Beautiful and romantic Greek island of the Cyclades, Santorini attracts millions of tourists every year who come here to admire its spectacular sunsets over the caldera and enjoy the sea and nature. Due to a volcanic eruption that razed it to the ground in the 16th century, the island has a particular conformation , the beaches are made of lava stone and the coasts are jagged. There are two main centers: Oia and Fira, both overlooking the sea.
But how to reach the island
Here is a guide on how to get to and around Santorini : info, costs and tips!

Where is
Santorini is the southernmost island of the Cyclades archipelago, halfway between Crete and Athens, and is washed by the Aegean Sea. It has an area of ​​79.19 sq km, with a particular shape due to the presence of the caldera in the center of the island, the result of the volcanic eruption.

tips Santorini is not very big , it has a rather efficient public transport network that only serves the main locations, so the best thing is to organize yourself in order to get around it.
The car is useful for those who have a few days available and want to see as many places as possible but it must be considered that there are few parking spaces. Alternatively the scooter is a good solution even if due to the continuous ups and downs the “fifties” struggle; the quadsthey are perfect, more powerful and above all stable (daily rental cost between € 25.00 and € 35.00, depending on the period and the engine capacity).
Do not miss at least a boat tour between the volcanic islands and the hot springs or catamaran cruises at sunset, to admire Santorini from its best perspective.
On the island then there are several taxis , private transfer services, where a driver will be at your disposal for the whole day and panoramic tours by minibus. Finally, from the small port of Thira Skala there is a funicular leading to the city of Thira (active from June to August, € 4.00). There are no passes for public transport or cards but it is necessary to pay the ticket every time.

  • Recommended solutions and means : taxi, scooter / quad, boat tours, catamaran cruises
  • Solutions and means not recommended : car, bus
  • Recommended city cards and passes : there are no booklets or city cards to use in Santorini, instead there are many activities and experiences to book conveniently online that also include transport

How to get there by sea
Santorini has three ports , but the one from which the ferries of all companies depart and arrive is the port of Atninios , on the east coast of the island, while from that of Fira there are boats for day trips. Athinios is 8 km from Fira, which can be reached by taxi (25 min, fares between € 30.00 and € 40.00), by bus (80 min, € 4.60) or by private transfer (25 min, by average € 35.00).
From Italy there are no direct ships that lead to Santorini and it is necessary in case to get to Athens and from there take the ferries that lead to the island. There are many ferries from Athens and other islands such as Ios, Paros, Naxos and Crete, which arrive in Santorini.

  • From the port of Piraeus / Athens : in summer over 4 daily ferries (from € 20.00 to € 76.00 depending on the company). Trip duration according to the route: 8-10 h with ferries, 4-5 h with fast ships. The companies are BlueStar Ferries (cheapest routes), Seajets Ferries and Hellenic Seaways (HighSpeed ​​Ferries are the fastest ships)
  • From the port of Heraklion / Crete : over 30 weekly departures in summer. Maximum duration 10 hours, minimum 2 hours, prices between € 30.00 and € 75.00 depending on the route. The companies are Aegeon Pelagos, Golden Star Ferries, Minoan Lines / Grimaldi Euromed and Sea Jets (the latter offer fast hydrofoils)
  • From the port of Paros : in summer over 52 connections between Paros and Santorini. Maximum duration 7 hours, minimum 3 hours, prices between € 20.00 and € 65.00 depending on the route, often making stops in other Cyclades islands as well. The companies are Blue Star Ferries, Golden Star Ferries, Minoan Lines / Grimaldi Euromed and Sea Jets

How to get there by plane: nearest airports
Santorini is served by only one airport, which is located about 7 km from Fira, one of the main cities of the island. It is a fairly small airport , which can handle up to 6 civil flights at the same time and is made up of two parallel runways, one for rolling and one for landing.

From Santorini International Airport

  • Distance from Santorini : 7 km / about 20 minutes to reach Fira by car
  • How to get there: by taxi (25 min, on average € 35.00 during the day and € 40.00 at night); by bus (infrequent connections with waits of up to 80 min, € 2.20); or with private transfers provided by the hotels (25 min, average cost € 35.00)

How to get around on foot
For those who love walking Santorini is an island where several areas are within walking distance ; the only effort can be the climbs and the heat that makes itself felt in summer.
The old port of Fira , for example, can be reached by taking the 588 steps (about 35 minutes on foot); the more sporty can then take the beautiful panoramic path that connects Fira to Oia in about 3 hours. Another place that is best to reach on foot is the Ammoudi beach , near the small port of Oia, which can be reached by taking a zigzag road of about 300 steps starting from Oia Alta.

SEE ALSO : 10 Must See Attractions in Santorini

By public transport
Santorini is not really suitable for traveling by public transport, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used or don’t exist. The main means of transport is the bus , which still manages to connect the main points of the island, but there are also some surprises, such as the cable car .

There are 9 bus lines in Santorini , all operated by KTEL: Airport, Kamari, Akrotiri, Perissa, Monolithos, Vlychada, Exo Gonia and Vourvoulos. The bus is practically the only public transport you will find on the island and has Fira as its main hub. Any movement from the airport to the port or vice versa must therefore necessarily pass from here.

  • Downloadable map : official site
  • Hours: 7: 00-22: 00
  • Ticket cost / single journey : from € 1.80 to € 2.50 depending on the route

The Santorini cable car is a gondola lift that connects the port with the town of Fira (located at 220 meters above sea level). Built in 1979, it carries 1,200 people per hour (600 passengers each way) and the journey time is 3 minutes.

  • Downloadable map : click here
  • Hours: April-October 6.30am-10pm, until 11pm in high season
  • Ticket cost / single journey : € 6.00 round trip

Boat excursions
Finally another way to discover Santorini is through boat tours and catamaran excursions, which can last a whole day and also include lunch! Most excursions depart from Amoudi Port, Athinion, Fira or other marinas, but many also include pick-up directly from your hotel.
The most popular tours are those that go to the discovery of the volcano, the caldera, the hot springs, but also those that allow you to reach some beautiful beaches such as Red Beach and White Beach and some smaller islets near Santorini

  • Tour in barca
  • Catamaran excursions
  • Tour to discover the volcano
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