Many travelers want to experience both the culturally rich capital of Athens and interesting islands. Santorini is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Greece and many choose it for the incredible sunsets and volcano views.
There are two options for getting between Athens and Santorini: by plane or by ferry. Although the plane takes you there faster, you need to consider getting to/from the airports, as well. Plus, unless you book the ticket well in advance, chances are you won’t be able to find a cheap option. As for the ferries, on the slow ferry the price starts at €37.50 / person/ one way and on the fast one at €56.10 / person/ one way
Santorini is served by Santorini National Airport (JTR), which is located just 8 km (5 miles) SE of Fira. The two national carriers – Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines – offer direct flights between Athens and Santorini.
The flight takes 45-50 min and the fares depend a lot on when you book the ticket. Starting from May there are 4 flights per day operated by each of the two airlines (so 8 total flights).
Booking a one way flight for mid-June 2012, means you’ll pay from € 58.64 on Aegean or Olympic Air, if you don’t mind catching an early morning flight. Fly by mid-day and the price starts at € 105.64 one way on the same airline. The prices have been checked 4 months in advance.
In order to save money, you should look into booking your ticket as early as possible and make sure to fly on weekdays and early in the morning (the evening flights are more expensive).
One of the most romantic ways to get to Santorini is by ferry. The ferries linking Athens (Piraeus) to Santorini (Thira) take between 4h 40 min and 11 hours, depending on the company and type of vessel.
During the summer season (mid-May to mid/late October) there are several connections per day. Between mid-September and the end of the summer season, there are less connections available than during the height of the season. You can travel by ferry from Piraeus to/from Santorini starting in March, though.
During the summer, the 7 a.m. ferry runs daily between Jun 22 and Sept 23. Of course there are other ferries during the day.
On a high speed ferry operated by Sea Jets, expect to pay €56.10 (per person, one way). On the slow ferry operated by Blue Star Ferries, the single fare is €37.50 (if you don’t travel with a car) for an economy seat. Airplane type of seats cost €42 one way , while a business class seat is €52.50.
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Note: the article was first published in May 2009 and was updated (prices and schedules) in February 2013.