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How to Travel From Athens to Santorini [2020 Guide]


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how to travel from athens to santorini

Are you in Athens? Or planning to be there anytime soon? Then the beautiful island of Santorini definitely needs to be on your bucket list! Doubtlessly, Santorini is one of the most beloved tourist sites to visit in Greece, with its breathtaking views and mesmerizing sunsets.

Apart from it being the most picturesque Greek Island, it is also an ideal holiday location to relax and take in astonishing sunset views. There, you can experience the lively culture and traditional festivities of Greeks.

However, unfortunately, many tourists are often found misguided and confused in their travel plans regarding Santorini, leading to a significant waste of time and money. And we know you wouldn’t love that!

Fortunately, you are at the very right place as here we have gathered a detailed guide, about how to travel from Athens to Santorini and help solve all your queries.

So, keep scrolling explorers!

How to travel from Athens to Santorini island?

Ferries from Athens to Santorini

Ready for a trip to Santorini? Traveling to Santorini via ferry has been quite popular among tourists for quite some time now.

Luckily, more than 4 or even 6 ferries (during summertime), make round trips from Athens to Santorini on a daily basis, making it super convenient to visit.

When compared with the direct flight to Santorini, ferries are relatively cheaper, yet a bit time-consuming.

However, one thing is certain; traveling by ferry is certainly more enjoyable than a flight, as you will have an incredible opportunity to be mesmerized by the beautiful Aegean Sea, and get glimpses of the surrounding islands of Cyclades.

The Cyclades, south of Greece, are considered some of the most beautiful islands in the world

Today, a variety of ferry companies operate from different ports of Athens to Santorini, with each having their exclusive timings and facilities for the passengers.

Some among them are high-speed ferries which are relatively smaller in size, with the rest being conventional ones with larger decks.

Travel Tip:
Our preferred website to compare and book our ferry tickets is Ferryhopper. Here, you can see all the ferry schedules and easily book your Greek ferry tickets online.

These ferries have a capacity of transporting up to 2,500 people at once and the best ones offer an optimal range of features and facilities to the passengers including airline-style seating, private cabins, restaurants, bars, and some outdoor sundeck areas.

Among the prominent ones are Blue Star Ferries, SeaJets, Hellenic Seaways, and Golden Star ferries.

The departure from Athens is served by Piraeus port and Rafina port. You may choose any of these according to your personal convenience.

Please read our detailed guide about the ports of Athens

Piraeus port lies very close to the center of the city and is easily accessible by train, thus an ideal option if you are already in Athens.

At Piraeus Port, you’ll find both conventional and high-speed Ferries of all the major operators, including Blue Star Ferries, SeaJets and Golden Star Ferries.

Most people, when they want to travel by ferry from Athens to Santorini, choose the port of Piraeus, which is located further south and closer to Athens, as it offers the largest selection of ferries all year round. Pic: Jeffrey/

The ticket for conventional ferries costs around 35€, while for high-speed ferries and catamarans the price will be approximately 60€.

In case you are planning to visit Santorini immediately after landing in Athens, we’d suggest using Rafina port as it’s really close to the airport (El.Venizelos).

Also, if you’re looking to make a stop at Mykonos on your way to Santorini, Rafina port should be your definite choice.

Although Rafina Port only serves high-speed ferries and not the conventional ones, it still has all the facilities of a modern port.

At Rafina port, the minimum price for a ferry ride lies around 56€.

Check for ferry tickets from Athens to Santorini

How long is the Ferry ride from Athens to Santorini?

Unlike planes, ferry rides are a bit time consuming and take several hours for a single trip.

During high season, there are 6-9 ferries departing daily from Athens to Santorini.

These range from high-speed catamarans that depart at 7 am in the morning and take almost 5 hours to arrive at Santorini to conventional ferries which may take up to 9 -9 ½ hours to reach the destination.

Usually, these ferries are always on time. However, high- speed ferries may be delayed in rare cases due to unsuitable weather conditions.

Please read our detailed guide about the weather in Athens

Journey duration from Piraeus Port to Santorini

● Sea Jet Ferries(fastest)- 5 hours
● Golden Star Ferries- 5 hours
● Blue Star Ferries- Up to 8 hours
● Zante Ferries- up to 10 hours

Journey Duration from Rafina Port to Santorini

● Golden Star Ferries(high speed)- 5 hours
● Golden Star Ferries(conventional)- 9 hours

Cost of Ferries from Athens to Santorini

The price of a ferry ride from Athens to Santorini varies depending on the facilities the vessel provides to the passengers (including the class of traveling for e.g. economy, business, etc.), and the duration.

Plus, it is greatly affected by respective seasons as well.

As a rule of thumb, conventional ferries are cheaper than high-speed catamarans; however, the ticket price may vary accordingly.

