THE BEST Day Trips from Crete to Santorini

Day trips from crete to santorini.

  • Crete to Heraklion
  • Crete to Chania Town
  • Crete to Elafonissi
  • Crete to Tzermiado
  • Crete to Santorini
  • Up to 1 hour
  • 1 to 4 hours
  • 4 hours to 1 day
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day tours from crete to santorini

1. SANTORINI 1 day Guided Excursion with HIGHSPEED from CRETE

day tours from crete to santorini

2. Full-Day Trip to Santorini island by Boat from Rethymno

day tours from crete to santorini

3. Full-Day Trip to Santorini island by Boat from Ag.Nikolaos Elounda with Transfer

day tours from crete to santorini

4. Santorini - The pearl of the Aegean

day tours from crete to santorini

5. Full-Day Trip to Santorini island by Boat from Heraklion

day tours from crete to santorini

6. Full-Day Trip to Santorini island by Boat from Rethymno with Transfer your Hotel

day tours from crete to santorini

7. Heraklion: Day Trip to Santorini by Boat with Oia & Fira

day tours from crete to santorini

8. Full-Day Trip to Santorini island by Boat from Agios Nikolaos

Keep the fun going with other experiences in the area.

day tours from crete to santorini

Romantic Tour through Santorini

What travellers are saying.

Lidia S

Crete to Santorini Ferries

Greece › Greek Ferries › Crete to Santorini Updated: June 29, 2023 By Santorini Dave

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The Crete to Santorini ferry.

The view of the caldera on a Crete to Santorini boat tour . If you only need a one-way ferry ticket then book with .

Crete to Santorini is the best way to research ferry schedules and book tickets for Crete-Santorini ferries. It’s rare for ferries between Crete and Santorini to sell out but for peace of mind book ferries 1 to 3 months in advance. Best Crete to Santorini Tour: Santorini Full-Day Tour by Boat Best Santorini to Crete Tour: Becuase of the ferry schedule (Crete to Santorini in the morning, Santorini to Crete in the afternoon/evening) there are no day-trip tours from Santorini to Crete. Crete-Santorini Ferries: Most years there are 2 ferries per day from Crete to Santorini and Santorini to Crete. Starting in late March or early April Minoan Lines and SeaJets Ferries begin high speed service from Crete to Santorini (morning sailing) and Santorini to Crete (afternoon sailing). These ferries usually continue to Naxos, Paros, and Mykonos before turning around and returning to Crete. Ferry tickets can be booked in advance at . Crete-Santorini Flights: Sky Express offers flights between Crete (Heraklio) and Santorini, though information about their flight schedule can be difficult to find. Use the website’s search function to see if they have a flight that works with your travel schedule. Flights sell out much earlier than ferries, so book as soon as possible if you see a good flight. Crete to Santorini Ferries and Flights: For every ferry or flight from Crete to Santorini there is usually a ferry or flight going in the opposite direction. Ferries generally go from Crete to Santorini in the morning, and then Santorini to Crete in the afternoon.

Day Tours from Crete to Santorini

View of Santorini caldera and volcano.

View of the Santorini caldera on the day-trip tour from Crete .

Santorini Full-Day Tour by Boat – Hotel pick up and drop off for the following towns: Heraklio, Chania, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, and Elounda. This tour includes bus to the Crete ferry port, ferry to Santorini, and bus around Santorini and back to the ferry port. All you have to worry about is drinks and food – which are readily available on the boat and at stops within Santorini. Crete to Santorini tours cost about $200. Ferry Schedule: Crete to Santorini

Heraklion ferry port in Crete.

The Heraklio ferry port has multiple ferries to Santorini from late March to early November.

Example Crete to Santorini Ferry Schedule Crete-Santorini ferry schedules, times, and prices on . There are multiple daily ferries that run from the Heraklion Port in Crete to Santorini from mid-April through October. The trip will take between 2 and 3 hours on a high-speed ferry. Prices are about €80 for a standard adult ticket. There are no ferries from the Cretan ports of Chania or Agios Nikolaos to Santorini. If you’re traveling from these cities you’ll need to take the bus to Heraklio or Rethymno, both between 1.5 and 2 hours away. FerryHopper is the best way to research ferry schedules and book tickets for Crete-Santorini ferries. Ferries between Crete and Santorini do sometimes sell out. For peace of mind book ferries 2 to 3 months in advance. I recommend Business Class or VIP seating for the added room and more-relaxed environment.

