How to get to Santorini, Greece

How to get to Santorini – plane, ferry or catamaran?

Four options on how to get to Santorini Island from Moscow (by plane), Athens (plane and ferry) and from other big islands of Greece (ferry and catamaran).

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Santorini (officially Tira, Thira) is the southernmost island of the Cycladic archipelago, located in the Aegean Sea. In ancient times, the island had an oval shape, but after a powerful volcanic eruption, its center went underwater, forming a caldera – flooded crater of the volcano. Santorini is often called the most “photogenic” corner of Greece, so to come here is a cherished dream of thousands of tourists.

How to reach Santorini by yourself? We offer the following information.

Passenger port of Santorini: Athens Ferry

Passenger port of Santorini with a ferry from Athens

The airport and port of Santorini

You can arrive to the island by ferry or by plane. The National Airport of Santorini is located near the village of Kamari, a few kilometers from Fira, the administrative center of the island, and about 20 km from the resort of Oia. Scheduled flights to Fira are operated by Aegean Airlines and the regional Greek carrier Olympic airlines. During the high season the airport is also served by charter flights.

It takes 15 to 20 minutes to get to Fira by cab or bus. The airport website (www.santoriniairportguide.com) offers the option of pre-booking a rental car. For those who prefer to book in Russian, it is better to use the site Kiwitaxi. You can book your Santorini Airport transfer from your home before you travel. You can pay later, when you get safely to the hotel.

Sea transport arrives at the port of Athenios, which is a 25-minute drive from Fira (not to be confused with the cruise port of Santorini). Tourists arriving by ferry are met by city buses, which go in the direction to the bus station (ticket price about 2-3 euros). The timetable is adapted to the arriving ferries, so you will not have to wait for transport.

Santorini – how to get there from Moscow

Since there is no direct flight to Santorini from Moscow, you can get to the island with connections in Athens or Thessaloniki. The most affordable prices you can get with Greek airlines Aegean Airlines. A flight from Domodedovo and change in the capital takes about 8 hours, the round trip ticket price starts at 300 euros. Aeroflot flies from Sheremetyevo in 8-10 hours. Ticket price starts at 530 euros.

The carriers Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Swiss, etc. also offer flights with two connections (Munich, Istanbul, Zurich and Athens) with round-trip ticket price starting from 360 euros with flight duration up to 20 hours.

It is convenient to keep track of ticket prices throughout the year with the help of a calendar. Prices change in real time, new flights appear.

How to get to Santorini from Athens

The capital of Greece and Santorini are connected by regular flights and sea connections, so you can get to the volcanic island from Athens at any time of the year. The flight takes about 50 minutes, of which only 30 minutes are in the air. Inexpensive tickets are offered by the carrier Ryanair – from 46 euros one way.

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Depending on the type of ship, the journey by ferry will last longer – 6-9 hours. Nevertheless, many tourists prefer this way because it gives the opportunity to enjoy the sea scenery and views of the Greek islands on the way.

How to get to the other islands

Greece is the only country in Europe where the sea transport is better developed than the railway. All islands and major cities on the mainland are connected with each other by regular ferries. Therefore, if you check the ferry schedule beforehand, you can plan a trip to Santorini from any corner of the Aegean Sea.

The best way to reach Santorini from the resorts of Western Greece (Kerkyra, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, etc.) is through Athens. For those staying on the peninsula of Halkidiki, you can take flights from Thessaloniki or, again, drive to Athens.

During the high season, direct flights to Santorini are available from the resorts of Mykonos and Rhodes. From Mykonos to Santorini there are also regular ferries across the island. The trip takes about 2 hours and the ticket costs around 50 euros.

How to reach Santorini from Crete

Crete is located 120 kilometers south of Santorini, one of the most convenient starting points for traveling to this volcanic island. From the administrative center of the island, the city of Heraklion, as well as from the resort of Rethymno, regular ferries run to Santorini. The approximate cost of the ticket is about 60 euros, for children usually a 50% discount. Additional discounts (about 15%) are also available on early booking tickets.

Travel time from Crete to Santorini is 2.5 to 4 hours.

It takes even less time to fly from Nikos Kazantzakis Airport (Heraklion). The carrier Sky Express will take you to Santorini airport in 1 hour with an estimated cost of 100-180 EUR (https://www.skyexpress.gr). Prices are for the 2022 season.

How to get to Santorini: open-deck ferry

Ferries to Santorini with open deck

How to buy ferry tickets

If you are planning to travel to the island by sea, you can buy a ferry ticket or just check the schedule on one of the following websites: www.tickets.ferries.gr, www.hellenicseaways.gr, www.seajets.gr. When ordering tickets pay attention to the type of vessel – it can be a ferry with an open deck (cheaper, but sailing will take longer) or a fast catamaran (no deck).

