There are no direct flights between the two, but you do have the option of flying with a transfer through Athens. While Athens is out of the way, flying is still the fastest option, so it may be a good choice if you’re on a tight schedule. Otherwise, you could take one of the direct ferries that travel from Santorini to Rhodes several times per week.
Once you reach Rhodes, you can explore some of the surrounding islands by boat with this 4-day island-hopping itinerary.
Duration: 4 hours
Several airlines operate flights from Santorini to Rhodes, with a layover in Athens. The flight from Santorini to Athens takes 45 minutes, and from Athens to Rhodes takes one hour.
It’s a good idea to double-check how long your layover will be. Some connections are as short as half an hour, which may be rushed when trying to get to your second flight.
Duration: 8-21 hours
You can catch a ferry to Rhodes from the port in Santorini’s main town. Ferries leave only a few times per week, so it’s worth booking in advance. High-speed ferries can take as little as eight hours, while the regular ferry takes 21 hours. Note that many ferries leave very early in the morning, or late at night—be prepared to wake up early for a ride at 4 or 6 AM.
Some ferries can accommodate cars. However, many rental companies wouldn’t allow you to transport cars on this long of a journey between islands. If you plan to bring a rental car with you, be sure to check with your company first.
While the journey to Rhodes is long, the ferry can be an enjoyable mode of travel. Ferries in Greece are usually comfortable. On many ferries, the standing room deck will have several seating areas, and a cafe/restaurant. Plus, for an extra fee, you will be able to book a reserved seat, shared cabin, or private cabin. There is plenty of viewing room on the deck; the upside of leaving on an early ferry is that perhaps you’ll get to see the sunrise.