How To Get From Crete to Santorini

You basically have 3 ways to get from Crete to Santorini: by ferry, by plane or by an organized tour (like this one). Ferries from Crete to Santorini depart from Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos.

In my honest opitnion, the best way to get from Crete to Santorini is by taking an organised tour that will also pick you up from your hotel in Crete. These are the best daytrip tours from Crete to Santorini:

  • FROM CHANIA: Santorini Daytrip (with hotel pickup from Chania, 4 hr boat tour to Santorini and lots of free time to spend at Fira and Oia)
  • FROM HERAKLION: Santorini Daytrip (taking the Champion Jet 2 from Heraklion and hop on an airconditioned bus at Fira while you also get the option to get on a guided volcano tour)
  • FROM RETHYMNO: Santorini Daytrip (hotel pick up anywhere close to Rethymno, hop on Champion Jet catamaran and visit Fira, Oia and the famous beaches of Perissa and Perivolos)
  • FROM AGIOS NIKOLAOS: Santorini Daytrip (hotel pickup from Agios Nikolaos area but actually depart from Heraklion where you will take the boat to Santorini and spend the day there)

If you don’t want to do an organised tour (which I do not recommend as you will spend too much time trying to figure out what is going on with the ferries and where to go when you arrive on Santorini), there is nothing stopping you from booking your ferry tickets or flights from Crete to Santorini as an individual. 

READ ALSO: 
Athens to Santorini (ferries, flights and schedules)
Santorini to Mykonos (ferries, flights and schedules)

Keep reading…

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Let’s Ferry is the best website to book your ferry tickets or check the timetables for Santorini, Mykonos , Crete & all Greek islands

Get Your Guide has the best and largest variety of Tours in Athens and the Greek islands (Santorini, Mykonos, Crete etc)

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VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW

  • All boats/ferries to Santorini depart only from Rethymno or Heraklion ports (the organised tours will pick you up with a bus from Chania or Agios Nikolaos to take you there so you really don’t have to worry about local buses)

  • Best Website for Ferry Prices & Timetables from Crete to Santorini: Let’s Ferry – ALWAYS CHECK THE LATEST FERRY TIMETABLES AND PRICES AS FERRY SCHEDULES IN GREECE CHANGE FREQUENTLY! 

  • Flights from Crete to Santorini: unfortunately there are no direct flights from anywhere in Crete to Santorini for 2020 so taking a ferry or a daytrip tour is your only opion.

  • Between April-October there are 4 ferries a day from Crete to Santorini (and Santorini to Crete); there are far less ferry options in the winter (November-March) or possibly no direct ferry.

  • How long does it take from Crete to Santorini: it varies from 2hrs (fast-Champion Jet) to 4 hrs (slow-Superferry) 
  • How much does it cost to take a ferry from Crete to Santorini: the slowest ferry (Superferry) costs 40 euros and the fast ferry (Champion Jet) can cost up to 80 euros for airplane type seats.

  • You can book your ferry online but you always have to get the ticket printout from the ferry kiosk in Heraklion/Rethymno port or any other greek travel agency (it’s the greek law) in Crete

  • There is no ferry from Chania or Agios Nikolaos to Santorini: you basically have to take the local bus to Rethymno or Heraklion (1-1.5 drive)

Ok, so let’s see all the available options:

1. Crete to Santorini with a Daytrip Tour

Eventhough Santorini is pretty close to Crete you only basically get a few ferries a day to choose from but taking a daytrip tour is much more convenient

Taking an organized daytrip to Santorini from Crete is the bestt hing you can do as the operator will pick you up from your hotel (so you don’t have to worry about the local buses in Crete) and you will also be guided on Santorini on a private bus (and you will also not have to worry about Santorini local buses or taxis). 

All guided daytrips from Crete to Santorini pick you up from your hotel and take you to a port (Rethymno or Heraklion) to board on the ferry to Santorini. These are not private boats but the normal ferries that go to Santorini.

All of the tours also offer a bus that will take you around in Santorini and basically return back to Crete (Rethymno or Heraklion) in the evening.