How to buy tickets for Greek ferries:

  • You can pay for your ticket with a credit card and then it arrives in an email. The e-ticket must be printed out and exchanged for a paper one at the ferry company’s office directly at the port (which is recommended to do at least one hour before departure);
  • The second option is to order delivery by courier;
  • If there are no more tickets on the website or in ticket offices, but you really want to get to Santorini, you can contact the local travel agencies – in the summer months they often buy a large number of seats for their clients.
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Last minute hotel deals in Santorini

Prices for specials are updated in real time. Take advantage to save on lodging, especially if you’re flying next weekend.

Excursions in Athens at best prices

Interesting tours of the Greek capital from locals. The itineraries are created by creative people who have something to tell and show. Guides will tell you what to do and how to save money in Athens. All tours are conducted in Russian.

Santorini Island on the map of Greece

On the map you can find the airport of Santorini, which is easily accessible from Moscow and Athens, as well as hotels and apartments on the island marked with markers.

Crete Santorini – all ways to get there: excursions and on your own

If you are planning a vacation in Crete, one of its main temptations is, of course, a tour to Santorini – the most interesting island not only in Greece, but also in all of Europe (for example, according to TripAdvisor). Santorini tops all sorts of ratings with enviable regularity and is considered one of the few places that are definitely worth seeing in a lifetime. And Crete, by happy coincidence, is relatively close by.

So, if you are vacationing on the largest Greek island, you have 3 options to make a trip to Crete-Santorini: independently (by ferry or air) and as part of an organized tour. And each of these options has its pros and cons.

Excursions from Crete to Santorini are very popular with tourists

Santorini leads all sorts of ratings with enviable regularity

Option 1: Ferries from Crete to Santorini

So, the first way to get there is by ferry. Regular routes connect Santorini to two ports on Crete: Heraklion and Rethymno.

Ferries to Santorini from Heraklion

Santorini is reached by several ferries and catamarans that leave from Heraklion almost daily during the high season. Despite the not-so-sounding name, a Greek catamaran is a modern, high-speed vessel, inside which the service and facilities are close to an airplane.

Travel time on a catamaran is about 2 hours. The timetable of the ferry is specifically designed so that you can take an excursion, walk there and return the same day.

Ferries to Santorini depart from the port of Heraklion

The route between Crete and Santorini is often served by fast catamarans.

Note that depending on the peak season, different types of vessels operate on the route. Some of them can take cars on board, while others are designed exclusively for passengers.

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So if you plan to take a car, find out that in advance. Regarding Santorini it is not a good idea to bring a car: the cost of carriage is such that it is easier to take another car on the island.

To find out the schedule of catamarans, as well as to book a ticket online, follow this link. Grekoblog wrote about how to buy ferry tickets online and get them in hand, here.

In detail the entire process of buying a ticket we also described in the video below (directly about buying tickets starts with about 5 minutes).

The minimum one-way ticket price for adult passengers not burdened with discounts is from 48 euros per person (2020), but usually in the neighborhood of 65 euros.

The two main operators on the route are Seajets and GoldenStar. Both companies support an e-ticketing option. That is, once you buy a ticket online on that site, you can print it out and go with it to board.

E-tickets are still pretty rare in Greece, so with the Crete-Santorini route, you could say you got lucky.

Ferries from Crete to Santorini depart daily. Ships leave the port of Heraklion mostly in the morning between 8:00 and 9:20 and return by 19:00. The distance between Crete and Santorini is covered by fast ferries in about 2 hours.

Regular routes connect Santorini with Heraklion, Sitia and Rethymno

Since the return ferry from Santorini to Crete returns late in the evening, independent travelers should take care of a cab from the port of Heraklion back to the hotel well in advance. You can book a car online in time for the ship’s arrival at the port by following this link.

From Sitia

In addition to the ferries from Heraklion, in some years there are also regular flights to Santorini from the port of Sitia. They are less frequent, usually 1-2 times a week, and the ships on this route tend to be slower than those from Heraklion.

At the time this article was updated in April 2020, ships on the route from Sitia to Santorini had not yet been announced, so it is possible that the voyage will not be supported in this season. But closer to July-August the situation may change.

To find out if the itinerary is up to date for your trip dates and to buy tickets online, click here.

Ferries from Crete to Santorini

In terms of comfort the ferry Crete Santorini reminds one of a plane

From Chania and Rethymnon

There are no regular flights from Chania to Santorini, but there are flights from Rethymnon (2020). Flights are operated by Seajets and Seaspeedferries.