Map showing popular ferry routes from Crete to Athens and nearby islands

Greek ferry schedules can change with little notice . Even after tickets are booked and routes confirmed, ferries can be canceled or changed on short notice and with no good reason. Should this occur, FerryHopper will contact you with notice of any changes to your schedule, and guide you through the re-booking process.

Common Ferries from Crete to Santorini

Seajets Power Jet from Crete to Santorini.

The Seajets Power Jet from Crete to Santorini.

Seajets Naxos Jet from Crete to Santorini.

The Seajets Naxos Jet from Crete to Santorini.

Highspeed ferry from Crete to Santorini.

This the Hellenic Highspeed 7 ferry but it’s nearly identical to the Minoan Lines Santorini Palace ferry that does the Crete to Santorini route.

Where To Pick Up Ferry Tickets in Crete and Santorini If you book tickets in advance online on , you’ll either get an e-ticket (so you won’t need to pick up anything) or you’ll need to collect your paper tickets at least one hour in advance at the port on the day of your departure. Your confirmation email will have more complete information. Flights from Crete to Santorini

Airplane flying from Heraklion to Santorini.

Sky Express has regular flights from Heraklio, Crete to Santorini.

Sky Express , a relatively new airline that is headquartered in Crete, offers many flights between Heraklio and Santorini. Sky Express’ flight schedules can be difficult to access, so use the website’s search function to see if they have a flight that works with your travel schedule. Sky Express offers three different fare tiers, differing in luggage and hand baggage allowances, flight change and cancellation fees, and access to flight lounges and expedited security lines. Note that flights will sell out much earlier than ferries – if you find a flight that works for you, book it as soon as possible. Minoan Air , also based on Crete, offers flights between Crete and Santorini many times a week on their Fokker 50-seat planes. Santorini to Crete – Things To Know Most tours to Santorini leave from the port of Heraklion (a handful every week depart from Rethymno). If you’re staying in Chania or Agios Nikolaos you’ll get hotel pickup to bus you to the port. All tours of Santorini will include visits to Oia. These are the ticket booths at the Heraklio ferry port where most people will pick up ferry tickets that were prebooked on the internet. The white booth is for SeaJets. The red and blue is for Hellenic Seaways. They’re located directly in front of the ferries docked in the port – you can’t miss them. They open about 1.5 hours before the ferry is scheduled to depart. Getting here 40 minutes before departure is what I would recommend. Business class seats on the Hellenic Highspeed. All tickets have a seat number and reserved seat. Economy class seats on the Hellenic Highspeed. All tickets have a seat number and reserved seat. Economy class seats on the Hellenic Highspeed. All tickets have a seat number and reserved seat. Business class seats on the SeaJet. All tickets have a seat number and reserved seat. Economy class seats on the SeaJet ferry. All tickets have a seat number and reserved seat. Luggage storage on the Crete to Santorini ferry. This is below deck on the vehicle level as you enter the ferry. Don’t leave valuables here but large luggage is usually fine. Luggage storage inside a highspeed ferry. This is the main seating area as you enter the ferry. It’s very crowded when boarding and disembarking so be prepared for a little madness – but it all works out. Luggage storage on the Terajet. This is below deck on the vehicle level as you enter the ferry. All ferries have some food available: drinks, sandwiches, beer and alcohol, treats. This is the menu available on the Terajet. Arriving at the Santorini ferry port . Buses and taxis are to the left. Get there quickly as seats and taxis get taken in a hurry. SeaJet ferry in Santorini .
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About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Author Bio.

Hi Dave, We arrive in Athens from Canada at 11:40 am and there is a Sky Express flight at 1:30 pm to Chania. Do you think there would be enough time to make this flight?

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If your flight to Athens arrives on time you should be fine. (But there’s no way to guarantee that.)

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First of all, thank you so much for running this website! It’s been a lifesaver!

My husband and I are going to be in Greece in late October. We would like to travel from Santorini to Crete via ferry on October 20. Are the schedules just not published yet? I can’t find any available ferries on that date.

There will almost certainly be Santorini-Crete ferries running until late October or early November. They should post these schedules by August.

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Hi Dave, Thanks for your super informative site. We are taking a ferry Oct 21 from Heraklion to Santorini. We plan to either rent a car or buggy for our stay on Santorini. Are these available for pickup or arranged pickup at the port or do we need to plan to get a taxi at the port to the car/rental location? Is scheduling a taxi an option or necessary? Any other practical advice is appreciated. Thanks! Alana

I would take the bus from the port to the airport and pick up your car rental there. More info on my Santorini Car Rental page.

