How to Get From Athens to Santorini: 6 Helpful Tips!

Santorini from Athens

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!

Is Santorini Expensive? Yes… But This is How to Visit on a Budget!

Athens to Santorini Ferry

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! 

Athens Santorini Flight Tips

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. 

Why are Ryanair Flights SO Cheap? 7 Things to Know First!

Santorini to Athens Greece

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.

Santorini from Athens Flight

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.

Is Renting a Car in Santorini Worth it? 2024 Car Rental Guide

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.

7 Useful Santorini Bus Tips to Get Around the Famous Greek Island

Athens to Santorini Airport

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. 

Santorini to Athens Flight

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. 

When’s the Best Time to Visit Greece? Month to Month Breakdown

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!

Safe Travels,
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!

Oia: Canaves Oia EpitomeKastro Oia HousesAllure Breeze Suites – The most iconic village in Santorini Greece with beautiful white-washed buildings & famous island and sunset views.

Fira: Atlantis HotelPantelia SuitesEste Luxury Suites – The capital of Santorini is a great hub with lots of nightlife and shopping. 

Imerovigli: MerovigliossoKasimatis by La PerlaWhitedeck Santorini – Traditional village with a laid-back feel. Yet still, with plenty of high-end hotels and restaurants.

Kamari: Makris Beach Hotel La Bellezza Eco Boutique Hotel Kalya Suites – Fun black sand beach town with lively bars and restaurants that run along the promenade. Great options for travelers on a budget. 
 
Akrotiri:Kalestesia Suites  – Potnia Theron Suites  – Kokkinos Villas – Mountain village set on the far side of the caldera near Red Beach and the Minoan ruins. 
 
Pyrgos: Apikia SantoriniPyrgos 1870, A restored WineryFlora’s House & Cave Winery  – The ancient capital of Santorini and its highest sitting town. Great views and also home to the island’s best vineyards. 

PIN FOR LATER 

Athens to Santorini

Santorini Travel Inspiration

Greece Travel Planning 

Information: Explore more articles on Santorini and other Greek islands such as Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete, & Milos!

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! 

 Flights: We always check Skyscanner and Kayak to search for cheap flights. That’s how we got from Athens to Santorini for under $50 USD!

 Accommodation: Always compare multiple sites to get the best deal. We search both Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 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.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!

Santorini

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10 Comments

  1. Lizzie
    January 9, 2024 / 10:52 pm

    Hi guys! Thanks so much! Ive already booked the aegan airlines ticket. So after I collect my luggage do I proceed to departures international terminal to check in my luggage with Aegan airlines counter?Or do I proceed straightaway to domestic terminal to do the check in?First time in Athens so I’m worried as we arrive in ATH airport at 6.35 am (with a diff carrier), there might not be any aegan staff at the counter or information counter to ask or get stuck in the wrong queue & miss our flight. I have downloaded the aegan app so I’m able to check in 48 hours b4 departure & access my digital boarding pass.The only worry is the Check-in luggage (23kg) from Athens to Santorini. Can you advise since you’ve flown aegan airlines so many times really need your expertise on this . Thanks

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      January 11, 2024 / 6:31 am

      Hi Lizzie! Yes, once you pass immigration and collect your bags you’ll want to head to departures. The airport isn’t very big so it is easy to do. Just check the departure monitors for you flight and go directly to the checkin counter listed. Everything is set up really well and there is a large information desk if you have any questions! Once you check your bag you can go through security. Hope that helps and have an amazing trip to Greece!

      • Lizzie
        January 11, 2024 / 10:46 pm

        Hi guys! So head to the Main terminal in Athens airport to check in luggage at Aegan airlines counter first?(As Athens airport have 2 terminals- the main one & the satelite terminal). Got it! 🙂 We asked Aegan first but they didn’t respond . Thanks for responding so quickly. We are a bundle of nerves as our trip is approaching. Your blog is going to be our travel guide for our entire trip to Greece. So many amazing useful tips & resources. So very grateful for you guys 🙂

        • Brigitte & Jake
          Author
          January 12, 2024 / 1:54 am

          Awesome!! Have so much fun. Yes, we recommend going to the main terminal. Honestly we’ve never had to fly out of the satellite and I think it is only used in the super busy summer months. Have fun and if you’re up for it we totally recommend the Fira to Oia hike!

  2. Lizzie
    December 30, 2023 / 7:14 am

    Hi guys, we are also arriving at ATH airport at 6.30 am & hoping to catch the 10.10 am flight from Athens to Santorini in March 2024. Would there be more than enough time for us to go through the immigration checkpoint & re check in our luggages with a different flight carrier comfortably & catch the 10.10 am flight. Haven’t book the flight from Athens to Santorini yet as we read horror stories about aegan airlines & it’s poor service & misplaced luggages ? Is sky express better in terms of service ? Really need your invaluable advice . Thanks

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      December 30, 2023 / 7:31 am

      Hi Lizzie! We’ve done this route many times so we understand it can be nerve wracking when planning for a connection. If you book the 10.10 flight checkin will open around two hours before so 8:10. That is more than enough time to pass immigration and get your bags. Really if everything goes as planned you will be fine. Obviously you can’t control if your first flight is delayed or if immigration is taking longer than normal. Between Sky Express and Aegean we’ve flown both airlines. They are honestly similar. Personally we have had good experiences but know that isn’t the case for everyone. We would would book the flight that makes the most sense timing wise between the two companies. Hope this helps and feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!

      • Lizzie
        December 31, 2023 / 12:13 am

        Thanks guys for your responding so quickly & that invaluable advice . Really appreciate it! Aegan airlines has the 10.10 am flight for the connecting flight once we land so we definitely considering to book that now. I’m bringing a carry on duffel bag as a cabin luggage & I’ll be throwing in 2 small crossbody bags inside the duffel bag (since they don’t allow the handbag to put in front of you under “Light “ selection & put it in the above cabin compartment. Is the duffel bag allowed the dimensions are L45cm by H 35cm by W23cm as a cabin luggage ? My friend is adding in the check in luggage 23 kg for herself (but both our clothes are packed inside) but still under the light plan & she will be carrying a backpack as a cabin luggage. Does that sound ok ? It’s nerve wrecking if we have to pay extra baggage weight as we are both budget travellers & the flight cost is already quite ex for us but we want to save time on travelling to Santorini vs taking the super long ferry. Staying in Santorini for 4D3N before heading back to Athens for another week. Would 4 days be enough to explore Santorini ? We are just focusing on Oia & Fira. Thanks!

        • Brigitte & Jake
          Author
          December 31, 2023 / 7:31 am

          Hi! 4 days is plenty to spend in Santorini, especially if you’re focusing on those two beautiful towns. If you do want to see another area you can easily rent a car or hop on the bus! As far as baggage goes, it sounds like you’ll be good! We travel with an Osprey duffel and put it in the cabins above on flights and have never had a problem. As long as you’re under the dimensions for the airline rules you’ll be fine. Have fun and enjoy Greece!

  3. Sylvie
    June 17, 2022 / 7:04 am

    Thank you for your useful tips which are always great!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      June 17, 2022 / 11:03 am

      Hi Sylvie! So happy you found them helpful! ☺️

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