If you’re arriving into Athinios Ferry Port and heading straight on to Santorini Airport /JTR Thira Airport, there are a few ways to go.
Here are the options, and you can decide the best way for you based on the budget and time you have available.
This is the most expensive option but one of the quickest ways of getting from the port to Thira Airport. It’s probably the easiest way since everything is set up in advance.
The travel time between the two places is about 25 minutes, more if there’s traffic. This is usually a very pleasant way to travel.
To arrange the transfer, you can use an international company like Welcome Pickups or a local one like Santorini Limousines (whose cars are actually BMWs and Mercs).
All will provide you with a professional driver who speaks at least some English. Whoever you book with will track your ferry arrival. So they’ll be there at the correct time, even if your ferry runs late.
Expect to pay from 45 euro for two people and two suitcases in a BMW. For a private minibus, it’s more like 70 euro for up to four people in your private group. If you travel between 23:00 – 06:00 you’ll probably pay an additional fee.
Direct Shuttle Service
A Santorini shuttle company at the new port on the island of Santorini
I personally haven’t had a great experience with the shuttle transfer service at Santorini Ferry Port. It’s a bit of a cattle market, in my opinion. But it’s a fairly low-cost option that could work for you.
There are a few shuttle bus companies at the port. I recommend trying this one first.
Expect to pay around 15 euro to go between the port and Santorini Airport by shuttle.
Public transport in Santorini is a viable option, although there’s no direct bus between the port and the airport. You’ll need to change at Fira, which is straightforward enough.
Bus fares in Santorini are low, it’s the cheapest way to travel, and the buses are clean and airconditioned. So, if you’re not in a mad rush, then this can be a decent option.
Port to Fira Buses
Whenever a ferry arrives at the port, there’s a public bus waiting to take passengers up to the bus station at Fira. In the high season, there are several, so don’t worry about knowing the schedule. The buses wait even if your ferry is delayed.
If the bus fills up and there are still people waiting, it will come back. Just check the driver knows you’re waiting. Once, when I went in the winter it came back even though there was only me and one other person still waiting.
When you get off the ferry, look for the buses parked up in the middle of the port or the yellow sign above. The public buses have a yellow sign in the luggage compartment too, saying “local bus”.
Some of the other coaches lined up will be for pre-arranged guests. The shore excursions for passengers from the cruise ships leave from there, for example. So do look for the yellow.
(Santorini Cruise Port is at the Old Port, and most passengers go ashore from there. But the arranged excursions come to Athinios.)
Put your luggage in the storage area under the coach and then get your ticket from the driver outside the bus.
It costs 2 euro to Fira, and they take cash only. (Coins and small notes.) The journey takes about 25 – 30 minutes depending on how much traffic there is.
Bus From Fira to the Airport
From Fira, you’ll need to change to the next bus for the airport. Someone’ll be issuing bus tickets outside the next bus a few minutes before it’s due to leave.
You can see sample timetables for the airport buses on the KTEL Santorini website. However, they do change frequently through the seasons. All current bus timetables are also displayed on the old ticket office window at the bus station.
This journey takes around 10 – 15 minutes and costs 1.60 euro.
If you want to take a taxi, the best option is going to be a pre-booked taxi transfer (see the private transfer option at the top).
You might get lucky and find an available one waiting. But you’ll have heard me say before there are only a handful of taxis on the whole of Santorini island. So they can be like gold dust at peak times.
At the port, the taxi rank is in the middle by the buses. If there’s a silver taxi available, it will wait there, close to the yellow sign for the buses and taxis.
The taxi driver will confirm the cost of your fare to the airport. They don’t use meters in Santorini; everything’s a fixed rate. So, agree before you get in.
As with the transfers, you’ll normally find English-speaking drivers who can communicate easily about the fares.
You can expect to pay around, 35 euro depending on the traffic and time of day.
Seajets ferry at Santorini Athinios Port
Arriving by Ferry with a Car
If you’re bringing a car on the ferry and dropping it off at Santorini Airport then just use SatNav or the GoogleMaps app to find your way. The airport is also signed on the road.
Be prepared for the drive up from the port. The road is cut into the cliff and winds up via hairpin bends. Although you’re quite close to the edge of the cliff, it doesn’t feel scary since the road’s wide.
You just need to have good clutch control if you’re renting a manual because it’s quite steep, and traffic can be slow going.
Drive sensibly and watch out for the coaches and lorries coming down in the opposite direction. There are wide corners for the big vehicles with a wide turning circle. So, keep to the edge when they need space.
Once you reach the top of the road, it’s an easy drive to the airport. Parking there is a bit of a nightmare, so make sure you park in the dedicated space for your rental company. (They’ll advise you of that in advance.)
Renting a Car in Santorini
I’m adding this as an option in case you’re not going directly from the port to the airport. If you want time to explore before catching your flight, then booking a car could give you the flexibility to want to zip around the island on a whistle-stop tour.
Since Santorini’s not massive, there isn’t usually an additional charge on car rentals if you want to drop off at a different place than you collected. But you’ll need to pay for at least a full day. Sometimes, you’ll have to pay for a minimum two-day booking.
If you literally just want to sightsee for a few hours between arriving by ferry and leaving by plane, then I’d book a private tour.
You’ll make the most of the short time you have on the island without having to worry about finding your way around or fighting for parking spaces. Choose a company that will tailor the tour for you if there are specific places you want to visit.
I wouldn’t choose this option if you’re arriving late. When I went from Anafi to Santorini, the 10pm ferry was very delayed. We got into Athinios Port in the early hours, and my rental car people didn’t wait. Transfers, shuttles and the public bus did.
More Info About Santorini and the Airport
Here are some of the best places to consider if you want a hotel really close to the airport before your flight. This post has all the info you need about Santorini/Thira Airport itself.
For everything else you want to know about Santorini, all my posts are on this dedicated island page. Or use the search bar at the top of the page to find what you’re looking for.
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