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Hi Dave, thank you so much for your valuable time and knowledge. I was just wondering, since I could not find any ferry tickets for January 3, from Santorini to Crete – are the timetables not yet published or should I expect them to not be operating during that time? Thanks in advance for any information you could share.

Sorry, there won’t be any Crete-Santorini ferries in January. You’ll have to fly (or ferry) via Athens if you want to visit both.

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Hi Dave, We have booked a family trip to Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. I was thinking of taking a day trip to explore Crete. But I see the ferries from Santorini leave in the afternoon and arrive back in the morning. As all my flights and accommodation are prepaid I can’t change much with respect to that. Are there tour companies from Santorini that offers day tours of Crete? Thanks in advance.

There are tours from Santorini to Crete but they use the same ferries and are bound by the same schedule. So they would all be overnight tours (two nights, actually).

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I am travelling from Santorini to Crete on the 11th August by ferry, would you suggest booking in advance and with what ferry company? Also, our hotel is in Chania. Is the public bus service located close to Heraklion port reliable? Or is there any other way to get to Chania that is not too expensive?

You have two legitimate choices: the Minoan Lines ferry to Heraklion (the bus station for Chania is a 5-minute walk across the parking lot of the ferry port). Or you can take the SeaJets at 17:20 to Rethymnon (which is closer to Chania). You’ll save more than an hour on your bus trip. The only downside is that it’s a longer walk to the Rethymnon bus station from the port.

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What a wonderfully informative website you have and I am so pleased to have happened upon it.

My husband and I are travelling to Greece on 1st September and arrive Athens at 12:10 on 2nd September local time and then flying directly on to Crete that same afternoon arriving at 4:55 pm. We have 4 nights on Crete then we had planned to ferry to Santorini on 6th for 2 nights before flying back to Athens around midday on the 8th for 2 nights, flying out to Northern Europe early the next morning.

We have just now found that we need to fly out of Athens on 9th which means we lose a day either on Santorini or in Athens – Crete is locked in – and wonder what you suggest please? While we are out in Crete and Santorini it would be helpful to be able to leave the largest of our luggage somewhere safe. Are there lockers at Athens airport and if so would you recommend using them? Or should we try some other place? It would also be helpful to know where and how to find them prior to our arrival if possible please.

Could you please advise your “must see” recommendations for each destination, given our time constraints and also allowing a days rest in Crete following our long haul from NZ.

Any and all comments you have would be very welcome.

Many thanks.

There is luggage storage at the Athens airport. It’s on the arrivals level (turn left as you exit immigration and walk all the way to the end). I’d suggest dropping one night from Athens, not Santorini. In Crete see Knossos and spend plenty of time wandering around Chania. In Santorini do the Oia-Fira hike and at least one tour (boat or winery). In Athens see the Acropolis and walk around the Plaka.

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Great website, thanks for your service! Looks like Hellenic Seaways is offering e-tickets this year. Have you used e-tickets yet? Do you know if you can just board or still have to wait at the little booth? Trying to figure out how early we’ll need to get there, figure less time in advance if it’s an e-ticket.

Thanks, Jessica

Typically, if they have a bar code on them then they’re tickets. If not, they’re vouchers and need to be exchanged for tickets.

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Hi Dave, Excellent website.

I am travelling from Santorini to Crete (Heraklion) by Hellenic Seaways ferry which reaches Crete at 18:50. Would you suggest staying in Heraklion or Chania. I am looking for a relaxed trip with not too much travelling.

Also, I wanted to know that if I am staying at Chania would taxis be available from the port to hotel in Chania. Also do you recommend taking a car rental from Heraklion port itself which I can drop off at Heraklion airport from where I plan to fly off to Athens.

The posted price for a taxi from Heraklion port to Chania is €174. You might be able to negotiate a slightly lower price. And yes, renting a car at the Heraklion port and returning to Heraklion airport is fine.

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Hi Dave, Was looking for a ferry from Heraklion to Santorini on 4th April, but I couldn’t find any ferries. Is there another way to from Crete to Santorini?. Regards Jay

SeaJets was scheduled to start Crete-Santorini on April 4th but they later cancelled those early ferries and delayed the start to April 12. As of now, the earliest ferry service begins on April 6 with Hellenic. Before then you’ll need to fly via Athens.

