The distance between Athens and Santorini is 186 miles (300 km). The most convenient way to travel between them is by plane, which takes 50 minutes flying from Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH). Direct flights run daily between Athens and Santorini throughout the year, with the number of flights per day increasing during the high summer season.
For a scenic journey, take the ferry instead. High-speed hydrofoil vessels make the trip in about 5 hours, while the slow ferry can take up to 9.5 hours. You have the option to bring a car or motorbike with you, although that will increase the price of your ticket. Note that ferry schedules become much more limited during the low season (mid-September through June), so be sure to check that the ferry is running on the dates you need if traveling during that time.
When planning your trip, consider this 14-day itinerary, which covers Athens and Santorini along with two other Cycladic isles, Naxos and Mykonos.
Duration: 50 minutes
The easiest and quickest way to get to Santorini from Athens is to fly from Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos). Olympic, Aegean, and Sky Express are just a few airlines that offer multiple flights per day throughout the year, which allows for flexibility for those traveling during the low season as ferries are not always an available option.
All flights are direct. Note that prices increase during the high summer season (mid-June through mid-September) and flights tend to sell out during these months, so book in advance if possible.
By Fast Ferry
Duration: 4.5 - 5 hours
Traveling by ferry is a rite of passage when visiting the Greek islands, and its a scenic way to reach Santorini. Ferries depart from Piraeus, the port of Athens, which is about a 30-minute drive or 45-minute metro ride from the center of Athens. There are also ferries to Santorini available from the smaller port of Rafina, about 30 minutes driving from the airport or an hour from the city center.
Seajet and Golden Star are two companies that operate high-speed hydrofoil ferries. These ships are popular over the summer, so be sure to book in advance to snag a seat. Economy and business class tickets are available (if bringing a car or motorbike, your ticket price will also depend on the size of the vehicle). Seasick-prone travelers should note that the ride in these ferries can get quite bumpy from the wind.
By Slow Ferry
Duration: 8 - 9.5 hours
The slow ferry offers the cheapest way to get to Santorini, although it’s the longest route by far. Slow ferries are much larger than the high-speed ones, offering more outdoor deck space to walk around and take in the fantastic views as you approach the island, which might be worth the long trip. Tickets on the slow ferry vary from economy seats to a private cabin for those who want to get some rest.
If booking an economy ticket, it’s suggested that you book a “numbered seat” as the deck / lounge ticket option does not include a guaranteed seat and you might find yourself stuck in a plastic deck chair or struggling to find an open seat in the non-numbered area.