How to Travel From Athens to Santorini

Santorini in summer
Santorini in summer | © Maria Michelle / Pixabay

Santorini is one of the most popular Greek islands and a dream summer holiday destination. Though it seems far away, getting to Santorini from the capital is easy. Here’s our guide to travelling from Athens to Santorini this year.

Why you should visit Santorini

Widely considered to be one of the most picturesque Greek islands, Santorini offers the space to unwind and detach from the grind of daily life. It is full of beautiful churches, offers dramatic sunsets and has a lively cultural scene too, with a variety of festivals that run throughout the summer. There’s also a world-famous bookshop with a well-curated selection of books that is a must-visit when you’re on the island.

Travel to Santorini by boat

The fast ferry route to Santorini (Thira)

The fast ferry from Athens to Santorini still takes five hours, but you’ll feel like you’re flying in comparison to the slower boat journey. A few different boat lines operate a fast ferry. From Piraeus you can book tickets with SeaJets, Blue Star and Hellenic Seaways.
It’s more convenient to book online, but you can also buy on the day from the port. Prices don’t tend to change so if you decide to be spontaneous you won’t pay more if you buy a ticket on the day. The fast ferry to Santorini costs between €40 and €70, depending on the time of departure, and boats leave Piraeus regularly throughout the day. The morning boat, which leaves at 7am, is the most expensive, but it’s the best if you want to optimise your time on the island.

Ferries making the trip to Santorini

The slow boat to Santorini

Should you decide you’d like to take in more of the Greek landscape, choose the scenic ferry. The journey takes between eight and ten hours. Blue Star Ferries have more regular departures, but Zante Ferries also goes from Athens once a week.
To search for ferry timetables, general ticket websites such as are useful. You can buy food on board but it’s cheaper to pick up pastries and snacks from the bakeries around Piraeus port before you board.

Picturesque views in Santorini

Travel to Santorini by plane

Athens to Santorini by plane takes about 45 minutes, making this the fastest and most direct way to get to Santorini from the mainland. The airport also offers connections to other major European cities such as Rome, Vienna and London. Prices vary depending on how far ahead you book. If you plan in advance you can often get plane tickets that are cheaper than the ferry (although of course it’s a less environmentally friendly way to travel).

Travel to Santorini by private helicopter

If you really can’t wait, why not choose to travel to Santorini by helicopter? There are numerous providers through which you can charter a flight. The views on the approach are unbeatable.

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