Cost of ferries from Athens to Santorini: On the Blue Star ferry it costs €33 for economy class. Pic: Daniel Langhammer/

Estimated price ranges of the ferries are mentioned below:

● Blue star Ferries- €33 – €119.5
● Sea jets – €56.5 – €109.7
● Golden Stars Ferries- €55 – €68
● Zante Ferries- €39.5 – €88.5

Choosing a high-speed ferry or a conventional one depends on the traveler’s needs.

If you enjoy sunbathing on the boat and prefer large boats over smaller ones, then you should choose a conventional one.

On the other hand, you should opt for a high-speed ferry if you wish to arrive at Santorini as fast as possible.

Although the ferry tickets for Santorini are available easily year-round, during summer seasons it would be ideal to buy it beforehand to avoid any inconvenience.

Book online your ferry tickets to Santorini here: Ferryhopper.

The tickets can be bought either online on the respective websites of the ferry operating companies, or even through local agents’ offices which can be easily found at Piraeus and Rafina Ports.

Choose a high-speed ferry if you wish to arrive at Santorini as fast as possible. Pic:

What one must know about Economy, Business, VIP, and Cabin ferry classes when traveling from Athens to Santorini?

Economy Class

The economy or the deck class varies significantly in large ferries like Blue Star ferries, and small ones like SeaJet ferries.

In large carriers, an economy class ticket gives you access to all indoor and outdoor seating as well as all restaurants, bars, and cafes. In contrast, the economy class is quite crowded (and hot) in small carriers and definitely not recommended.

Business Class/VIP class

If traveling comfortably is your ultimate priority, without a doubt you should go for the business class.

Both the large and small ferries provide passengers with a less-crowded and less-noisy environment.

In conventional ferries such as Bluestar, a lounge with sofas and waiter service is also available.

Although it might be slightly more expensive compared to the deck-class, it is definitely worth it!


Cabin class is only available in large conventional ferries, where private cabins with 2-berth and 4-berths are available.

In most cases, they need to be reserved beforehand, as there is a limited number of cabins.

The best part about these cabins is their external window that shows the beautiful Aegean Sea.

Are you planning to get the Athens to Santorini Ferry tickets? … If you plan to have a sleeping cabin, then you are advised to book the tickets in advance. Pic: Tilemahos Efthimiadis/

Blue Star Ferries to Santorini

Blue Star ferry is one of the most renowned ferry operating companies, which serves itineraries from Athens to Cyclades islands including Santorini.

Luckily, the ferry transports passengers 365 days a year, so even if you are traveling during the off-season, you don’t have to worry.

There are daily two ferries departing from Piraeus port, one in the morning and one in the evening.

No one likes a bumpy cruise! Fortunately, with Blue star ferries you can forget about bumpy sails, as it’s the most stable among all other ferries.

So, even if the wind goes wild, you wouldn’t feel much!

One of the best ferries between Athens and Santorini is the Blue Star. It’s the most stable comfortable ride. Pic:

On a Blue Star ferry, you are allowed to travel on-board and enjoy the magnificent sea and fresh sea breezes.

The cheapest ticket is priced around 30 Euros, while it may go up to 120 Euros depending on the class the traveler chooses.

As far as the schedule is concerned, Blue Star ferry departs early in the morning at 7:25 am daily, from Athens and stops at other islands as well including Syros, Paros, Naxos, and Ios, before arriving at Santorini at 14:55.

It takes approximately 8 hours for the complete trip.

Book online your ferry tickets here: Ferryhopper.

During high season, Blue star also operates evening departure.

The ferry leaves Athens at around 6:00 pm and arrives at Santorini at 12:35 am.

If time isn’t a big concern for you; Blue Star Ferries will truly provide you with an exceptional experience!

  • Address: 1-7 Lysikratous & Evripidou Street
    17674 Kallithea, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30-210-8919800, Fax: +30-210-8919829
  • e-mail: [email protected]

Seajet Ferries to Santorini

Seajet Ferry is generally preferred by the tourists who are short on time, as this ferry just takes 5 hours to travel from Athens to Santorini.

Quite simply, the ferry sails at an incredibly high Speed but unlike conventional Ferries, these do not have large open decks but rather closed compartments with airplane-style seating.

These are relatively costlier as well, with a minimum price ranging from 55 Euros to almost 110 Euros.

It must also be known that high-speed ferries like Seajet lack the cabin class due to limited space.

The Seajet ferry is a fast way to get from Athens to Santorini island but is more expensive

The biggest concern regarding Seajet and similar high-speed ferries is that they are often canceled due to unavoidable weather conditions.

Every day almost 3 trips are operated from Athens to Santorini.

Book online your ferry tickets here: Ferryhopper.

Seajet ferries are only great if time is a concern for one, otherwise one must go for the conventional ferry rides only.