You get about 6-7 hours on Santorini where you will visit Fira, Oia and 

There are plenty of daytrips to Santorini from Crete options that you can actually book online on Get Your Guide but these stand out:

  • FROM CHANIA: Santorini Daytrip (with hotel pickup from Chania, 4 hr boat tour to Santorini and lots of free time to spend at Fira and Oia)
  • FROM HERAKLION: Santorini Daytrip (taking the Champion Jet 2 from Heraklion and hop on an airconditioned bus at Fira while you also get the option to get on a guided volcano tour)
  • FROM RETHYMNO: Santorini Daytrip (hotel pick up anywhere close to Rethymno, hop on Champion Jet catamaran and visit Fira, Oia and the famous beaches of Perissa and Perivolos)
  • FROM AGIOS NIKOLAOS: Santorini Daytrip (hotel pickup from Agios Nikolaos area but actually depart from Heraklion where you will take the boat to Santorini and spend the day there)

2. Crete to Santorini by ferry 

Champion Jet 2 catamaran i sthe best ferry to take from Crete to Santorini but you get 3 other options per day between April-October

Going to Santorini from Crete by ferry is basically your only other option if you don’t want to take any organized daytrips.

A few important things to know about the ferries from Crete to Santorini (and from Santorini to Crete):

  • You have 2 ports to chose for your departure from Crete to Mykonos: Heraklion port or Rethymnon port. There are no ferries to Santorini from Chania or Agios Nikolaos.
  • The slow ferry from Crete to Santorini takes approx. 3.5 hours to arrive (Superferries) – check timetables here
  • The quick ferry (it’s actually a catamaran) from Crete to Santorini takes about 2 hours to arrive (Champion Jet 2) – check timetables here
  • Slow Ferry ticket to Santorini costs ~40 euros (depending on the seat you chose)
  • Fast Ferry ticket to Santorini costs ~80 euros (depending on the seat you chose)
  • Between April-October there are 4 ferries per day between Crete and Santorini.
  • The ferries to Santorini usually depart early in the morning and come back to Crete in the afternoon (usually after 5pm)
  • There are no ferries from Crete to Santorini between November and March (but these thigns change so always check Let’s Ferry)
Inside Champion Jet 2 ferry (actually it’s a catamaran)
You don’t get the option to seat outside on Champion Jet 2 as it is a closed type catamaran

Where can you book ferry tickets from Crete to Santorini?

The best thing you can do is to book them online in advance on Let’s Ferry website.

You would still have to get the printout from the ferry kiosk outside of the ferry depart point (at the port) before departing (so make sure you arrive there early enough).

HOW TO GET FROM CHANIA TO RETHYMNO PORT

Chania and Rethymno are connected very well with a bus that runs between the 2 towns every hour

The easiest and cheapest way to get from Chania to Rethymno so that you can take the ferry to Santorini is by taking the local Crete bus.

There is a bus that runs every hour between the 2 towns and you can basically book your bus ticket online.

There is a bus between Chania and Rethimno every hour and the ticket costs 6.80 euros (but always check the website as these things change on an annual basis).

The trip from Chania to Rethimno takes about 1 hour by bus.

Here is a video showing how you can get the KTEL local Crete bus from Chania to Rethymno:

HOW TO GET FROM AGIOS NIKOLAOS  TO HERAKLION PORT

The local bus station at Heraklion is really modern 

The easiest and cheapest way to get from Agios Nikolaos to Heraklion port is to take the local KTEL bus.

Book your but ticket and check timetables here (Agios Nikolaos-Heraklio)

There is a bus to Agios Nikolaos every hour and the ticket costs 7.70 euros. The trip takes 1.5 hour.

3. Crete to Santorini by plane

Unfortunately there are no direct flights from Crete to Santorini but these things change every year, so you should always check Expedia for any available flights.

CHANIA AIRPORT CODE: CHQ

HERAKLION AIRPORT CODE: HER

SITIA AIRPORT CODE: JSH

(Sitia is the airport closest to Agios Nikolaos in Eastern Crete)

CONCLUSION

A visit to Santorini is totally doable and it will be a highlight of your trip to Crete actually! Taking a guided daytrip to Santorini (like this one) is the best way to take a glimpse of this greek gem that is Santorini. The good thing about the guided tour is that they will have arranged everything for you and they will actually pick you up from your hotel pretty much anywhere in Crete. But you can also book everything by yourself which will obviously take you a bit more time. The easiest way to check timetables and even book any ferry tickets online has been Let’s Ferry and I highly recommend it to everyone looking to get a ferry from Crete to Santorini or to and from other Greek islands.

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