5 Amazing Greek Islands Near Santorini
You can actually do some awesome greek island hopping from Santorini! Here’s everything you need to know:
Whenever I visit Santorini I am always trying to visit one more greek islands if I have the days to do that. I mean…why not?? Greek islands are awesome!
Santorini is not only a magic place to spend your holidays or honeymoon but it is also a great connection hub which you can use as your base in order to visit some other amazing Greek Islands!
With more than 10 direct flights per day (especially between April-November) from all over Europe, Santorini gives you the ultimate opportunity to visit some less touristic but probably equally beautiful Greek islands.
From Santorini, you can basically visit all of the Cyclades islands: Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Anafi and each one has its own amazing beauty…so even-though I love Santorini more than anything, I do admit that Mykonos and Ios beaches are a-m-a-z-i-n-g and the food of Naxos is out-of-this-world…
Timetables for ferries are not fixed every year, so times and schedules change. Let’s Ferry provides you an updated time schedule.
Read Also Our Other Recommendations for Santorini:
- Booking.com is the website with the most available rooms and private villas in Santorini (more than Airbnb)
- Where to Stay in Santorini? (the most complete guide you will ever read)
- The Top 10 Best Hotels near Oia’s Famous Sunset (do not lower your expectations…it’s better than any picture you’ve seen)
- The 20 Best Luxury and Boutique Hotels of Santorini (nothing less than amazing service and luxury at its best)
- The 20 Best Infinity Pools in Santorini (you’ve probably already seen some of these all over instagram!)
- The 25 Most Stunning Villas To Rent in Santorini (private pools, stunning sunset views and…high prices…!)
So, these are 5 amazing Greek Islands you can visit from Santorini with just a few hours ferry:
Why You Should Visit Anafi
Anafi is a very small, quite, calm and definitely less touristic greek island.
If you are seeking unspoilt and genuine Greek Island life…then Anafi is the one!
No tourists (at least till now…), lonely sandy beaches with crystal blue waters and a truly unspoilt Chora (main island town) with tavernas and cafes is what Anafi has to offer.
Don’t expect luxurious hotels with pools and fancy restaurants.
Anafi is the wild side of greek islands and that’s why you’ll visit it.
The myth actually says that Anafi is the home island of the famous Argonauts (just google it if you don’t know wha the Argonauts were…).
It is a true gem…so go there before things change!
How to get from Santorini to Anafi
There are frequent connections to Anafi with a ferry from Santorini.
Any travel agency at Fira (the capital) in Santorini will be able to tell you the ferry schedules and book you a ticket (or you can just check them and book them by yourself at Let’s Ferry) .
It only takes about 1.5-2 hrs for the ferry in Santorini to get you to Anafi’s little and picturesque port of Agios Nikolaos. For 2016 there was 1 ferry everyday that was departing from Santorini early morning (super early…like 4am) which is actually good because you’ll get the whole day in Anafi.
Best Hotels in Anafi:
You won’t find the luxury of Santorini, but these are the Best Hotels in Anafi:
Apollon Village Hotel (possibly the best hotel in Anafi)
Villa Kalamiotissa (the best villa to rent in Anafi)
Ostria (spartan but clean and with awesome sea views)
Sunset Rooms (basic but cute)
Panorama Rooms (closest to the capital / chora with all the buzz – if there is any at Anafi..:))
Tip: in case you are island-hopping you don’t really need to spend 2-3 days in Anafi. Only 1 night would be enough or even a day-trip from Santorini if the ferries allow that. If you are considering staying in Anafi more days then you would be missing the things you can do in Santorini because Anafi is a really quiet and small place to be honest… Anafi is the only greek island that you can actually visit as a daytrip from Santorini. It’s not worth it for the other islands becauue you are literally going to spend half of the day on the ferry (2-3 hours to go and 2-3 hours to come back), only to have spent 4-5 hours on the other island itself.
Why You Should Visit Folegandros
Folegandros is also a hidden greek gem mainly visited by greeks who want to avoid the tourist masses in other greek islands.
Eventhough, in recent years it got remarkable tourist arrivals , Folegandros has still kept her remarkable beauty.
The Chora of Folegandros (the capital town in greek islands is always called “chora”) built on a sheer cliff, is considered one of the most beautiful and picturesque among all the greek islands and it’s really cute to be honest (not like Oia though…)
The beaches of Folegandros won’t disappoint you as well but they are difficult to reach in general (mainly by a small boat or through rocky roads).
The great thing about Folegandros is that it’s awesome for hiking as the views are breathtaking:
No surprises in Folegandros: amazing turquoise waters, sandy beaches, tavernas with fresh fish and little cute bars with amazing cocktails to chill-out in the night.
