Looking for the best way to get from Athens to Santorini? Look no further than this comprehensive guide!
From the glistening blue waters of the Aegean Sea to the quintessential white architecture, to the delicious foods and warm hospitality, there’s just something so special about a visit to Greece and the Greek Islands.
I must say, to this day, my visit to Greece is amongst one of my all-time favourite holidays I’ve ever had. We kick-started our trip with a quick 2-night stay in Athens before we embarked on a Greek Island hopping adventure that included islands such as Mykonos, Naxos and of course gorgeous Santorini too!
This was a truly unforgettable experience that took careful planning before we departed. One of the main points of planning being how we were to get between all the various islands.
As such, I’ve decided to share with you my insider tips on how we travelled from Santorini to Athens upon our last leg. You can use this info even when planning for a trip to Santorini from Athens too.
Hopefully, this guide on getting from Athens to Santorini will be useful and help you plan the perfect trip to Greece!
Where to stay in Athens and Santorini
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how best to travel between Santorini and Athens, now’s as good a time as ever to book your accommodation if you haven’t already done so.
Accommodation in Athens:
I personally only ever recommend that travellers visiting Athens stay in the neighbourhood of Plaka. This is a great central location as all major sites and attractions are within easy walking distance, perfect for exploring Athens on foot. You’re also usually only a short walk from a selection of great restaurants and bars too.
We happened to stay at the Central Hotel Athens, which was a great standard choice for us, perfect if you’re on a budget too – and boasts an incredible rooftop bar with views over the Acropolis! Other great hotel options (also with rooftop views) include the Electra Metropolis, Ergon House, Plaka Hotel, as well as the New Hotel.
Much rather prefer to stay in your own apartment – then why not get searching for the perfect Airbnbs in Athens to stay at!
Accommodation in Santorini:
When choosing where to stay in Santorini you have the choice of four main areas, Oia, Imerovigli, Fira, and Firostefani.
We choose a lovely hotel in Imerovigli that offered sensational views overlooking the Caldera. I must say, we were so happy we chose this location. It’s within walking distance of all the nightlife and buzz that Fira is known for.
Alternatively, if like me you also love to book your very own apartment then consider booking one of these awesome Airbnbs in Santorini, Imerovigli!
Flights from Athens to Santorini
Journey time: flight time 45 minutes
The first, and also the fastest way to get from Athens to Santorini, or vice versa, is to consider flying to Santorini. Given the short journey time, an Athens to Santorini flight lasting only 45 minutes is a convenient and quick way to get to the island from the mainland.
During the quieter winter months, flight schedules are usually far less frequent. However, from around Apr / May, most airlines start ramping up the frequency of departures as more and more tourists flock to Greece and to the islands.
Throughout these busier months, you can expect to find flights operating almost hourly, often from as early as 05:00 am and continuing right throughout the day, and into the late evening.
When we flew from Santorini back to Athens, we flew on Aegean Airlines (or often shown on flight searches as Olympic Air) which we thought were pretty decent. Of course, there are many other airlines that also operate frequent departures. Other airlines include RyanAir and Volotea too.
Tip: Be sure to book well in advance. You can expect to bag fares of around $50, or less if you get a discounted ticket. But, as is common with many flights across Europe, be sure to check the fare conditions to see what is included. Often luggage may be excluded. This is especially important to note if you’re booking this ticket separate from your international ticket.
Ferry Athens to Santorini
Journey time: between 4h25 mins to 7h25 mins
Athens to Santorini distance – approximately 300 kilometres, 186 miles
Travel from Athens to Santorini by Ferry
Should flights be fully booked or too expensive to your liking, or you simply want to embark on a ferry adventure, then travelling on the Santorini to Athens ferry (or vice versa) is the next best option for you.
Similar to flights, during the low season winter months it’s not uncommon to find only one ferry departure per day. These then increase as the tourist season kicks in and often have around 5 or more scheduled departures daily during that time.
There are a number of different ferry companies that operate on this route, including Sea Jets, Golden Star Ferries, and Blue Star Ferries for instance.
The great thing is that you don’t have to jump between these individual ferry websites. I used Ferryhopper.com to book our ferry tickets. It was convenient as I could shop and book all the different departures and times through just this one website, saving tons of time and hassle!
Athens to Santorini ferry cost
Depending on the type of ferry you book, prices start from as low as €30 for a one-way adult ticket. This, however, is on the much slower ferry where the journey lasts more than 7 hours.
If you book the high speed ferry from Athens to Santorini you’ll expect to pay in the region of €60 – €80 for a one-way ticket.
The journey time on this fast ferry from Athens to Santorini is usually in the region of 4.5-hours to 5-hours, so, you may feel the extra expense is worth the shorter journey time!
Consult Ferryhopper.com to view and book the Athens to Santorini ferry schedule & prices based on your travel dates.
Ferry ports in Athens and Santorini
Most of the ferries tend to depart from the Piraeus Athens ferry port, this is where we departed from. Given the number of ferry departures to the various islands, it’s a good idea to get there early as this port is massive.
Do make sure to check which port you are booking from, as certain ferries also depart from the Rafina port in Athens.
On the flip side, there is only one main Santorini ferry port. It’s not particularly big but definitely somewhat chaotic. It took us ages to locate the transfer that was taking us to our hotel. Definitely a fun adventure!
Tip: In case your hotel doesn’t already include return transfers, click here to book your Santorini transfer from the ferry port/airport to your hotel, or return.
What to do – Santorini Tours & Activities
Now that you’ve finalized your travel arrangements to and from, as well as where you’ll lay your head to rest at night, it’s time to beef up your itinerary by booking a few exciting experiences and tours to round out your visit.
What to see & do in Athens
Athens is a sprawling metropolis with an abundance of history, culture, sights, and incredible food to experience. With so many incredible things to see and do in Athens, you are truly spoilt for choice.
If I had to single out 3 key experiences you should consider booking, it would have to be visiting the ancient Acropolis, booking an Athens Hop On Hop Off bus tour to see all the major sites in a quick go. And, last but not least, book yourself onto an Athens Food Tour, to savour the very best flavours of Athena!
What to see & do in Santorini
Santorini of course is known for its incredible views and picturesque scenery. I was truly amazed by everything this beautiful island has to offer.
For me though, the top picks as far as tours go has to be, Santorini Sunset Cruise, a Santorini Guided Wine Tour, and last but not least a Private Santorini Half-Day Sightseeing Tour to take in all the sights and sounds of this idyllic island.