How To Get From Athens To Santorini in 2017
If you are looking on how to get from Athens to Santorini island in Greece…look no further!
So…I am pretty sure you are lost and don’t know how to get from Athens to Santorini island in Greece, right?
To make it easy for you I have written this guide to help you out.
READ ALSO OUR SUPER DETAILED GUIDE: Where to Stay in Santorini?
- Best Way To get From Athens to Santorini: By Plane (45mins)
- Good to Know for tickets to Santorini: Santorini in greek is called “Thira” (or “Θήρα”)
- Best Website to check ferry prices and Timetables: Let’s Ferry
- Slow Ferry to Santorini: 8 hours (price about 35-40 euros) – BlueStar Ferry
- Fast Ferry to Santorini: 5 hours (price about 70-75 euros) – SeaJets
- You can book your ferry online but you always have to get the ticket printout from the ferry kiosk in Piraeus port (Athens port) or any other greek travel agency (it’s the greek law) – AKTINA TRAVEL AGENCY is in Athens Airport
- Best Way to go from Athens Airport to Athens main port (Piraeus) to take any ferry is by taking the Athens Airport Bus X96 (X96 Bus Route – X96 Bus runs every 20-30 mins) – X96 Bus ticket costs 6 euros (adult) and 3 euros (kids)
- Direct Flights from Athens to Santorini: 45 mins on the air
- Santorini’s Airport Code: JTR
- Direct flights to Santorini from outside Greece: only from main cities within Europe (more frequent between April-November
- Cheapest flights from Athens to Santorini: usually Ryanair (Expedia has all the flights options with Ryanair)
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…!)
Ok..so let’s get started with all the travel options from Athens to Santorini.
You really have 2 options to go from Athens to Santorini:
But which one is really the Best Option?
My suggestion: go to Santorini by plane.
Why: because it’s generally much faster and simpler than taking the ferry to Santorini
However, you can also take the ferry which can be a very interesting alternative option for several reasons (see below Option 2).
OPTION 1: From Athens to Santorini by Plane (Expedia offers all the options)
That’s obviously the quickest and most expensive option.
It takes about 40-45 minutes by plane to be at Santorini’s small airport and it definitely worths it in our opinion.
Santorini’s Airport official website is: http://www.santoriniairport.com/
Santorini’s Airport entrance in Google maps:
Here is a great video showing Santorini’s Airport (with landing and take-off):
The best and cheapest website to book or search for flights from Athens to Santorini is: Expedia
Athens Airport Code is : ATH (Athens)
Santorini’s Airport Code is: JTR (Thira – Santorini’s official name)
There are many flights per day , especially during the high season (Apr-Oct).
For 2017, the following companies will operate Direct Flights from Athens to Santorini:
The exact times of the flights change and they are not the same throughout the year so make sure you get the right times from Expedia as it will give you all the available flights immediately.
But as a rule of thumb:
Basically every plane that lands on Santorini, takes off after 40 minutes to fly back to Athens.
If you book your tickets well in advance (3-6 months) you could probably find some very good deals with return tickets. We have flown to Santorini with just 30-40 euros (with return!) , so it’s definitely do-able!
But you have to book it well in advance, otherwise you may have to pay up to 150 euros (normally Ryanair should be the cheapest option).
Santorini is an extremely popular destination and probably the most popular in Greece, so everything has to be booked well in advance.
So…let’s see the pros and cons of getting to Santorini (from Athens) by plane:
Pros (of going from Athens to Santorini by Plane):
- So much faster than the ferry (30-40 mins on the air)…you can literally save a whole day and spend it in Santorini instead
- If you have just landed at the Athens airport you can just wait there till your connection flight to Santorini departs
Cons (of going from Athens to Santorini by Plane):
- it can be much more expensive
- the flight times to Santorini may not be convenient and you might have to spend some boring hours at the Athens airport
- you don’t get to see any other Greek islands ( you can get a glimpse of them by taking the ferry which is like a mini cruise in a way…see below)
Direct flights to Santorini (from other European cities):
There are no direct flights from USA or Asia to Santorini in 2017 (and I don’t think there will be any in the future…) but the following European companies fly directly to Santorini from other European cities (especially between April-October):
Niki (from Vienna)
Thomas Cook (from Birmingham, Gatwick, Manchester, Brussels)
Thomson (from Birmingham, Gatwick, Manchester, Bristol)
Volotea (from Venice, Bari, Naples, Palermo)
Germanwings (from Cologne)
Norwegian (from Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm)
Transavia (from Paris, Amsterdam)
British Airways (from London Heathrow)
Condor (from Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgard, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt)
Aegean (from Russia, Italy, Cyprus)
Easyjet (from Rome, Milan, Geneva, Manchester, Gatwick)
Vueling (from Barcelona, Bilbao)
Jetairfly (from Brussels)
HolidayJet (from Zurich)
If you plan it properly and you book your flight tickets to Santorini well in advance, then that’s the best option. However, getting the ferry can also be a very good and interesting option (see below).
