How to get from Crete to Santorini

Crete is among Greece’s top destinations to visit for the summer holidays. Crete is a vast island ready to be explored, full of stunning beaches, picturesque villages, wild mountainous landscapes, and renowned hospitality.

However, another island one should not miss is volcanic Santorini.  This jewel of the Aegean is only 88 nautical miles away from Crete. It offers countless possibilities, from ancient sites and active volcanos to luxurious boat trips to Thirassia and surrounding islets.

How to get from Crete to Santorini

Is Santorini worth it as a day trip from Crete?

sunset from Fira

Santorini is always a good idea, even for a day trip. Many people like to explore it for a day trip from Crete to Santorini. If you take the earliest ferry from Crete, you will likely be in Santorini at 10 o clock, ready to explore the island.

You can see breathtaking views from the calderas and take photos of amazing picturesque blue-domed Churches. If you rent a vehicle, you will also have more time to explore other parts of the island.

Here’s all you need to know about getting from Crete to Santorini.

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1. Go on an organized Day Trip from Crete to Santorini

Whether you are into organized trips or not, an organized day trip to Santorini might be the best solution to explore the island without fuss.

All organized day trips from Crete, whether Chania, Heraklion, Rethimnon, or Agios Nikolaos, have hotel pick-up services with a private bus that can then take you to the port and Santorini. You won’t have to worry about transportation on Santorini, as your private bus will take you to all the spots on the private tour.

Most guided tours of Santorini include 6 to 7 hours of sightseeing and exploring Santorini by visiting Oia and Fira.

Check below the recommended organized trips from Crete to Santorini:

From Heraklion Port: Full-Day Trip to Santorini.

From Rethymno Port: Full-Day Trip to Santorini.

2. Fly to Santorini from Crete

You can always fly from Crete to Santorini, but keep in mind there are no direct flights to get there. This means you would have to have at least one stop.

The average flight duration can be from 2 and a half to 4 or even 6 hours, and you can find indirect flights to Santorini Airport (JTR) both from the Heraklion airport (HER) and from Chania (CHQ) or even Sitia (JSH) airports. Prices may start as low as 68 Euros per flight, but this depends on availability, seasonality, and how soon you book.

The air companies operating this route are usually Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air, and Sky Express.

3. Hop on a ferry to Santorini

The most convenient way to reach Santorini from Crete is to hop on a ferry. There are ferry lines from the central port of Heraklion and from the port of Rethimnon to Santorini. These ferry crossings are seasonal, and you may not find them all year round.

From Heraklion

From Heraklion, the ferry to Santorini usually crosses twice a day but only during the high summer season. Four companies are operating this route: Seajets, Minoan Lines, Golden Star Ferries, and Aegeon Pelagos.

The earliest ferry departs at 08:00 and the latest at 09:00, with an average duration of about 1 hour and 57 minutes. Ferry ticket prices can start from 68 Euros according to season, availability, and seat options.

From Rethimnon

You can also find ferry crossings from the port of Rethimno to Santorini, which usually lasts the average trip time mentioned above.

Click here for the ferry schedule and to book your tickets directly.

or enter your destination below:

Take the bus from Chania to Rethimno port

The good thing about the port of Rethimnon is that it can serve those who live in Chania and want to go to Santorini. To do that, they would have to take the bus from Chania to Rethimno (passes every 2 hours) and get to Rethimno in about an hour. Bus fares can be as low as 6.80 Euros.

You can always stay updated on timetables and changes here.

Take the bus from Agios Nikolaos to the port of Heraklion

Similarly, for those who stay in Agios Nikolaos and want to go to Santorini, the most convenient way would be to hop on the local bus (KTEL) from Agios Nikolaos to the port of Heraklion and then hop on a ferry. You can find a bus every hour from Agios Nikolaos, with ticket prices of about 7.70 Euros.

For details, timetables, and to book tickets, click here.

OIa Santorini Guide
Oia Santorini

How to get around Santorini Island

To discover more, you could always settle your transportation method before you get there. 

Hop on the Local Bus

The most affordable option would be hopping on the local bus (KTEL) in Santorini. Bus fares for simple rides to various destinations cost only 2 to 2.5 Euros. The central hub of departures is located in Fira. The buses are available throughout the year.

Some of the most known routes include Fira to Oia, Fira to Imerovigli, Perissa to Fira, Fira to Kamari, Aiport to Fira, Fira to Akrotiri, and all of these vice versa.

You can check for timetables and updates here.

Ride a Quad

Rent a quad and get around Santorini easily. It seems like a convenient option for beach hopping and landmark hopping days on the island. It costs less than a car and is supposed to be safer than a motorcycle.

Hire a Car/Motorcycle

The most convenient option is renting a car to move around Santorini. You can find many agencies that offer vehicles, even for day trips.

I recommend booking a car through Discover Cars, where you can compare all rental car agencies’ prices and cancel or modify your booking for free. They also guarantee the best price. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Grab a taxi

In Santorini, you can find local taxis around the port and central places. Know in advance that taxis do not have a “meter” since this is an island and the routes are limited. There is a fixed price, which you had better ask in advance.

For example, the fixed price from the port to Fira is about 15-20 Euros, and the drive lasts about 20 minutes. The airport is about 10 minutes away from Fira.

Oia Santorini

You might also like:

How to spend one day in Santorini

What to do in Santorini

How to spend 4 days in Santorini

A 3-day Santorini itinerary

FAQ About your Trip from Crete to Santorini

How many days do I need to explore Santorini?

For Santorini, the optimal stay would be 3 to 5 days to get a good glimpse of the island. During this period, you can visit the landmarks, enjoy its views, taste the traditional cuisine and watch the sunset.

When is the best time to visit Santorini?

Santorini is a very popular island that attracts tourists all year round. However, to enjoy the island with fewer crowds, choose a visit from October to November or even from April to May.

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