The distance from Santorini to Ios is 32 miles (53 km). The only way to get from Santorini to Ios is by ferry, but there are a variety of options available to travelers.
The most convenient way to reach Ios is by taking a high-speed ferry. Slower ferry options are available as well.
If you're looking to island hop as you travel to Ios, you can take an "indirect" ferry, which stops at other neighboring Cycladic Islands.
Ferry schedules are much more limited in the low season (mid-September through mid-June), so be sure to check that the ferry is running on the dates you need if traveling to Ios at that time.
By Fast Ferry
Duration: 40 minutes
Ios is just a hop, skip and quick ferry ride away from Santorini and the fastest way to get there is with a high-speed ferry. Seajets is one of the companies that operates these hydrofoil ships, which can get bumpy in windy conditions, so take note if you tend to get seasick.
Economy and business class tickets are available and you can bring a vehicle on board, which will increase your ticket price.
These ferries tend to fill up in the high summer season, so be sure to book in advance if traveling at that time.
By Slow Ferry
Duration: 1.5 hours
For a cheaper and more leisurely journey to Ios, consider taking a slow ferry from Santorini. These ships are larger than the high-speed ferries and offer more outdoor space, which can be beneficial if you are prone to seasickness.
The least expensive tickets for these ferries (typically referred to as a "deck-lounge" ticket) operate on a first-come, first-serve basis for seating. If you'd rather not risk sitting in a plastic deck chair for the trip, buy a numbered seat ticket instead.
By Indirect Ferry
Duration: 3.5 hours or longer depending on the route
If you're interested in checking out other islands en route to Ios, you can take an "indirect ferry" from Santorini. These ferries stop at other Cycladic islands, such as Naxos or Folegandros, before continuing on to Ios.
Be sure to check that the connection time is long enough to accommodate any weather delays that might affect your schedule. At least an hour is recommended to allow for delays and time to board the connecting ferry.
Economy and business class tickets are available and you can bring a vehicle on board, which will increase the price of your ticket. An indirect trip may include a mix of fast and slow ferries.