How To Get From Athens To Santorini in 2019

by | Jan 5, 2019

If you are looking on how to get from Athens to Santorini island in Greece…look no further!

athens to santorini

So…I am pretty sure you are lost and don’t know how to get from Athens to Santorini island in Greece, right?

I have also written a very detailed guide for ferries from Athens to Mykonos.

To make it easy for you I have written this guide to help you out.


Keep reading….

Let's Ferry Website

If you are thinking of getting a ferry to Santorini then you MUST check out the Let’s Ferry Website which is where you can check timetables, ferry schedules and prices.


  • 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”)
  • 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) or buy an ATH.ENA Card
  • 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)
Keep reading…there’s more!!

Recommended Websites for Hotels, Ferries, Flights and Car Rentals for Santorini:

  • 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)
  • Get Your Guide has the best and largest variety of Santorini Sailing and Wine Tours
  • Rentalcars is the best website to rent a car for Santorini (highly recommended as you won't waste time waiting for local buses)
  • Transferwise is the best service for travel money with the lowest rates compared to any bank worldwide and their Mastercard is accepted all over Santorini (you can thank me later...) let’s get started with all the travel options from Athens to Santorini.

Read Also:
How To Get From Athens to Mykonos 
How To Get From Santorini to Mykonos

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) and in many cases it can be one of the best things you can do in Santorini.

athens to Santorini ferries flights

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:

An AEGEAN Airlines airplane waiting at the small Santorini Airport:

santorini flight airport

A shuttle bus will take you from the airplane to the Santorini Airport terminal:

santorini airport

The passport control area is small and it should be quick:

santorini airport

There is only one baggage carousel in Santorini airport and that’s a small one.

So, you won’t have to wait for ages to get your luggage:

santorini airport santorini airport


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)

athens to santorini

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:

1. Aegean Airlines / Olympic Air  (they are basically the same company)

2. Ryanair

3. Volotea

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 2018 (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)

Bottom line:

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:

x96 bus 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:

x96 bus Athens Airport

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!

x96 bus Athens Airport

Click here to see all the stops of X96 Bus (from Athens Airport to Piraeus Ferry port to Santorini) and the timetables

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:

For adults the Athens bus ticket (called “ATH.ENA) costs 6 euros and for kids (under 6) it costs 3 euros.

athens bus ticket

Validate your tickets once inside the X96 bus and you can actually use the ticket for 90 mins

athens bus santorini

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):


Athens Metro Map (click to enlarge)

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?

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)


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OPTION B: BLUE STAR FERRY NAXOS (this one goes to Piraeus – Syros – Paros – Naxos – Santorini & Amorgos (Katapola & Aegiali) – Iraklia – Schinoussa – Koufonissi – Donoussa – Astypalaia islands)


ferry santorini

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erry santorini

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How much does a Blue Star Ferry to Santorini cost?

It costs 45 euros (Aircraft type seats which I highly recommend…)

blue star ferry santorini

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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 (just 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 for Santorini.

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.

2. Seajet Catamaran

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).

3. HighSpeed Ferries

This is the third option that also takes you to Santorini within 5 hours.


You can check the timetables of the Highspeed ferries on Let’s Ferry.

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?

On Let’s Ferry, you can check the timetables of Greek Ferries and book your tickets on the spot, securely and fast.

Bottom Line:

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:

  • 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)
  • Get Your Guide has the best and largest variety of Santorini Sailing and Wine Tours
  • RentalCars is the best website to rent a car for Santorini

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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WHO ARE WE: 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.


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