  • Address: 2, Astiggos & Akti Tselepi
    18531 Piraeus
  • Phone: +30 210 7107710, daily 06:00 – 22:00
  • e-mail: [email protected]

How to get from Athens to Piraeus Ferry Port?

The Piraeus Ferry Port is located very close to the center of Athens and all the well-known hotels in the city, and luckily it’s super simple to reach there.

If you are in downtown Athens, you can easily access the Piraeus Ferry port via train (green line).

Taking the train service from Monastiraki station or even Omonia Station can easily get you to Piraeus within 20-30 minutes.

Please read our detailed guide about how to get around Athens

Not just that, the metro runs continuously from 5:30 am in the morning to midnight, with short intervals of 5-10 minutes.

The Athens metro Piraeus station. Pic:

Plus, they only cost €1.40, so you can go easy on your pocket.

Piraeus Ferry Port can also be accessed by taxi or cab service. To help you more to make the right choice, we suggest you click on our tours and tickets page, scroll down to the transfers section, and select one from these services we have already tested for you! Pick some services, read their reviews, and book anyone you like, so simple.

Top Recommended Hotels near the Piraeus Ferry Port

Most of the ferries operate early in the morning, thus many prefer to stay near Piraeus Port the previous night.

For a tourist, it might be a bit complicated to find the perfect and budget-friendly hotel, but you certainly don’t need to worry as here we have mentioned our top 5 picks for Piraeus Port that you will truly love:

Note: You can book any hotel you like, through our official partner and then cancel with no cancelation penalty. For the individuals who need to book without using a travel agency, this is the most ideal approach to do it. 

Eva Apartments – set up at an optimal distance of 700 meters from the Piraeus port of Athens, it provides guests with free-wifi service.

Phidias Piraeus Hotel – conveniently located in the center of Piraeus (1.3 km from Piraeus Port), it offers guest free shuttle service and extremely comfortable rooms.

Aegean Windows – situated right next to the Piraeus Port at a minimal distance of 300 meters. It offers all the modern amenities including free-wifi and large screen T.V. Some deluxe rooms also offer a direct port view.

Ports Little Gem – A luxury yet affordable hotel located within 1 km from Piraeus Port, with all the modern amenities of a luxurious hotel.

Piraeus City Hotel – located just 50 meters from the port, and in the range of the bus stop for the airport bus (X96), it is surely one of the best hotels in the entire city of Athens.

Athens Airport to the Ferry Port

The best way to get to the Piraeus Ferry port from Athens International Airport is to take a bus, which isn’t just super-cheap but very convenient as well.

Please read our detailed guide about Athens International Airport

The X96 Bus service serves the route between the Airport and Piraeus and will get you to the port within 90 minutes.

The bus ticket only costs 6€ and operates throughout the year (even in off-seasons).

The X96 bus departs with an interval of 30 minutes from the airport. You can easily find the information/ticketing counter from Exits 4 and 5 of the airport (El.Venizelos).

Athens airport tickets booth. Pic:

In case your ferry leaves from Rafina port, you may take a direct bus to the Rafina port which only takes 30 minutes to arrive at the port.

Fortunately, the ticket only cost 3 € and you can easily buy it from the bus driver.

These buses can be found easily between Exit 2 and Exit 3 of the airport.

You can visit the Athens maps page and download for free the Athens Airport Bus and Airport Metro Map

You may also take a taxi or cab service to reach the Piraeus port. Usually, taxi drivers charge around 50 € to 60 € from the airport to the Piraeus port and would approximately take an hour to reach it.

If you need a taxi service from Athens International Airport to the Piraeus ferry port, check this service we already found for you!

For Rafina, you can easily reach it in no more than 15 minutes and expect to pay around between 25€ and 35€.

Flights from Athens to Santorini

Indeed, air travel is the quickest way to reach Santorini.

Although it is relatively expensive, you can definitely reach Santorini airport in just 45 minutes.

During summertime, there are more than 20 daily flights operating on this itinerary.

Every 2 hours, a flight leaves from Athens Airport for Santorini, from morning 5:15 am to 11:35 pm at night.

Santorini view from plane. Pic:

In high season, every plane that lands on Santorini depart back towards Athens just after an interval of 40 minutes, thus you can be sure that flights between the two destinations are quite frequent.

A variety of local and International Airlines serve this route including:

● Olympic Air (Aegean Air) – During the peak time, these airlines operate up to 9 flights a day from Athens to Santorini. The tickets can be easily bought online from their respective websites. They operate various flights ranging from Dash 8 prop plane (70 passengers) to Airbus 320 (168 passengers).
● Ryanair- It only functions for a specific period of time. Starting 26th March, it has 1 flight per day (at 7:15 am) which ends by October 24th. During the high time, they also run an evening flight (at 11:10 pm), from 1st of June up till 30th September.
● Ellinair
● Volotea
● Sky express

During winters, the flights from Athens to Santorini are reduced to 3-4, as there aren’t many tourists during the off-season.

