Most people who visit Greece for the first time are probably going to want to see the Acropolis and the famed sunsets of Santorini. As you plan your trip you will be researching all the things to see and do in Athens and where to stay in Santorini. But how do you get from Athens to Santorini and indeed onto other Greek islands or vice versa?
Essentially you have 5 options;
1. Fly Athens to Santorni
There is an international airport on Santorini that is very hard working. The flight from Athens to Santorini takes about 45 minutes and is usually serviced by Olympic Airlines/Aegean, and Sky Express.
If you book early enough flights can often be cheaper than the Ferries and it is certainly quicker. Be warned however that the airport is small and woefully inadequate so factor in some time for baggage retrieval and transfers.
The scenery as you fly over the Greek island is quite wonderful so make sure to book a window seat!
2. Ferry – Athens to Santorini ferry
The fast ferry from Athens to Santorini takes about 5 hours and stops at a couple of other islands along the way, usually Paros, Naxos and Ios and sometimes Mykonos as well.
We love to travel on the slower Blue Star Ferries which takes around 8 hours. They are the biggest Ferries and are basically cruise ships with restaurants, bars and even a gift shop on board. They can take up to 2500 passengers and many cars, trucks and scooter. You can pay a little extra for a cabin and sleep the journey away, book a comfy seat in 3 different categories or hang out on the deck with the other sun-worshipers and breath in the sea air.
Other operators are Seajets and Hellenic Seaways.
You can book online at Ferryhopper – who represent 40 ferry companies, or you can buy a ticket in Athens at either the port or one of the many ticketing agents you will see around the city.
If you are traveling in July, August or during one of the many religious festivals or public holidays it pays to book ahead.
3. Cruise – Athens to Santorini cruise
Cruising has never been more popular and cruising the Greek Islands remains a favourite holiday dream for many. There is certainly a lot to be said for waking up in a new destination and not having to worry about packing or transport!
Some of the best cruise offerings visiting Santorini are;
Intrepid Travel – 8 days Athens to Santorini
9 days Greek Islands and Turkey
Classical Greece – explore Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and mainland Greece
4. Sail – Athens to Santorini yacht
For decades visitors to Greece have been enjoying the magical experience of sailing around the islands either under their own steam in a private charter or hiring a skippered yacht. Either way the ability to explore uncharted waters, empty beaches and coves, ancient caves and ruins and largely design your own itinerary remains a popular and iconic way to enjoy Greece.
It is possible to sail from Athens to Santorini in a reasonable time frame and you will be able to include other destinations and islands in the Cyclades as well such as Ios, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and the Small Cyclades to the East or Milos, Sifnos, Syros and Kea to the West.
These are our pick of some of the best ways to sail the Greek islands;
Sail the Cyclades in a superior Catamaran from Athens
Budget Greece Lightning sailing trip with Topdeck
10 day Greek Island Hopper sailing
Explore the Cyclades islands from Athens on a Turkish Gullet
Sail Athens to Santorini and visit the lesser know Cyclades Islands
4. Private transfer – Athens to Santorini by Helicopter
If you have deep pockets and are keen to get to Santorini quickly then a private helicopter transfer is the way to do it.
Flying in over the Greek Islands in your private helicopter will be an experience you will never forget and if its a special occasion this is one experience you will not regret investing in.
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