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Hi Dave! Great website and one of the most informative we’ve encountered thus far. We are planning our 1st trip to Greece. The only thing set in stone is that we are flying into Athens on the 13th of June and back home to the states on the 26th. Our plan was to fly into Athens, the immediately board a flight to Chania where we intend on staying. Rent a car and do some guided tours (Samaria Gorge, Rethymnon, Safari 4×4 tour and Knossos). Then take a fast ferry to Santorini and stay there for a few days then ferry over to Naxos for a couple of days and save our last couple of days for Athens so that we are there already for our return flight home. Essentially 3 full days on Crete and leave on the 4th morning to go to Santorini. 2 full days on Santorini and leave on the 3rd day at some point to go to Naxos – stay that night in Naxos, have a full day there then leave sometime the next day to go from Naxos to Athens. Few questions (though we are open to any and all of your thoughts). 1. Is it easy to rent a car once we land in Chania and are we able to return the car closer to Heraklion where we would be leaving on the ferry to Santorini? 2. Would it be wise to stay somewhere in Chania and split up our time elsewhere on Crete given the things we said above that we wanted to do? 3. Any thoughts about Naxos? We were told it’s just as good as Mykonos but cheaper and less crowded.

We are also open to changing the order in which we see the island as well as perhaps shaving time off of one island and adding it to another if you think it’s worth while.

We LOVE culture, food, and site-seeing.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and provide any feedback – it is much appreciated.

Kindest regards, Danny

1. It’s easy (and common) to rent a car in Chania and dropoff in Heraklion. 2. With only 3 days in Crete I would stay in Chania and not waste time changing hotels. 3. Naxos is wonderful. Yes, a bit like Mykonos but cheaper, less crowded, and no nightlife. Better traditional food too.

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Hi Dave, Great website! I am flying to Athens with my wife and 5 year old in August. We plan on 3 days there. We fly home from Heraklion, Crete. My wife really wants to see Santorini, although more people who know the area are steering us towards Crete for a mixture of beaches and culture. Our general plan is to fly from Athens to Santorini and to stay for 1 night (most of 2 days), then take the ferry to Heraklion where we will rent a car and spend most of our time towards the west. We were thinking 3 days in or around Chania and another 3 maybe at a beach location. Or we could spend all 6 days at one location and take day trips. Elafonisi and Balos look wonderful, but may not be right for us. Others have suggested beaches near Rethymnon. I’m open to suggestions, as well as opinions as to whether our itinerary sounds crazy. The only part of our plan that is set in stone is that we fly to Athens and have to leave from Heraklion. Thank you! Brian

I would spend 3 days in Chania and 3 days in either Agios Nikolaos or Elounda. When traveling between the two make a stop at the Knossos archaeological site.

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Hi Dave, I am considering booking the two day tour from Héraklion to Santorini in October, as advertised on “”. Is that a reputable company? Any better suggestions? Regards and Thanks, Eric

I’ve never booked through that company but the website has been around for years so it’s not something that’s new (for what that’s worth). Viator has a similar Crete-Santorini 2-day tour and I can vouch for them.

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Hi Dave. I am thinking of traveling to Greece in early October. I see your cut-off dates for the ferries is October 12th for this year. However, on the website for SeaJet I see they are running to October 30th. Do you have different information or am I missing something? Specifically, I am looking at the Crete to Santorini and vice versa routes. It is correct that they don’t have daily ferries, but they do have them past the 12th of he month, if I’m viewing it correctly per their website. Any clarity would be appreciated to help me plan. Thanks! Susie

The last ferry (that I can find) is on October 16. (I updated the info above.) But I can’t see anything beyond that on either or the SeaJets online booking app. The only place I see it (and probably where you’re looking) is on the schedule page of SeaJets. It’s not nothing, but it’s less reliable than the ticketing searches so I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in the October 30 cutoff. You can try emailing them at [email protected] . They’re pretty good at replying within 4 to 10 weeks.

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Are there any student discounts on tickets from Crete to Santorini and back? Kate

Only students from Greek public universities get the student discount on ferries in Greece.

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Are tickets round trip? Or will I need to purchase a ticket from crete to santorini and from santorini to crete? Also what is a good website to look at tours while in Santorini? Cory

All ferry tickets are one-way. You can purchase return tickets but they are simply two one-way tickets – there’s no price difference or any other difference. is the best website for booking tours in Santorini (prices, reliability).

