Santorini is home to one of Greece’s most iconic trademarks — whitewashed buildings that overlook its magnificent cliffs. They blend beautifully with the island’s rugged landscape, which was shaped by a massive volcanic eruption hundreds of years ago.
Volcanic-sand beaches dot its coasts. Some black, some red, others even multi-coloured. However, they all open up to alluring turquoise waters that will make you want to take a dip. Make sure that you spend at least one sunset in Oia. It will be one of the most picturesque views you’ll ever see!
All that being said, it’s so easy to forget that even now, there is a possibility of another eruption here. Santorini sits on a still very active volcano, whose crater is hidden under the sea.
2 ways to get from Athens to Santorini
You have 2 options when travelling the 235 km distance from Athens to Santorini: a 55-minute flight (plus transfers) with fares from €49 ($52) and a 6 to 11-hour ferry (plus transfers) with costs from €45.80 ($48.50).
Taking a flight is a fast way to visit Santorini from Athens. You can find tickets for as low as €14 ($14.50). Note that you’ll need to take transfers to and from the airports, so total fares can cost about €49 ($52).
Both airports in Athens and Santorini are located a bit outside the city centre. So although the flight itself only takes 55 minutes, the entire trip may take around 2 hours, excluding the waiting time for your flight.
From Athens, you can reach Santorini in three steps. We explain these below:
Step 1: Athens City Centre to Athens Airport by Train
Depending on where you’re staying, you can take the Athens Metro line for €10 ($10.50), a bus for €6.50 ($6.50), or a taxi from €66 ($70). Travel time from the centre to Athens Airport is between 40 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes.
The train is our recommended option to get to Athens Airport, especially if you’re staying near a Metro Line 3 Station. Trains are available every 30 minutes from 05:40-23:30.
Travel time by train is 40 minutes.
Step 2: Athens to Santorini by Flight
You’ll have plenty of choices when taking a direct flight from Athens to Santorini, even more so during the high season (April to October).
Prices for flights to Santorini from Athens can get as low as €14 ($14.50) up to €58 ($61), depending on the airline and the date of your trip.
Aegean Airlines — Greece’s largest airline company — operates multiple flights per day, but these are quite expensive at around €53 ($56). On the other hand, low-cost carrier RyanAir offers the cheapest Athens to Santorini flight fares, but RyanAir is available only during peak season.
The flight time from Athens to Santorini is around 55 minutes.
As this is a very popular route, it’s best to book flights months in advance to get the cheapest tickets available.
TIP: If you decide to travel by plane, please consider including a carbon compensation fee to reduce your impact on the environment.
Step 3: Santorini Airport to Fira by Taxi or Bus
Flights from Athens arrive at Santorini Airport. You’ll then need to travel around 5 km northwest to get from the airport to Santorini city centre in Fira.
Metered taxis are available at the airport 24/7. A ride to Fira takes around 15 minutes, and rates start from €25 ($26.50). If you’re travelling in a group, it’s really much more convenient to split the cost and take a taxi.
A shuttle bus is a cheap and direct way to get from Santorini Airport to Fira. Buses are available from 06:00-23:00 with a 90-minute interval. You can get a ticket for €1.80 ($1.90) for the 25-minute bus ride.
If you’re taking the bus, be advised that the buses can get packed to the brim, making for an unpleasant and unsafe (from pickpockets) journey.
Although slower, the ferry from Athens to Santorini will be a very scenic journey.
Travel time is 5 hours for high-speed ferries and 6-10 hours for regular ferries (plus a 1-hour transfer to and from the ports). Combined ferry and transfer rates from Athens to Santorini start from €45.80 ($48.50).
Also, it’s worth noting that the port in Athens is about 30 minutes away from the city centre, adding to the total travel time.
A ferry ride between Athens and Santorini is a slow but sweet journey. The ferry is something we recommend if you have extra time and would like to see the charming Greek islands in the Cyclades along the way.
Below, we explain the journey in three steps:
Step 1: Athens City Centre to Piraeus Port by Train
When travelling by ferry from Athens to Santorini, head to Piraeus Ferry Port, 15 km southwest of central Athens. Ferries that go to Santorini depart from this pier. The easiest way to get to Piraeus is by train.
You need to take the Metro green line (Line 1) from either Monastiraki or Omonia station in the city centre. The train ride would take only 30 minutes, and a ticket costs €1.50 ($1.50).
From the train station, just cross the street to get to the ferry port.
Step 2: Piraeus to Santorini by Ferry
There are two kinds of available ferries between Athens and Santorini during the high season. High-speed ferries (Seajets) take almost 5 hours. Meanwhile, regular ferries (Minoan Lines, Blue Star, and Anek) take 6-10 hours.
If you’re short on time, take the Seajets fast ferry. But if you want to enjoy calmer seas and amazing views, you can opt to travel with slow ferries that cost much cheaper.
Ferry rates start from €42 ($44.50). Consider booking your ferry tickets in advance for a better chance of securing a seat on your desired date and time.
Ferries dock at Athinios Ferry Terminal on the west coast of Santorini. This port is around 9 km away from Fira town centre.
Step 3: Santorini Ferry Port to Fira by Bus or Taxi
The last leg of this journey is to travel from the port to Fira town centre. You can take a bus or a taxi for this route.
When arriving in Santorini, there will be buses waiting for the ferry’s arrival near the port. The buses can’t accommodate all passengers, though. If you miss the bus, then you’ll most probably have to wait a few hours for the next one.
A bus ticket costs around €2.30 ($2.40) for the 30-minute journey from the ferry terminal to the city centre.
Alternatively, you can take a 20-minute taxi with rates from €30 ($31.50).
Frequently Asked Questions about Athens to Santorini
How can I travel from Athens to Santorini?
When going on a trip from Athens to Santorini, you have two main options: by ferry or by flight. There are several ferry companies that operate on the Athens to Santorini route, offering convenient and scenic journeys. If you want a faster trip to Santorini, there are many flights available daily.
Ferry rides from Athens to Santorini take 6-11 hours, depending on whether you take a conventional or high-speed ferry. Flight time, including transfers, is around 2 hours.
Are there any cheap flight options from Athens to Santorini?
You can find cheap flights from Athens to Santorini. Many airlines offer affordable fares for this popular route. Compare flight deals from Athens in advance via Skyscanner to secure the best airfare rates.
How can I find cheap tickets for the Athens to Santorini ferry or flight?
To find cheap tickets from Athens to Santorini, we recommend checking out BookAway for ferry options and Skyscanner for flights. These travel platforms generally show the most competitive fares. Additionally, booking in advance or considering flexible travel dates can often help you find cheaper tickets.
How can I get from Santorini to Athens?
When travelling the opposite direction from Santorini, you can take a flight back to Athens for a faster journey time. But if you want another shot at enjoying the view of the Cyclades Islands, then a ferry from Santorini to Athens is also a good idea. Rates range from €45 ($47.50) to €49 ($52).
Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.