The swiftest way to island-hop from the Greek island of Naxos to Santorini is by ferry. This is the most practical way to travel between the islands, as there are no direct flights that take you between the two. It is possible to book a relatively expensive flight, but you will be rerouted to Athens (the opposite way), and then sent on to Santorini.

The ferry trip from Naxos to Santorini spans about 64 miles (104 km) and can take less than 90 minutes. Note that because Naxos is not one of the larger ports in the Cyclades, many ferries will arrive late and depart late. This continues and ultimately increases in lateness throughout the day. (Relax! You’re on vacation.)

Of course, there are various options for Greek island ferries, depending on your situation. It's possible to book a super-fast ferry to get from Naxos to Santorini in just a little over 60 minutes—but the price is relatively steep. If you pay around half for a "slow ferry", you can still get there in a couple of hours and have an extra few euros for ouzo or spanakopita. Please note as well that ferry schedules change seasonally, so fewer options are available in the low season months (generally November to March).

Also, if you purchase a ferry ticket online without a barcode, then you’ll probably have to grab a paper ticket once you arrive at the Naxos port. You can do this around 30 or 45 minutes prior to embarking to Santorini.

Spend nine days getting your full nine hours of sleep and still taking in some of the best the Cyclades has to offer with this 9-day itinerary. Your mornings have plenty of time for lounging on the shore or strolling through the streets of Santorini, Naxos, and Mykonos. In the afternoons, you'll set off for sunset cruises, cooking classes, and freshly cut produce-filled dinners.

By Fast Ferry

Seajets fast ferry

Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours 

SeaJet Ferries are the main high-speed ferry provider, but generally cost about twice as much as slower options, saving only about 30 to 45 minutes of time. They offer airplane-like standard designated seats, club class, and even platinum class selections. During peak seasons, they depart the Naxos port a few times per day. Some SeaJet Ferries are passenger-only ferries—so if you’re traveling with a car, ensure you select a ferry that allows for vehicles. Minoan Lines also offers high-speed ferries occasionally on the Naxos to Santorini route.

One disadvantage to fast ferries is that you are not allowed to stand outside while the ferry is traveling for safety reasons, so it is harder to admire the scenery as you travel between the islands (especially if your seat is far from a window). Also, these ferries are more sensitive to rough seas so can be difficult for travelers who are susceptible to seasickness, and more subject to weather-related delays and cancellations.

By Slow Ferry

Blue Star slow ferry

Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours

Blue Star Ferry generally offers the cheapest options for passengers both with and without vehicles. In high season (late spring and summer), boats leave about two times a day, and take between two and two and a half hours to arrive in Santorini. Occasionally, Blue Star ferries can be delayed, as they generally come from other islands prior to arriving to the Naxos port. 

Blue Star offers several ticket types, including the cheapest, which is an undesignated deck seat, a designated airplane-like seat, or even a business-class seat or cabin option. Blue Star also offers cafés for mid-boat-ride snacking. 

Golden Star Ferries are similar to Blue Star in speed, boating you to Santorini in around two hours. They offer both passenger-only and passenger and vehicle ferries, along with non-designated, cheaper seats, more expensive seats, cabin seats, and business class.

By Plane 

Plane at Santorini Aiport

Duration: 3.5 hours or more

If boating isn’t your thing, you can opt for the most expensive way to travel from Naxos to Santorini: by air. Aegean Air takes you from the tiny Naxos Airport “Apollo” all the way back to Athens, for a layover that can vary (in summertime, it’s normally around two hours). The ride over the Aegean is swift, taking you from Naxos to Athens in about 40-45 minutes, and then to the tiny Santorini airport in around 45-50 minutes.