Apart from these many International flights also have a direct route from European cities to Santorini that skips the interval at the Athens Airport (El.Venizelos).

How far is Athens from Santorini by plane?

Athens and Santorini are separated by a distance of 235 km (145 miles), and air travel is the fastest way to cover this distance.

Within 45-50 minutes you can reach the Santorini airport (JTR) from the Athens International Airport (ATH).

Santorini airport is relatively very small and can be often found over-crowded during peak season.

Santorini National Airport (JTR). The Santorini airport is located near Monolithos, 8 km SE from Fira. Pic:

Unfortunately, there’s only a single baggage carousel operating at the Santorini airport, thus you must be aware of your baggage.

Although it’s best to pre-book the rental car or bus service, in case you haven’t you can easily find numerous buses and taxis just outside the airport.

The average time duration of respective flights are mentioned below:

● Sky Express (every day)- 53 minutes
● Olympic Air (every day) – 45 minutes
● Volotea (every day) -56 minutes
● Ryan Air (every day) – 50 minutes

How much does it cost to fly from Athens to Santorini?

The price range of air travel between Athens and Santorini varies depending on the season.

The ticket price becomes extremely cheap in winters, while quite pricey during the high season.

The flight usually costs anywhere between $40 and $175(37€ -162€).

You can get a phenomenal deal and discounts if you book your ticket well in advance (4-5 months).

In peak seasons, Ryanair is considered to be the most affordable among all.

To give you a clearer idea, below we have mentioned the estimated price range of the specific flight on Athens to Santorini itinerary:

● Sky Express – $55 – $380
● Olympic Air – $45 – $240
● Volotea – $50 – $340
● Ryan Air – $28 – $190

(For most accurate information kindly visit the respective websites of the flights.)

Top Recommended Hotels to stay in Santorini Island

Santorini Island is loaded with numerous tourist spots, so it certainly deserves a visit for at least a few days.

The most enchanting feature of Santorini is its ultra-luxurious hotel and villas that offer remarkable hospitality and a spectacular view of the island.

Enjoy the amazing views of Santorini island in luxury

Here we have gathered the top picks to stay at Santorini Island:

Note: You can book any hotel you like, through our official partner and then cancel with no cancelation penalty. For the individuals who need to book without using a travel agency, this is the most ideal approach to do it. 

Irene City Villas – located at Fira’s city center and at a distance 2.3 km from Exo Gialos Beach, an ideal accommodation with luxurious, clean and nicely decorated rooms.

Abelis Canava Luxury Suites – Offers exceptional luxury to the guests with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a garden, and a terrace. Also, the hotel offers free private parking and phenomenal room service to all guests.

La Bellezza Eco Boutique Hotel – Each room is served with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and coffee maker machine. It’s situated in the best-rated area in Kamari and has extremely hospitable staff.

CAPE 9 Villas & Suites – features a phenomenal view of Caldera from the hotel. Also, it offers beauty and massage services for individuals or couples. The best part is that the bus stop can be reached within 100m from the hotel, while Santorini Airport is just 8 km away.

Cavo Tagoo Santorini – provides personalized services and mesmerizing sunset views. It includes 5-star accommodation with ultra-luxurious rooms. It’s located at a distance of 5 km from Fira and 6 km from Oia.

Simply put, the island of Santorini is one of the most incredible and mesmerizing sites to visit in Greece.

Today, it has become one of the most popular tourist spots in the country.

People from all over the world visit it and are left wonderstruck by its beauty.

Santorini has that kind of beauty that blinds you

They are astonished by the splendors of the island which truly reflects the culture and vibrancy of the Greek lifestyle. Once you get there, you’ll fall in love with the place!

There are two ways to get from Athens to Santorini island; by plane or a ferry.

If you are exploring Greece for the very first time, we’d suggest traveling by ferry.

You’ll be flattered by the charming blue color of the Aegean Sea and these ferries would be perfect for some fascinating Instagram pictures.

On the other hand, if it’s not your first time, you may take a direct flight to Santorini and utilize the time saved in exploring the island. It’s definitely a win-win situation in both cases!

We hope this detailed guide about how to travel from Athens to Santorini has solved all your queries and will make the trip easy and convenient for you!

Remember that BTI Athens Travel Guide is here to guide you with planning the perfect trip to Athens and help you every step along the way. If you didn’t found what you’re looking for, or need any recommendations about your trip to Athens, feel free to leave us a comment or just contact us and we will do our best to help you. Please be as more detailed as possible regarding your subject so as to help you better.

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