Santorini is a magical Greek island that draws in millions of tourists every year. When looking for the best way to get from Athens to Santorini there is really one way to go! That’s by taking a direct flight to Santorini Airport. After flying this route ourselves several times we’ve picked up some useful tips to share. Here’s a quick guide for how to get to Santorini from Athens and more fun tips.
How to Get From Athens to Santorini
1. Skip the Ferry
We love taking the ferries in Greece and always use them to get between the islands. Tickets can be inexpensive with companies like Blue Star Ferries and there are countless routes throughout the country.
However, when you first arrive in Greece and are looking to make your way to Santorini we highly recommend flying. It’s super simple to fly into Athens on an international flight and then transfer to the domestic terminal.
From there, you can easily catch an onward flight from Athens to Santorini Airport. Just make sure to leave yourself more than enough time to make the switch!
Not only is the flight less than one hour compared to a nearly 5 hours ferry ride, but if you plan ahead it is often cheapest way. Also, that 5 hours of travel time is on the high-speed ferries!
A flight is especially convenient if you’re on a short holiday. Either way, flying is going to be the best way to get from Athens to Santorini. See the times below if you don’t believe us!
Athens to Santorini Ferry: 5 to 9 hours
Athens to Santorini Flight: 55 minutes
Know that Piraeus Port is actually quite far from the airport and Athens city center. If you plan to use the ferry routes plan for extra time to get there as well as transportation costs. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling on a fast ferry or slow ferry, you will want to book your tickets in advance. This is especially true in high season!
2. Pick a Smart Athens to Santorini Flight Time
As we mentioned above, it is completely possible to fly into the Athens International Airport from abroad and continue on to Santorini on the same day! On our latest visit to Greece, we had a flight arriving from Singapore at 7 am and booked a 10 am flight on Sky Express to Santorini.
We’ve also flown with Sky Express en route to Karpathos Island and never had any issues. There were flights closer to our arrival time on Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air, but wanted to make sure we gave ourselves some wiggle room in case of delays or long lines at customs.
If you’re already in the capital city, having a late morning or early afternoon Athens to Santorini flight is still the way to go. The short flight time allows you to get into Santorini Airport and still enjoy a full day on the island!
3. Check the Baggage Allowance and Cost
Aside from some of the domestic companies we mentioned above, you will also see low-cost international airlines like Ryanair and Volotea which the fly this route. Know that all of these airlines have direct flights from Athens to Santorini.
When booking this flight be sure to add on extra baggage if you need to before leaving for Santorini Airport. Athens to Santorini is considered a luxury route by several companies which means the baggage cost is slightly higher.
The most common issue with this is if you don’t add it on before you leave. Trust us when we say it isn’t fun to get caught at the airport with luggage that’s overweight!
For example, with our Sky Express flight, the price was drastically different to pay for a checked bag beforehand (15 Euros) vs waiting to do it at the airport (45 Euros!!). It’s little tips like this that can save you money so you can have more to spend on stunning Santorini.
4. Book a Window Seat For Your Athens to Santorini Flight
Many of the flights that travel from Athens to Santorini are small hopper planes. That means your chance of having a window seat is pretty good! This is one route you’ll really want to see the views of if you are arriving during the day.
Before taking off, we recommend downloading an offline Greece map through an app like maps.me. That way during your flight from Athens to Santorini you can actually see which islands you’re looking at from the air!
Additionally, when the flight circles and lands on Santorini it is amazing to see it for the first time from above. Hands down, having a window seat for this short flight from Athens to Santorini is a must.
5. Arriving in Santorini From Athens
Congratulations! You figured out the best way to get from Athens to Santorini. Once you land and collect your baggage it’s time to get to your hotel and start enjoying the beautiful island. Santorini Airport isn’t very large but there are a few options to get to your hotel.
Hotel Transfer: Arranging a driver to be there before you land is the quickest way to get to your hotel. Reach out to your accommodation and they can usually set up a transfer for you.
Taxis: There are limited taxis on Santorini so it can be quite expensive depending on where you are going. Nevertheless, this is the fastest and most direct way to get to your hotel if you haven’t booked a private car.
Shared Shuttle Bus: When you exit the airport there is a small stand offering shared shuttle buses. Ticket prices start at 10 Euros per person and goes up depending on what area of the island your hotel is on.
Car Rental: Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Santorini. However, they sell out fast and are very expensive during the peak season. We recommend using Discover Cars to rent a vehicle for at least a couple days to explore some of the lesser-known parts of the island.
Bus: Right outside the airport is the public bus stand. Leaving once an hour, the Santorini Airport bus is the cheapest way to get to your accommodation. During our visit, the buses left every hour at 10 minutes past the hour.
Still, be sure to check the updated schedule! It’s also important to note that the bus takes you to the main town of Fira. From there you can then transfer to another bus to Oia or wherever else you may be staying on Santorini.
6. Traveling Back From Santorini to Athens
Unfortunately, your time on Santorini will eventually come to an end! When it’s time to head back to Athens you can utilize all the same tips from above. Nevertheless, there are a couple of more things we should mention.
Definitely check the round trip prices as well as the individual one-way trips from Athens to Santorini. Surprisingly, you can sometimes save money (or get better flight times) if you book two one-way tickets with different airlines over flying with the same company.
Not heading back to Athens? Many travelers start their trip from Santorini and continue on to another Greek island. This is when you’ll want to take the high-speed ferry! From Santorini, you can visit Milos, Mykonos, and Naxos as well as many of the smaller Greek islands.
Although Santorini’s towns are certainly magical, it is not really known for its beaches in comparison to places like Paros. For this reason, we highly recommend mixing in one of these other islands after so you can truly soak in the sparkling Aegean Sea! You can check out our ultimate Greek Cyclades itinerary for some inspiration.
Many of the larger islands in Greece have their own airport with daily flights to and from Athens. This makes it easy to get directly to these incredible destinations and avoid backtracking.
Best Way to Get From Athens to Santorini
Hopefully, this article gave you some helpful tips for how to get from Athens to Santorini! For some travelers the choice may already be obvious. Yet, Santorini is often the first destination people visit in Greece so it’s solid beginner info to have!
While we love island hopping with the ferries, the best thing you can do is jump on a flight from Athens so you can start enjoying Santorini immediately.
Also, consider visiting during low season to avoid crowds and secure the cheapest ticket. Summer season is great, but being there outside of July and August is actually a much better option! Our favorite time of year to be on beautiful Santorini is May and September.
Have any questions about how to get to from Athens to Santorini or want to share your own Greece travel tips? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay in Santorini Greece
Here are some hotel recommendations as well as inspiration for different areas of the island. As you can see, there is something for every type of traveler on Santorini!
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Santorini Travel Inspiration
- 20 Fun Things to do in Santorini Greece on Your First Visit
- Fira to Oia Hike: Fun Guide to the Can’t Miss Santorini Trail
- Amoudi Bay Santorini: How to Explore the Charming Bay Below Oia Village
- 12 Fun Facts That Might Surprise You About Fira Santorini
- Where to Stay in Santorini Greece: 7 Unique Areas and Best Hotels
Greece Travel Planning
For island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. The fast ferries like Sea Jets will cost more but often takes half the time of slower ferries like Blue Star!
Rental Car: You can book a rental car for as little as $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.
Tours: Go to Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities in Santorini. You can find everything from group sailing tours to private catamaran cruises. Go wine tasting around the island, horseback riding down the beach, or even jump on an ATV tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.