OPTION 2: From Athens to Santorini by ferry
Update December 2016: All ferries schedule for 2017 for Santorini have now been scheduled. See below.
Going to Santorini by ferry is the second option you have and it can be a very nice experience.
However, we do have a very important tip/secret for you:
Please do take the slowest and bigger ferries to Santorini (or any greek island in general…)!
Avoid the fast and smaller ferries by any means!
They may take a few more hours to take you to your destination but you may save yourself from sea sickness and a bumpy ride.
August is the most windy month of the year in Greece and you’d better take the biggest ferry to Santorini.
But before taking the ferry, you have to go to the Athens ferry port which is called Piraeus.
How do you go from Athens Airport to the Athens Ferry Port (called Piraeus or Pireus) ?
The easiest and cheapest option is by taking the bus X96 that stops just outside of the Athens airport:
It takes between 50 mins to 80 mins (depending on the traffic) to go to the Athens ferry port (Piraeus) and the X96 bus route to Piraeus ferry port is the following:
Santorini Ferries depart from E7 Port Gate so you have to stop at the bus station : STATION ISAP (which is also a metro station).
Or in greek : ΣΤΑΘΜΟΣ ΗΣΑΠ
In case you feel lost you can just ask the bus driver (they always speak english if you speak with a very clear accent like an italian mafioso in a away…:) )
But in reality you will find some brand new GPS screens showing you where you actually are:
The X96 bus runs 24/7 and there is a bus every 30 mins roughly (in Greece time runs in a very strange way…so never expect something to be on time…that’s just a small tip from greeks…you’d better get used to that unfortunately).
But there is a X96 bus every 20-30 minutes, so there will be one for you too!
For the X96 bus, you have to buy tickets from a kiosk which is just outside of the bus stop (and also just outside of the airport, just follow the “Bus” signs in the airport).
This is actually how get to those bus ticket kiosks outside of the airport:
The bus ticket is a small piece of paper that you have to put in the orange slots which are inside the bus (you will hear a “click” noise once you put the ticket in…which is basically the printing/stamping of the date and time).
For adults the ticket costs 6 euros and for kids (under 6) it costs 3 euros:
A TIP FOR BUS TICKETS IN ATHENS:
Instead of trying to find out what is going on with the bus tickets, Transport for Athens have now created an extremely useful mobile application with which you can buy your bus tickets from the app and just use them within 3 months!
(you really don’t have to worry at all about the bus tickets if you do that…and you can pay by any card!)
This is the Piraeus Port Gate E7 for the ferries that go to Santorini:
You can also take a taxi from the Athens airport to the Piraeus Ferry port which costs 50-60 euros but it’s really not recommended because it doesn’t worth it in our opinion…
The X96 bus is pretty fast and it costs only 6 euros!
Sometimes the Athens Airport Buses say: “AEROLIMENAS-PEIRAIAS”
Don’t get confused. This is a greek-lish version of saying: “Airport – Pireaus” so it’s the same really…
How do you go from Athens airport to Central Athens ?
That’s pretty easy too.
First of all you have to go from the Athens Airport to Syntagma Square (the most central point in Athens) either by taking the metro from the airport (it’s actually overground for some stations and then it goes underground) or the bus X95 which will take you to Syntagma Square within 30-40 mins.
This is Bus X95’s route (from Athens airport to Syntagma square – central Athens):
You can take the X95 Bus just outside from the airport.
If you want, you can also take the metro (blue line or line 3 to Aghia Marina):
Where can I check the Athens metro last trains and schedules?
Click here to check the timetables for Athens metro and see if you can catch the last one if your flight arrives too late!
How do you go from Central Athens to Piraeus ferry port ?
The easiest way is by taking the metro green line (or Line 1).
It takes about 30 mins from Monastiraki Square or Omonoia Square at central Athens and the metro station at Piraeus ferry port is just outside Port Gate E7 (the one for the ferries to Santorini).
What are the available ferries from Athens to Santorini for 2017?
As we said previously, the best option is to take the largest, the slowest but definitely more stable ferry to Santorini. This is the Blue Star Ferries.
However, there are 3 ferry options from Athens to Santorini :
Let’s see them one by one, shall we?
1. Blue Star Ferries
These are the most stable, the largest and the slowest ferries to Santorini.
Check the timetable on Let’s Ferry website.
It takes them about 8 hours to arrive in Santorini.
These ferries are the biggest you can take to go to Santorini and are by far the most stable.
No matter how bumpy or windy it is, you won’t feel much with these ones.
The Blue Star Ferries from Athens to Santorini, visit other islands before they arrive at Santorini which can give you a very good glimpse of the other greek islands too (Syros, Paros , Naxos, Ios). You don’t get to see much but it’s nice to feel like you are on a small cruise!
