Getting from Athens to Santorini
Here at Ferryhopper, we spend a lot of time reading travel blogs and forums. Our aim is to better understand travelers' concerns about their visit to the Greek islands. That way we can provide useful insights, even when it comes to non-ferry related questions. Some of the most frequently asked questions in these forums are:
"What is the best way to travel from Athens to Santorini?"
"Which ferry should I choose to get from Athens to Santorini?"
"Where can I find ferry schedules from Piraeus to Santorini?"
As you can see, the words Athens, Santorini, and ferry appear repeatedly. This is why we decided to write a small article addressing these questions. Luckily for you, Santorini (as well as Mykonos, Naxos and Paros) is one of the most easily accessible islands in Greece!
Ferry or plane to Santorini?
We are Ferryhopper, so we definitely advise you to take the ferry from Athens to Santorini ☺. However, if you still have doubts, we are here to help! The choice between ferry or plane depends primarily on your schedule and budget.
Timewise: The airplane is the most convenient option. The flight from Athens to Santorini takes only 45 min, while the trip duration by ferry ranges from 4.5 to 7.5 hrs (depending on the type of ferry). Nonetheless, traveling by ferry is a unique experience, especially when weather conditions are good. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the Aegean Sea and sun from the deck of the boat. At the same time, you will be able to catch a small glimpse of some other islands of the Cyclades, as the ferry passes them by on its way from Athens to Santorini.
Budgetwise: Ferry is definitely the way to go! Ticket prices start from around 35€ and 56€ for conventional and high-speed ferries respectively. If you plan your trip and book your ferry tickets early enough, you can also take advantage of the early-booking offers (in this case tickets cost less than 30€). You can search for these offers and discounts on our website. The airplane to Santorini, on the other hand, is usually twice as expensive. It is also much more difficult to find tickets at a low price as availability is limited.
Which port is more convenient, Piraeus or Rafina?
Piraeus: You should definitely choose Piraeus if you are planning to stay in Athens before your trip. It is closer to the city center and thus, easily accessible by metro, bus or taxi. Both conventional and high-speed ferries take you from Piraeus to Santorini, so you will have plenty of options! The main operators that currently execute the ferry route from Piraeus to Santorini are Blue Star Ferries, SeaJets and Golden Star Ferries. These companies have large fleets of high-speed catamarans, as well as big and comfortable conventional ferries. There is also the vessel "Olympus" by SeaSpeed Ferries, which makes an intermediate stop in Santorini on its way to Rethymno. Most ferries depart early in the morning from around 07:00 to 07:30, while there are usually 2 ferries that depart later in the afternoon and in the evening (at approximately 15:00 and 20:00). The minimum price is around 35€ for conventional ferries and 60€ for catamarans.
Rafina: If you're planning to go to the port directly after landing at the airport of Athens or if you want to make an intermediate stop in Mykonos on your way to Santorini, then Rafina is the port for you! It is worth noting however, that only high-speed catamarans serve the Rafina - Santorini route. More specifically, there are 3 ferry operators (SeaJets, Golden Star Ferries, and Blue Star Ferries) that offer plenty of options for your trip. The average duration of the ferry trip to Santorini is approximately 5 hrs. Ferries usually depart early in the morning between 07:00 and 07.30 or later in the afternoon (at around 16:00). The minimum ticket price for all 3 companies is around 56€.
Which type of ferry should I choose, conventional or high speed (catamaran)?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on what type of traveler you are. On the one hand, taking a conventional ferry will give you the opportunity to relax under the sun and enjoy your trip and the sea breeze. Moreover, their large size can guarantee you a smoother trip in case of bad weather. It is also worth noting that conventional ferries are usually cheaper compared to high-speed catamarans. On the other hand, if you cannot wait to see the breathtaking view of the Caldera, you should choose a high-speed ferry to save time. It is not an easy decision to make, but it is definitely a win-win situation!
Should I book my ferry tickets in advance?
If there is one island in Greece that is busy throughout the year, this is Santorini! A last-minute booking is thus not a very good idea, if you want to make sure that you’ll be able to visit the island. In order to be on the safe side, we strongly recommend that you book well in advance and that you make all your trip arrangements as soon as possible! On Ferryhopper you can book your ferry tickets from Athens to Santorini with no hidden fees!
Extra tip: If you choose a ferry company that offers e-tickets, we will send you your boarding passes via email as soon as you complete your reservation. That way you don't even have to worry about ticket collection!