Many visitors to Greece like to choose an island, or even a few, that is close to other islands so they can do some great day trips. Many are well located for this, Naxos and Paros, for example, as there are several islands close to both that have frequent ferries. Santorini, however, is the southernmost island in the Cyclades group and is quite a distance from most of the other islands. Day trips from Santorini are possible but are limited to the following options:

Further reading:

Is Santorini worth it?

3 days in Santorini – a complete Itinerary

Santorini with kids 


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Where is Santorini?

Santorini is located in the southern Aegean Ocean, south of Athens. It is the southernmost island in the Cyclades group and the only island located south of it is Crete.

It takes between five and nine hours to get to Santorini from Athens by ferry, or it is a forty-minute flight.

The island is famous for its spectacular Caldera, luxury cave houses and hotels and spectacular sunsets. It can get very busy in some parts especially when the cruise ships are in port but it is still somewhere that we recommend to everyone. It is unique and there is nothing like it in the world.

There is an abundance of things to do including sailing, watersports and beaches and also the world famous Santorini wineries, ancient ruins and villages and a vibrant cafe, bar and shopping scene. There are some incredible places to stay and no lack of things to do on Santorini – for all budgets and interests.

Day trips from Santorini


santorini day trip

Thirassia island

Santorini is actually made up of five islands. Three are uninhabited and the other two are Fira, the main island that 99% of visitors go to, and Thirassia which is still largely undeveloped for tourism and much like what Fira was like thirty or forty years ago.

The capital is the town of Manolas, and Agrilia is the largest and oldest village. The island has a population of around 300 people.

There are 21 churches and from the monastery of Koimiseos you can see the whole island. Most of the homes are cave house style, built into the rock. The views are just as spectacular as those on Santorini but of course without the crowds.

You can access Thirassia on a private catamaran tour or by public ferry from Ammoudi Port below Oia, for just 2 Euro. The boats stop at the main harbour of Riva and at Korfos.

If you get off at Korfos, you will only be able to reach Manolas on foot or by Mule.

Current Timetable:

Depart Ammoudi Bay ( under Oia) 8:00, 12:45 & 17:20

Depart Riva, Thirassia 7:45, 12:30, 17:10

Depart Korfos Harbour, Thirassia 12:15 & 17:00

Tickets: 2 Euro each way

Ios Island Greece


Ios is the closest popular island to Santorini and has the shortest ferry route, with some ferries able to do it in just over 30 minutes.

It has historically been known as a party island, especially for backpackers and budget travellers, and there are full-moon parties and raves there every summer.

Things have been changing though as several high-end hotels have opened on Ios in recent years, including the much photographed Calilo, which is well away from the area where the clubs and parties occur.

The island has beautiful beaches and some really interesting history so it is quite possible to have a very nice visit here. The ferry schedules can be tricky, however, and often only allow a short visit.

romantic places in Greece


Ios Island Greece


I’m adding this reluctantly but don’t really recommend it.

Crete is a huge island – bigger than many countries and home to over 650,000 people. It takes eight hours to drive from one end to the other, so if you are planning a day trip from Santorini to Crete you will likely only visit Heraklion or Rethymnon, where the ferries come in.

The ferry to Crete takes around two hours each way. Because Crete is the end of the route for most ferries they almost all arrive in the afternoon, or, at midnight. This means your time on Crete may be limited to just a few hours, if that,  unless you can find a private charter.

It is possible to do it the other way around however – from Crete to Santorini. Then you are arriving back on those afternoon ferries.

For much of the year there are no ferries servicing this route at all.

Chania, the most popular town in Crete and considered the prettiest by many, is two hours by car from Heraklion so it is simply not possible to visit on a day trip.


Day Trips from Santorini to other islands

As stated, due to its location visiting other islands as a day trip from Santorini is not really viable.

You will see tours for sale online and also advertised when you are there, but the reviews are often lousy. Why? Because its either an incredibly long, exhausting and often expensive day or, conversely the time on the ground is very short due to the ferry timetables.

Mykonos, Naxos and Amorgos are often on offer but we don’t recommend them. It is much better to plan a few days on any of them in your itinerary. The islands really come alive at night time too, when the locals come out and you see a whole other side to them!

Santorini to Athens is also sometimes done as a day trip but you have to fly, and again it will likely be a long and tiring day with some expensive transfers too.

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