Beginner’s guide to Santorini Ferry Port for Greek island hopping

Santorini ferry port is one of the busiest ferry ports around the Greek islands but it is a tiny port. Knowing your way around it will make the arrival and departure from this wonderful island a piece of cake. This beginner’s guide will show you the location of the Santorini Ferry port, give you all the possible transport options to and from the Port, all about the ticket offices, and tips about what to look for.

Map of Santorini island ports

Santorini (or Fira, as it is officially known) is an ancient island formed by the volcanic eruption that shaped its peculiar layout and gave it those unique staggering cliffs dropping to the azure Aegean Sea.

Map of the 4 ports of Santorini, Greece
Ports of Santorini: 1. Athinios, 2. Skala, 3, Vlychada, 4, Ammoudi Bay

As the island grew in population and started welcoming more visitors, its port became too small for the increased marine traffic. Nowadays there is one main port in Santorini and several harbors and auxiliary ports.

Among the many things to do in Santorini, boat tours and hopping by ferry to nearby islands like Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, Milos, and Tinos for day tours (or overnight in Crete) are highly popular.

You won’t leave from the same Port for all of these activities and so below you’ll find all the practical information you need for the four Ports and Marinas of Santorini.

1. Santorini Ferry Port Athinios

The main port of Santorini is called Athinios, also known around the island as the New Port or Fira Port (Thira Port). This port is the only one catering to ferry boats and this is the port you will be using if you are coming or leaving Santorini by ferry boat.

Santorini Ferry Port terminal from sea, Santorini, Greece
Santorini Ferry Port terminal from sea, Santorini, Greece

All passenger ferries arrive here. The details in this article will mostly refer to this port.

2. Skala, the Old Port

The original port is called Skala (or Gialos), or the Old Port or the Cruise Port and it only serves cruise ships and local day trip vessels.

Old port, Cable car and the donkey trail leading to Fira town, Santorini
Old Port, Cable Car, and the Donkey Trail leading to Fira, Santorini

It is located just below the town of Fira, at the base of the cliff. Although the Old Port is a cruise ship terminal, it is too small for these gigantic vessels to dock, so passengers are tendered ashore.

Here is the famous donkey path too, a series of 587 steeply winding steps bringing you from the terminal to Fira (donkey fare – around €8 per person).  Cruise ships arriving here make this auxiliary port in Santorini sometimes overcrowded.  

During the summer, it is too hot to walk up from the Old Port, so a cable car (teleferik in Greek) has been installed. This scenic ride is only 3 minutes and the prices are:

⛴️ Adults – €6

⛴️ Children – €3

⛴️ Luggage per person – €3

If there is a cruise ship docked, and sometimes there are four of them, your chances of using the cable car are slim unless you want to wait about an hour.

Tip: You can walk the same path if you’re fit. As it is a long walk, bring along sunscreen, a hat, and water.

3. Vlychada Port

The Vlychada auxiliary port in Santorini is at the southernmost tip of Santorini and provides shelter and mooring for local fishing and small boats.

Vlychada Yacht Marina, Santorini, Greece
Vlychada Yacht Marina, Santorini, Greece

Also, some of the Santorini tour boat excursions to the volcano and around the caldera start from Vlychada. No Ferry boats come and leave from Vlychada Port.

The lovely quiet village of Vlychada is just behind the harbor with its Tomato Industrial Museum, the Santorini Arts Factory, and a black-pebbled beach nearby.

4. Ammoudi Bay Port or Oia Port

Ammoudi is a small island harbor 278 steps below the magnificent village of Oia.

As one of the best places to watch the Santorini sunset, Ammoudi Bay is a place used by many sailing tours, boat rental agencies, and boat trip excursions as a starting point or final destination.

Ammoudi Bay, Oia, Santorini, Greece
Ammoudi Bay, Oia, Santorini, Greece

This Santorini cruise port has crystal clear waters. No Ferry boats come and leave from Ammoudi Bay Port.

To avoid any confusion, if you are taking a ferry to reach or leave Santorini, the departure port you need is Athinios Port. Santorini ferries use only Athinios port.

Santorini Ferry Port Athinios

⛴️ Type: The only passenger ferry port of Santorini.

⛴️ Location: Below Fira town, at the base of Caldera.

⛴️ Opening hours: 24/7

⛴️ Parking: Semi-organized, to the left of the terminal.

⛴️ Bus: Bus service (KTEL) goes only to the capital of the island, Fira. From there, you can switch buses and go to your destination. This is the cheapest option for transport from the port.

⛴️ Ferry Tickets: Prebooking is strongly advised. However, two agencies – Nomikos and Dakoutros – sell tickets for daily ferries opposite the ferry terminal.

⛴️ Markets: Two mini-markets and a café is available on-site.

Location – Where is Santorini Port Athinios?