The Seajets operates from mid April to early October. The ship departs from the port of Rethymno on Tuesdays and Saturdays, returning the same day in the evening. Ticket prices start from 69 euros one way (2020). Travel time is about 2 hours. You can buy tickets here.

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The second Seaspeedferries ferry has a more floating schedule and can depart from the port of Rethymno to Santorini 2-3 times a week on different days and at different times. It is a slower moving vessel and travel time is about 4 hours one way.

The Seaspeedferries ferry makes up for this lack of speed in price. One way ticket price starts from 35 Euro. Clarify the schedule and buy tickets on this page.

Variant 2. Flights to Santorini

Direct flights between Crete and Santorini are not constant. Moreover, so fickle that during the season they may not exist at all.

Guaranteed access from one island to another is possible by making a connection in Athens, but in most cases, this way of traveling will be more expensive than the ferry.

Just in case, we present the price calendar for flights to Crete-Santorini. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky with a promotion or flight availability and there will still be tickets, because the situation in the sky changes quickly like nowhere else.

Option 3. Regular group tours from Crete to Santorini

Another way to go to the Greek dream island is to join a regular tour. Such excursions from Crete to Santorini are held regularly, and their cost is often not much different than traveling on your own.

There are tours of 1 and 2 days duration; their price ranges from 120 and 200 euros per person, respectively (in high season can be a little higher). It is basically comparable with an independent trip, but there are some important advantages of booking a tour.

Although Santorini is a small island, there is no way to get around it on foot

The cost of a one-day tour from Crete to Santorini includes transfers from the hotel to the catamaran, tickets to the catamaran itself and a guided tour of the island.

The 2-day option also includes an overnight hotel (base 3*). Free time is included in both options for those who want to take pictures and buy souvenirs.

Personally I prefer the option for 2 days, although it is somewhat more expensive. The thing is that the return ferry Santorini – Crete leaves around 5 pm.

Thus, with the late summer sunsets, travelers are guaranteed to miss the main “feature” of the trip – the view from the town of Iya at sunset. This sight is definitely worth paying a little more and staying overnight on the island, if you, of course, are not alien to the sense of beauty.

The main “chip” of Santorini – the amazing sunsets

In addition, a sightseeing tour of Santorini is also quite significant. Although it is considered to be a very small island, you can not get around on foot.

However, the main points on the route – the capital of Fira, the town of Iya and the black volcanic sand beach – are far enough from each other to rely solely on the feet. A visit to each of them is certainly worthwhile.

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It is possible to buy a tour in Crete, but there are a number of nuances that must be taken into account in advance. Thus, the cost of one-day option in different parts of the island during the season reaches 150-160 euros, and it is still possible to call it lucky, if in July and August you will be able to sign up for it even at such a price.

The fact is that, since the number of seats on the catamaran is limited, and the frequency of flights leaves much to be desired, often places on excursions are sold out a few days before the actual date.

Even if you are resting near the capital of Crete – Heraklion – there is a chance to simply not get into the group.

However, you can save time, nerves and a little money by booking a tour before the trip. Such an option exists, but is little known outside Crete. One way to do this is through Victoria – a guide in Hersonissos. Grekoblog wrote a detailed article about her and her services here.

Even the beaches in Santorini are exotic: with red, black and white sand

Just note that reservations through Vika can be made if you plan to stay in the following cities in Crete: Ammoudara, Analipsi, Anissaras, Gournes, Gouves, Heraklion, Karteros, Kokkini Hani, Malia, Stalida, Hersonissos, Sissi, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, Bali, Fodele, Agia Pelagia, Rethymno, Sfakaki, Panormou, Georgioupolis, Skaleta.

This list of resorts is important because it takes into account the transfer as part of the tour. If you plan to live somewhere else, the bus will not be able to come and pick you up after the tour. Then this option is not suitable for you and you will have to solve the problem on the spot.

To contact Vika with further questions about the tour or to book a place in the group, you can by e-mail [email protected] or through the feedback form below. Only be sure to indicate in the letter that it is about Santorini, as well as specify the desired dates of the trip.

By the way, if you are planning a trip on your own, you can find a hotel in Santorini at the best price and read guest reviews, photos, and a map here.

Well, if you are going to the island with your loved one, it is not unreasonable to read about the most romantic hotels in Santorini.

Mail to Vicky (booking excursions from Crete):

By clicking the “Send Message” button, I consent to the processing of personal data and agree to the privacy policy Photos by: Fabio – Miami, o-wagen16g, darquati, MarcelGermain, Duncan Rawlinson, DanceTrax, szeke.

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