How to get from Santorini to Folegandros
Folegandros is not that close as Anafi is to Santorini, so I’d suggest to spend a night there (or 2…) instead of visiting as a daytrip from Santorini. And to be honest there are slightly more things to do and see in Folegandros than there are in Anafi.
It is about 3 hours away from Santorini by ferry and 1.5 hours away with a speedboat (though that’s a remarkably more expensive option).
Travel agencies at Fira in Santorini or at Santorini’s main Port (Athinios) will be able to book your tickets and tell you the timetables of the available ferries at the time you are there.
It’s super simple: you pop in at a travel agent in Fira (there are hundreds you won’t miss them), you ask the timetables for the ferries to Folegandros and that’s it. Alternatively, you book everything online at the Let’s Ferry website.
Best Hotels in Folegandros:
There are some excellent additions to Folegandros’ Hotels scene lately that make it an extremely attractive destination.
These are the Best Hotels in Folegandros:
Why You Should Visit it
Naxos is one of the largest greek islands and definitely the largest in Cyclades island complex. It’s one of my personal favourites…
Naxos’s Chora (the capital town) is full of life with many tavernas, shops an archaeological museum and of course the famous “Portara” which is the ancient entrance into the island’s port. However, to be honest with you Naxos town is not an extremely picturesque greek island town and you’d better head off to the amazing beaches and the awesome mainland villages (like Apeiranthos village…one of the most picturesque and different greek cycladic villages). I’m literally in love with Apeiranthos…
Naxos has amazing long sandy beaches (like Agia Anna beach) and it’s an amazing destination for foodies.
I had the best greek food in my life in Naxos (after my mum’s food obviously…)!
Local produce consists of really goof quality lamb, beef and of course the world wide famous Naxos Graviera cheese (seriously….don’t leave the island if you don’t try this amazing gruyere-like yellow cheese…). It literally melts in your mouth!
Naxos offers fantastic opportunities for watersports as well: waterskiing, kitesurfing, windsurfing as its beaches are are ideal with the strong winds of greek islands:
Naxos is very well organised with B&B’s and hotels and we’d definitely suggest a 2-3 days stay on the island because there are so much to see and explore.
How to get from Santorini to Naxos
Naxos is about 2 hours by ferry from Santorini and about 1 hour by a speedboat.
I do recommend taking the Blue Star Ferry (there is one that takes you from Santorini to Naxos and the other way every day):
If you want to check all the timetables or even book your ferry ticket to Naxos (which you have to pick up at the port anyways – that’s the greek law…) you can visit the Let’s Ferry website (or you can just check the timetables).
Best Hotels in Naxos:
Naxos is a pretty big island with hundreds of available options for accommodation.
These are the Best Hotels, Villas and Apartments in Naxos:
Tip: in case you are island-hopping then you need to stay more than 1 night in Naxos because the island is pretty big (one of the biggest actually in Greece) and you definitely need to rent a car or a scooter to move around as the distances are not short. Also, make sure you visit the amazing mountain village of Apeiranthos and do not leave the island if you don’t eat at one of the best greek restaurants in Greece: Axiotissa
4. Mykonos (check our awesome blog for Mykonos! 🙂 )
Why You Should Visit it
You probably already know a lot about Mykonos.
Mykonos (along with Santorini) is probably the most famous Greek island.
Crazy nightlife, amazing bars and clubs, DJs from all over the world, some of the most luxurious hotels and restaurants on the planet, celebrities hotspot, amazing fully-organised golden sandy beaches and…hundreds of parties every day (especially in the summer).
This is what I believe about Mykonos:
If Santorini is a little romantic angel, then Mykonos is a sexy dressed little devil!
You can easily have the time of your life in Mykonos (…and in Santorini) no matter if you are with your other half, with your crazy girlfriends who take Instagram selfies 24/7, with your buddies or even alone!
However, Mykonos doesn’t have much to see and do compared to Santorini, so your days in Mykonos are going to be:
- beach/swimming pool
…and that’s absolutely fine because you are on holidays!!
However, I do admit that Mykonos‘ sandy beaches are some of the best you can find in Greece but the thing is that everything is super expensive in Mykonos so you may have to pay a lot to sit on those awesome sunbeds (from 5 euros to 1000 euros in some of the most exclusive celebrity-spots beaches!!).
How to get from Santorini to Mykonos
You can either take a direct flight (more expensive) from Mykonos to Santorini or one of the regular frequent ferries (there are many throughout the day).