Santorini Ferry Port is located on the west coast of Santorini, on the inner side of the island, below the caldera of Santorini.

Athinios Port with road leading to Fira, Santorini, Greece
Athinios Port with road leading to Fira, Santorini, Greece

The main Santorini town, Fira, is 8km away, Santorini airport is 9km away and the villages of Oia (20km) and Perissa (11 km) are nearby too. It takes around 20-30 minutes to reach Fira from the Ferry Port.

Santorini is an international gateway to the Cyclades islands and gets crazy busy during the summer. It can become confusing due to the sheer number of passengers and ferries departing hourly from its terminal – over 2 million each year!

Many ferries traveling the Aegean Sea will stop in Santorini. However, a rather simple design and layout of the port are helpful in getting your bearings around it. Remember:

⛴️ There is only one terminal for Santorini ferry departures and arrivals, so you can not miss the embarking spot.

⛴️ Upon disembarking, everything is either in front or to the left of you. The cliffs and the only road leading to and from the Port make the orientation very simple.

⛴️  To leave the port, get off the ferry and head left.

Passengers heading towards buses and taxis, Athinios Port, Santorini, Greece
Passengers heading towards buses and taxis, Athinios Port, Santorini, Greece

Getting to and from the Santorini Port Athinios

Santorini is a busy island with a lot of traffic during the summer. Be sure to calculate your time well, as to be an hour before the ferry departure at the Port.

Here are all the options which include bus, taxi, shuttle, private transfer, car rental, and ATV rental. (Oh, and you can walk!)

By Bus

Buses from Santorini port to Fira

Public buses are the easiest and cheapest way to and from the Port. However, the line for the port goes only from and to Fira town (except on occasions where it may also stop in Pyrgos, Karterados & Messaria. If you’re staying elsewhere on the island, you will have to change buses in Fira.

That is no problem, buses run frequently and timetables are well displayed.

Public buses are very clean, reliable, air-conditioned, and frequent and usually await every ferry’s arrival. The single ticket to/from the port costs €2-3 (cash only, bought on the bus).

After disembarking, go left towards the bus station. Big buses (Pullmans) are parked there, you will find them easily.

Port–Fira–Port bus itineraries are changed according to the ferry arrivals and ferry departures each day, with schedules becoming available the day before.

Buses from Fira to Santorini port

Buses leave from Fira bus station and the procedure is the same – you buy the ticket on the bus, place the luggage in the bus cargo area, and enjoy the scenic ride of 20-30 minutes down the winding Caldera road.

The buses coordinate their schedules with the ferries which makes it an easy and stress-free ride.

The Bus station in downtown Fira is just behind the Museum of Prehistoric Fira in the tourist hub center, by the beginning of the pedestrian zone.  

Buses from Santorini port to the Santorini airport

If you are using Santorini as a transfer hub to other islands, you may have to get from the port to the airport or the other way around.

Picture of the new white Santorini airport terminal
Santorini Airport (JTR) Terminal, Santorini, Greece

Although the regular bus service only runs between Fira and the port, there is one bus that goes directly from the port to the airport and back. Its schedule isn’t fixed, so be ready for a long wait.

If on a tight schedule, I recommend taking a bus to Fira and switching to another bus to the airport. The bus service from Fira to the airport is reliable, and frequent, costs less than €2, and only takes 15 minutes.

By Taxi

Taxis on Santorini are few and far between, as the island has limited taxi vehicles. This means there will be only several of them in the port and if you want to get one, make sure to get from the ferry first and head quickly to your left, by the bus station, to the taxi stand.

Unfortunately, metered rides are not a thing in Santorini – the price is negotiated with taxi drivers on the spot and if you don’t like their price, someone behind you in the queue will. The Taxi to Fira or the airport is around €40, and to Oia, it’s around €50.

To make things just that bit more inconvenient, you can only use cash and of course, the taxi driver will be expecting a tip.

The prices go up for a nighttime ride.

Taxis can take up to four persons.

Private shuttle transfer

If you decide not to cram yourself and your luggage on the bus, I can wholeheartedly recommend the global private transfer company, Welcome Pickups. Welcome Pickups generally cost you the same amount as a taxi, so you can see why it’s a sensible option on Santorini.

You book, pay, and know the designated driver of your private car in advance. With Welcome pickups, you can request a child/booster seat and get a history/geography and local’s tip lesson along the way.

Expect a designated driver waiting in front of the ferry with your name, helping with your luggage, and guiding you out of the port.

Expect to pay €50 to the airport, €60 to Oia, and €45 to Fira.    

Car and Quad/Scooter rentals

Use online booking platforms to pre-book your car rental vehicle well in advance, as rental cars are much sought after on the island.