The best way to check for the available Blue Star Ferry times schedule is to visit the Let’s Ferry website.
They run all 365 days per year and the timetables for 2017 summer season are (be careful…they change every 2-3 months…check which period is applicable to you!! check the months range on the tables!!).
There are basically 2 Bluestar ferries that can take you to Santorini:
OPTION A: BLUE STAR FERRY DELOS/PATMOS (this one goes to Piraeus – Syros – Paros – Naxos – Ios – Santorini – Anafi islands)
SCHEDULES FOR BLUE STAR FERRY DELOS FROM 01/11/2016 – 31/01/2017:
SCHEDULES FOR BLUE STAR FERRY DELOS FROM 01/02/2017 – 31/05/2017 :
SCHEDULES FOR BLUE STAR FERRY DELOS FROM 01/06/2017 – 17/09/2017 :
SCHEDULES FOR BLUE STAR FERRY DELOS FROM 18/09/2017 – 31/10/2017 :
OPTION B: BLUE STAR FERRY NAXOS (this one goes toPiraeus – Syros – Paros – Naxos – Santorini & Amorgos (Katapola & Aegiali) – Iraklia – Schinoussa – Koufonissi – Donoussa – Astypalaia islands)
SCHEDULES FOR BLUE STAR FERRY NAXOS FROM 01/11/2016 – 31/03/2017 :
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL ALWAYS CHECK THE LET’S FERRY WEBSITE FOR THE AVAILABLE OPTIONS AND TIMES!!!!
How much does a Blue Star Ferry to Santorini cost?
It costs 45 euros (Aircraft type seats which I highly recommend…)
The ECONOMY Class costs 40 euros and you cannot guarantee that you will get a seat. You may have to spend 8 hours outside on the deck which is fine if you are prepared for it but it can also be tiring…
i also don’t believe a cabin is necessary but there is always that option as well (sometimes you may be able to upgrade to a cabin inside the ferry).
There is always a snack bar in every Blue Star ferry where you can buy sandwiches and even lunch.
Where can you book Blue Star ferry tickets from Athens to Santorini?
You don’t really have to book the ferry tickets in advance or online. There is no need for that because they never sell out.
But…you can always book them online to be sure on the Let’s Ferry website (even if you don’t book it there you can always check the timetables of the ferries on the dates you want to travel)
BE CAREFUL THOUGH: According to the law the tickets have to be printed out only by certified travel agencies or the Ferry companies , so even if you book it online you have to visit a travel agent or the kiosk at the ferry port to take the print outs anyways (not a big deal..everyone is doing that anyways).
However, the last years people tend to buy ferry tickets online.
You can always do that from Let’s ferry website or but as I said previously you always have to take the ticket printout from a travel agent in Greece or the kiosk which is usually outside of the ferry that you are boarding on.
This is the fastest option. These are closed catamarans with no deck which take you to Santorini within 5 hours. They are the smallest of all the ferries that go to Santorini but they are more likely to be cancelled due to weather conditions.
The Seajets are probably fine to take between greek islands but I wouldn’t recommend them for the long 5 hour journey to Santorini (from Athens) which can be really bumpy…
You can check destinations and timetables on the Let’s Ferry Website.
Note: THIRA is Santorini (in case you are lost…)
In Seajets you don’t get the option to go out on the deck with these ones (there is no deck…it’s basically like being on a plane).
This is the third option that also takes you to Santorini within 5 hours.
Do you have to book any ferry tickets to Santorini online or in advance?
Booking in advance a Ferry ticket to Santorini is always good, especially during high season as ferries might become full (that’s the case in July and August).
It’s not that you won’t find a ticket but it is more of securing a good seat or a cabin or a vehicle spot (if you have a car)
Where can I check for the greek ferries timetables?
I would only recommend taking the Blue Star ferry to Santorini from Athens Ferry Port (Pireas or Piraeus) because it’s the most stable and the ride can be much better because you have the opportunity to seat on the deck and enjoy the amazing greek blue sea and the nice weather (it can be a bit boring though for 8 hours..).
Make sure you have plenty of movies loaded on your tablet, crosswords and books in hand… (it’s also a good idea to have some food with you because even though there are some restaurants in the Blue Star Ferries).
You also get to see some other greek islands before you arrive in Santorini (ok…it’s just the port but you can still take a selfie!).
For me, the best way to check timetables and even book your ferry tickets online has been Let’s Ferry for the last years.
I remember the days when I was a kid (or even till recently) when as a family we had to visit a specific travel agency to book and get the ferry tickets but these days are long gone…
No matter how you choose to travel from Athens to Santorini, it is for sure that your heartbeat will rise when you are approaching the island…
And there is no way you won’t be surprised by the amazing blue colour of the greek sea 🙂
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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Booking.com is the website with the most available rooms & private villas in Santorini (even more than Airbnb)
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