapest option to travel between Athens airport and Piraeus port. You will find the bus X96 outside the arrivals. Journey time is between 50 to 80 minutes depending on the traffic. The stop you need to get off is called Station ISAP. You can buy the tickets from the kiosk in front of the bus at the airport or from the driver. Tickets cost 6 Euros one way for adults and 3 Euros for kids under six years old. Don’t forget to validate your ticket when you enter the bus. The X96 bus runs 24/7 approximately every 20 to 30 minutes.

The metro is another way to get to the port of Piraeus. You need to walk 10 minutes from the arrivals and then take line blue line number 3 stop at the Monastiraki metro and change to the green line number 1 and get off at the end of the line at Piraeus station. Tickets cost 10 euros. The Metro runs daily from 6:35 until 23:35. It will take you around 85 minutes to get to the port. I personally don’t recommend the metro so much. Line 1 is always crowded, and there are a lot of pickpocketers around. The bus is a better option.

Taxi is another way to get to the port. You can hail one outside the arrivals terminal. It will take you around 40 minutes depending on traffic to get to the port. There is a flat fee of 54 euros during the day (05:00-24:00) and 70 euros during the night (00:01-04:59).

Finally, you can book a Welcome Taxi with a prepaid flat fare (There is a flat fee of 54 euros during the day (05:00-24:00) and 70 euros (00:01-04:59) during the night), where the driver will meet and greet you at the gate.

Click here for more information and to book your private transfer to the port.

How to get to Piraeus port from to the center of Athens

The easiest way is by metro. You take line 1 green line from Monastiraki station or Omonoia station until Piraeus. The gate where the ferries to Santorini depart is opposite the train station. Tickets cost 1,40 euros, and it takes 30 minutes to get there.

Please take extra care of your personal belongings when you use the metro.

Alternatively, you can book a Welcome Taxi. It will take you around 30 minutes to get to the port depending on traffic. It will cost you 25 Euros during the day (05:00-24:00) and 38 euros (00:01-04:59) during the night. A driver will meet you and greet you at your hotel and take you at the port.

Click here for more information and to book your private transfer to the port.

Rafina port

The port of Rafina is a smaller port in Athens closer to the airport.

How to get to Rafina port from the airport

There is a ktel bus (public bus) departing daily from outside the Sofitel Airport Hotel from 04:40 am to 20:45 pm. There is a bus every hour, and the journey to the port is about 40 minutes. Ticket costs 3 Euros.

Alternatively, you can book a Welcome Taxi. It will take you around 30 minutes to get to the port depending on traffic. It will cost you 30 Euros during the day (05:00-24:00) and 40 euros (00:01-04:59) during the night. A driver will meet you and greet you at your gate and take you at the port.

Click here for more information and to book your private transfer to the port.

How to get to Rafina port from the center of Athens.

There is a public bus (Ktel) that you can take from Pedion Areos. In order, to get there take line 1 green metro line to Victoria station and walk up Heiden street. The journey takes around 70 minutes depending on traffic and tickets cost 2,60 euros. For timetables, you can check here.

Alternatively, you can book a Welcome Taxi. It will take you around 35 minutes to get to the port depending on traffic. It will cost you around 44 Euros during the day (05:00-24:00) and 65 euros (00:01-04:59) during the night. A driver will meet you and greet you at your hotel and take you at the port.

Click here for more information and to book your private transfer to the port.

In Santorini, there are two main ports – one is located in Fira (it is where the cruise ships usually leave you), and the other is called Athinios and is the main port of the island.

Tip: During high season there is a lot of traffic at the ports so be there early if you are coming by car/taxi.

Where to buy your tickets from Athens to Santorini

The best website to use booking your ferry tickets is Ferries in Greece, since it’s easy to use, convenient, and has all the timetables and prices to help you make a decision. I also like that it accepts PayPal as a payment method.

For more information on how to get your tickets and the booking fees click here.

Alternatively, you can either get your ticket from the airport at the arrivals hall at the Athens International Airport, at the Aktina travel agent. If you intend to stay a few days in Athens before you take the ferry you can buy your ticket at many travel agents all over Athens, or you can go straight to the port and book your ticket on the spot or even in the metro station near Piraeus.

Shall you book your ferry ticket in advance?

You usually don’t need to book your ferry tickets in advance.

I would suggest that you do in the following cases:

  • If you need to take a specific ferry on a specific date.
  • If you want a cabin.
  • If you are traveling by car.
  • If you are traveling the week around the 15th of August, Orthodox Easter week, and public holidays in Greece.

General tips and information.

  • Arrive at the port early. There is usually a lot of traffic, and you might miss the ferry.
  • Most of the times ferries arrive late, so I suggest that you book the return flight home the next day.
  • Don’t take the superfast (Sea Jet ferries) as you will get seasick. If you do get them take sea sickness pills before traveling and try to sit at the back of the ferry.
  • In most of the cases, you will have to leave your luggage in a storage room as you enter the ferry. Take all valuables with you.

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Have a great vacation in Santorini and let me know if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission.

2 Comments

  • Traveling around Greece by ferry is a popular choice in Greece and it is the option that is most favored by locals. That doesn’t mean that tourists can’t enjoy it too! Once you know how the system works, it makes it easy to get from one place to other. Your instructions on how to get from Athens to Santorini by ferry are spot-on and easy to follow.

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