Santorini port parking area, Santorini, Greece
Santorini Port parking area, Santorini, Greece

Due to covid-19 disruptions in tourism flows, many vehicles have been sold away and the number of cars available is not sufficient during the peak months of summer.

If you pre-book a car from the port, it will most likely be waiting for you in the parking area at the very end of the port, to the left of the terminal, where the road to Fira starts.

Have in mind that the road is difficult, narrow, with sharp bends, and clogged with traffic and if you are a novice driver, you may be better off renting a car in Fira town.

Tip: Don’t forget that Europe is mainly a stick-shift continent and automatic transmission needs to be requested, especially for small cars.

Santorini ferry tickets

Where and when to buy ferry tickets?

Regardless of which ferry company you opt for and the ferry routes you travel, buying your tickets in advance is essential and the best way to do that is a site called Ferryhopper.

Ferryhopper banner
Beginner's guide to santorini ferry port for greek island hopping 20

You can search ticket prices, and timetables and buy tickets online, so you either print them or have them stored on your telephone in order to embark. That way, in case some delays or unlikely cancelations occur, you will be notified by email.  

The vast majority of ferry tickets bought online will have a QR or bar code on them – that is all you need to embark.

If you’re using Ferryhopper, you’ll get reminder emails when online check-in is open for your booking.

Ferry companies have their offices at Athinios Port.

How much in advance to arrive at Santorini Ferry Port?

Santorini is a busy island and its port is one of the most frequented in the country. It can get quite cramped, so I recommend you get an hour before your ferry departs. The official website suggests no less than 45 minutes.

Passengers waiting for ferry from Heraklion to dock at Athinios Port, Santorini, Greece
Passengers waiting for the ferry from Heraklion to dock at Athinios Port, Santorini, Greece

You will have time to collect your ticket (if you do not have the online one), stock up in one of the mini-markets, and grab a drink in a café.

There is an air-conditioned waiting area and an outdoor shaded waiting station in the port of Santorini.

Where are the Waiting Lounges and Ticket Offices?

There is only one row of buildings in the Santorini ferry Port, just opposite the port terminal.

You will find all port facilities there, including ATMs, rental car offices, ferry companies (including Blue Star ferries and Sea Jets), travel and ticket agencies, markets with snacks, coffee shops, port authority, and a waiting area with restrooms.  

Is there Accommodation at the Santorini Ferry Port?

Santorini Ferry port is at the foot of the Caldera cliffs and there is no accommodation available in or around the Athinios ferry port. The nearest place to stay is Fira town. Fira has accommodation options for every budget.

Wherever you book to stay on the island, you will need transportation to get to the port of Santorini, so pick your hotel or apartment according to other preferences, not the proximity to the Athinios ferry port. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What port do the ferries leave from in Santorini?


All ferries leave from Athinios Port in Santorini, Greece.

Are there two ports in Santorini?


There are two ports in Santorini, Scala, the Old Port, and Athinios Port. All ferries leave from Athinios Port.

What is the closest ferry port to Santorini?


The closest ferry port to Santorini is Athinios Port which is 5 miles from the main town on Fira (Thera) on the western side of Santorini.

Can you walk from the port in Santorini?


It is possible to walk from Athinios port in Santorini, but no one does this because there is only one road which is a steep road of switchbacks with no footpath.

It takes at least 1 hour and 47 minutes to walk the 7.7. kilometers from Athinios Port to the main town of Santorini, Fira (Thera).

How do I get from the port to Fira in Santorini?

buses at Fira bus station

To get from Athinios Port to Fira in Santorini you can take the local KTEL bus, a taxi, a private shuttle or transfer, or hire a vehicle at the port and drive the 7.7 kilometers to Fira town.

What port do the ferries leave from in Santorini?


All ferries in Santorini arrive and leave from Athinios Port, 7.7 kilometers from Fira.

How much is a taxi from Santorini ferry port to Fira?

Fira town accommodation

Taxis in Santorini are not metered and you need to negotiate your fare from the Santorini ferry port to Fira before you agree to the ride. Expect to pay a minimum of €‎40 when the ferry port is crowded (i.e. in summer), and more for evening rides.

Pre-booking a taxi will give you the most reasonable rate and ensure you will be able to have a taxi when you arrive on the ferry.

How do you get from the old port to Fira?

Fira cable car from old port,Santorini

The Old Port of Fira (Skala or Gialos) is located below Fira and there is a cable car connecting the two that takes only three minutes and costs €‎5. The wait for the cable car can be an hour in peak season if there is a cruise ship in Port as passengers are tendered ashore here.

It’s also possible to walk up the steps to Fira, and if you’re moderately fit it will take 20 minutes.

There are also donkeys you can ride on but this is becoming increasingly shunned as many passengers weigh considerably more than donkeys should carry on their backs.

Keep Planning Your Trip to Santorini