Ferries to Santorini and using the Greek ferry system are interesting to say the least.
Some would say it is a romantic way of getting to Santorini. There's not much that can beat the spectacular sight of imposing cliff top at Fira overlooking the Caldera as you approach the old port. You will be met by the famous Santorini donkeys if you choose to travel to Santorini this way.
They are there to take you up the steep cliff side if you cannot make it by your own speed. Or you can take the cable car and have a great view in relative comfort as you ascend to the top of the cliff.
Hydrofoils and ferries to Santorini are plentiful from Athens (Piraeus Port) and Thessaloniki on mainland Greece. They take between 7 - 9 hours depending on their ports of call, size and type of Greek ferry. Always check the ferry schedule as these can change depending on the time of year you intend getting to Santorini.
There are also lots of Greek ferries to and from other Greek Islands including ferry routes to Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and Crete. This makes Greek Island hopping easy and fun.
Greek Island hopping from Santorini is possible in the summer months with Greek ferry connections to and from Santorini to Crete and then on to Rhodes.
There are two ferry ports on Santorini.
The old port at Fira is used by the many cruise ships that visit the Greek Island of Santorini each year.
If you disembark from a cruise ship you will be met by the choice of very steep steps to climb, donkeys to carry you or the cable car.
The new port is at Athinios and if you arrive by Greek ferry this is where you’ll disembark. Athinios port is found in the Pyrgos area where there is car access. The road from Athinios port up to cliff tops is very narrow and winding.
There are a couple of Taverna style cafes at Athinios port, a ferry terminal building and ferry booking agencies.
If you are Greek Island hopping you can travel from Athinios port to other islands of the Cyclades and beyond. The Santorini ferry routes connect the island with Piraeus port at Athens, Ios, Naxos, Paros, Crete, Mykonos, Koufonissi, Folegandros, Tinos and Syros Greek Islands.
The Greek ferry companies operating ferries to Santorini are Blue Star Ferries, LANE Lines and Aegean Speed Lines.
Ferries to Santorini Top Tip
It is very important to remember that Santorini is known as Thira. You’ll find the name Thira on Greek ferry schedules and when booking your ferry crossing.
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