Just visit any travel agency at Fira in Santorini, anytime you are in Santorini and they will be able to give you the latest timetable (it changes every few months)
Alternatively you can also check the times at Let’s Ferry.
The ferry from Santorini to Mykonos takes about 2-2.5 hrs
Direct flights from Santorini to Mykonos:
For 2017 there are 2 companies that fly directly from Santorini to Mykonos (not every day though):
The flight from Mykonos to Santorini takes approximately 25-30 minutes.
Is it really worth taking a plane to Mykonos?
It’s really up to you to be honest but I always prefer to take one of the cheap ferries for a couple of hours as I tend to hate airports the last years…
Read Also: How To Get From Athens to Mykonos
Best Hotels in Mykonos:
Mykonos has some of the best hotels in Greece (even better than Santorini in many cases).
READ ALSO: 30 Best Luxury Hotels of Mykonos
I dare to say Hotels in Mykonos are slightly more luxurious than the ones in Santorini and in many cases the villas you would find on the island are much bigger and more impressive.
Here is my list of the best places to stay in Mykonos (spoiler alert: w-o-w ! ):
Tip: Mykonos is definitely for more than 1 night (avoid a daytrip…it’s not worth it). There are so many different beaches, events, parties, beach bars and restaurants to visit that 1 night will never be enough. I recommend you stay at least 3 nights in Mykonos and then 4-5 days in Santorini.
Make sure you come back though…because Mykonos is highly addictive!
Why You Should Visit Ios
Ios is a really unique and underrated island in my opinion.
Back in the 90’s and 00’s it used to be a crazy party island and for some inexplicable reason it got bad reputation but I really never understood why.
It’s an island with amazing beauty and its golden sandy beaches are some of the best in Greece. Seriously…
Though I have to say that the island is mainly more appealing to younger ages (up to 30 years old probably). But this shouldn’t stop you to visit Ios and explore it’s amazing beauty.
Ios is very well organised with B&B’s and hotels and I’d definitely suggest a 2-3 days stay on the island in case you decide to visit it.
How to get from Santorini to Ios
Ios is about 40-45 mins by ferry from Santorini (check ferry timetables and prices here)
The journey is really quick and it costs about 30-35 euros (one way). I know…expensive…
Best Hotels in Ios:
Ios has some really good options for hotels
These are the Best Hotels, Villas and Apartments in Ios island in Greece:
Tip: if you are in the mood for partying then Ios island is a great choice. One of the most famous beach clubs in Greece is Far Out Beach Club at Mylopotas in Ios which also has the great Far Out Camping Ios.
So…are you ready for your greek island hopping this year??
Recommended Websites for Hotels, Ferries, Flights and Car Rentals for Santorini:
- Booking.com is the website with the most available rooms and Private Villas in Santorini (more than Airbnb)
- Let's Ferry is the best website to book your ferry tickets or check the timetables for Santorini & all greek islands
- Expedia has all the available flights from Athens or other European cities to Santorini (Santorini Airport Code: JTR)
Highest Rated Hotels in Santorini:
Best Hotel in Oia: Maregio Suites
Best Hotel in Fira: Cosmopolitan Suites
Best Hotel in Imerovigli: Grace Santorini
Best Hotel in Firostefani: Tsitouras
Best Hotel in Perivolos: Orabel Suites
Best Hotel in Perissa: Anastasia Princess
Best Hotel in Kamari: Sunrise Studios
Highest Rated Private Villas in Santorini:
Best Villa in Oia: Anemi House
Best Villa in Fira: Anteliz Villa
Best Villa in Kamari: Eolia Villa
Best Villa in Pyrgos: Sensation Villa
Best Villa in Akrotiri: Cavo Ventus
Best Villa in Firostefani: Villa Aura
Best Villa in Imerovigli: Grace Villa
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CHECK OUR OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS:
Booking.com is the website with the most available rooms & private villas in Santorini (even more than Airbnb)
WHO ARE WE:
SantoriniSecrets.com is the largest and most informative website for all things Santorini 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 island but actually living on it for long periods of time. We are not just visitors.
We consider ourselves the tipsters of this magical place.
WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SANTORINI:
- BEST HOTELS IN SANTORINI (the best and worst areas to stay, where to stay if you are a solo traveller, the best honeymoom hotels etc)
- SANTORINI FOR FOODIES (artisanal wineries, secret restaurants, best street food and more)
- EXPERIENCE SANTORINI (things to do, secrets spots, best sunsets, secret bars and clubs, hiking, activities, tours)
Read our super detailed guide to find out what you should expect and what you need to pack!
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