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I’m about to book the SeaJets tour from Crete to Santorini

I see there’s a small tour, but does the tour include the beaches in Santorini? How much free time do we really have? I want beach time plus view all the sites as well. Lyn Robertson

Not sure what tour you’re booking but with most Crete-Santorini tours you’ll have about 5 to 6 hours of free time on Santorini. You’ll probably have to choose between spending that on the beach or exploring the caldera towns of Fira, Imerovigli, and Oia. It would be hard to do both as the beaches and caldera are on the opposite sides of the island.

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Hi – Do you think a day trip from Santorini to Crete is worth it? Akua

No, not worth it and not even doable if you’re referring to taking the public ferries which go to Santorini in the morning and to Crete in the evening. (Of course, anything is possible if you spend enough, and there are private helicopter/private boat tours that could do it.)

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Do you have any new information about ferries from Rethymnon to Santorini?

Best regards, Lukas

For the coming year, there is one ferry per week that runs Tuesday from Rethymnon at 8:15am and arrives in Santorini at 10:30am.

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Hi Dave, If I want to leave Mykonos and go to another island for 1 night and 1 day, which island should it be. I will be heading to Santorini for 3 days after leaving your suggested place. Glo

Both Paros and Naxos are wonderful islands and the 2 easiest to make ferry connections between Mykonos and Santorini. There are daily direct ferries for the two routes you’ll take.

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Dear Dave according to the Hellenic Seaways website it is possible to print web bought tickets or show them on your phone when boarding, is it necessary to pass through the Hellenic booths otherwise? Thanks jacques..

As long as they have a bar code then you can use them to board.

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Hi Dave, Just a quick question. I’m trying to buy a ferry ticket (Hellenic Seaways 7 & Seajet) from Herkalion to Santorini on April 9th (one way) but either website is not giving me the option to do so. I see that ferry services commence on the 7th of April. Do you think that is why I can’t buy the tickets ahead of time?

Thanks for your help. Gana Chandratilleke

The first ferry of the year is scheduled for April 11th. This could change but probably not.

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Hi Santorini Dave – Love the site. Quick question (and sorry if this was already asked and I overlooked), are their any other ferries from Heraklion to Thira other than the 8:40am and 9:00am? Was wondering if they had any afternoon and/or evening ferries? Joe D.

Sorry, just the morning ferries to Santorini.

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Hey Dave, Great website thank you. We have used the information to plan our trip to the Greek Islands to celebrate my daughter’s 18th birthday in April. We will be in Santorini at Easter and would value any ideas you might have to experience an authentic Greek Easter (we live in Australia so imagine it will be different to how we celebrate Easter). I am excited to show my daughter Santorini and to visit again after being there 20 years ago. Jo Ackerley

Easter in Greece is a special time and this year it coincides with the churches of western Christianity on Sunday 16 April. Assuming you have your accommodation booked and sorted there are a few things you need to be aware of about Easter in Greece. The week before ‘Anastasi’, or resurrection at midnight of the 15th is a solemn week where little happens and where very little traditional non-fasting food (meat primarily) is available for consumption. Greeks, even if they don’t fast during the 40 days of Lent will almost always go without during ‘Megali Evdomadha’ (Easter, or Great week). Foreign visitors during this time can feel left out.

Restaurants will be offering fasting food only, or may not even be open at all. Post-Easter is the time traditionally when businesses kick-start the season and get rolling, so you will be riding the lull before the storm during Easter week. Even the normally raucous TV stations tone it down and show only mild or religious programmes and clubs and bars will be timid at best. Each parish church will normally run its own programme and in Santorini most festivities will most likely revolve around the main Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral in Fira.

That said there are religious happenings to be aware of with one event happening each night in the lead-up to Anastasi. The two that may be of interest to you and your daughter are the ‘Epitafios’ where the bier of the deceased Christ is carried around the streets followed by throngs of people carrying candles. This happens on the evening of (Good) Friday while the Anastasi happens the following night with the appearance of the priest at midnight bearing a lone candle in a sea of otherwise darkness and gives the light to the awaiting crowd. That one single candle light becomes hundreds within a minute and the church service continues. Firework crackers commonly explode all around the church and pandemonium rules for a few minutes.

What follows is the retreat to homes where the fast is broken with tripe soup (!) and whatever the chef of the house has chosen to prepare plus cracking red-dyed eggs. The feasting and eating (and drinking) may go on until the morning. On Easter Sunday families, traditionally roast lamb on the spit, gather to talk and renew ties and then eat and drink some more.

