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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:
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.
Ok, so let’s see all the available options:
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:
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):
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
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).
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:
The easiest and cheapest way to get from Agios Nikolaos to Heraklion port is to take the local KTEL bus.
There is a bus to Agios Nikolaos every hour and the ticket costs 7.70 euros. The trip takes 1.5 hour.
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)
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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SantoriniSecrets.com is the largest and most informative travel blog for all things Santorini, Athens, Mykonos and Greece maintained by local travel bloggers who love Greece and its islands more than anything else in this world. Some of us were actually born in Santorini and some others have spent many months not only visiting the greek islands but actually living on it for long periods of time. We are not just visitors. We are from Greece!
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