Now this is all well and good if you are Greek and have a home to go to, but it can be tricky for non-Greeks without ties. Some hotels or restaurants may put on post-Anastasi food, or even organise lamb on the spit on the Sunday but it’s not guaranteed so you’ll need to check with your hosts. It’s not difficult to befriend locals who may invite you along to their own celebrations. If you end up with no firm plans Pyrgos is especially delightful over the Easter weekend (visit at night when the town is alight).

One last thing, travelling before and after Easter can be trying as everyone is on the move. Try not to move during those shoulder periods.

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Great website!!!! We are taking the Hellenic Seaways boat from Heraklion to Santorini on July 21 at 9:00am.

When do we need to buy the ticket??

You could buy them the day before and have a 98% chance of getting on. That said, I’d probably book online a month in advance just for peace of mind.

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When do you think the ferry schedule between Rethymnon and Santorini for the summer will be available?

Thanks, Nathan

I do not think they’ll be any ferries between Rethymnon and Santorini this year. Something could change but it’s getting pretty late and I haven’t heard anything yet. I’d assume for planning purposes that there won’t be anything this year.

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Hi Dave! Such an awesome site! Just a couple of questions: 1) We are flying into Chania on Sept 16th, and are thinking to visit Balos beach. Is the best way to get there by ferry? Do they sail at this time of year. Is Balos beach very busy this time of year? 2) We are also going to get a rental car to explore other sites for the 3 nights we are in Crete, is it possible to drop if off in a different location -Heraklion. 3) We are going to get the ferry to Santorini. How often are the sails cancelled at this time of year, just wondering if we should add an extra day in Santorini just in case, we were only planning for 2 nights before flying to Athens. Tracey Kuzniak

1. The best way to get there is via the Cretan Daily Cruises which run until late October each year. Mid-September is still a pretty busy time for Crete, so you may want to book ahead online a few days before your planned trip. The beach gets ‘busy’ as a result of the cruise trippers, so your group will be the crowd of the day.

You can get there by car – an off-road vehicle is recommended – and there are some basic facilities on the beach for the road trippers – but you really don’t get to see the beauty of the place unless you come by cruise boat and the cruse boat really does provide everything. That said, you don’t really get to appreciate the place as in those glamorous overhead drone photos that show Balos Beach from the air, but the cruise trip is by far the better option.

For the cruise you’ll need to get yourself to the starting point at Kissamos Port from Chania and that is about an 45 minutes’ drive. You can alternatively take a KTEL bus from Chania’s bus station that conveniently dovetails into the departure and arrival back of the cruise boat. A taxi will cost you around €42 each way.

2. Yes, most rentals will allow you to drop at the ferry port parking lot in Heraklion – steps from the ferry to Santorini.

3. There are two ferries a day and both leave in the morning. Ferry cancellations are rare in September. Take the Hellenic for a smaller chance of a cancellation.

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Hello Dave! Great Information! Question, we would like to travel from Santorini to Crete on November 18. It appears a flight is our only option. It that correct? Any advice for getting a good price on the flight? Any tips? We will be staying in Oia for a few days before traveling from Oia to the airport? Lisa

There is not a lot of choice (or difference) with flights and prices. You’ll fly via Athens, search for the best prices.

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Hi Dave Thanks a lot for all the great Infos! For our wedding on May 2nd we are trying to find a good way for our guests to travel to Santorini. We will let them fly to Crete or Athens and need ferry or flights from there, but I can’t find anything end of April (28,29 or 30th of April) Would be very grateful for your help!! Stefanie Thoeny

There will be early morning ferries between 8:30 and 9:30) from Crete to Santorini in late April. Schedule is not out yet but no need to book tickets in advance.

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Hi Dave, fantastic work on the website, your tips are so useful! I flew from Canada with my wife and we are currently visiting Crete (very beautiful) I would like to ask you two questions please: 1- how much does parking a car for one week near the Heraklion Ferry would cost? 2- the car rental company (justrentals) surprised us by telling us we could not bring the rental to Santorini… (its all Greece to us!) and would not refund (or deal) the one week period during which we will be in Santorini, does this sound normal around here in Crete? We still have one week in Crete before we take the Hellenic Seaways Ferry to Santorini. Thank you

There is a large parking lot right at the ferry port and it’s pretty cheap (less than 5€ per day). And yes, you generally can’t take rental cars on the ferry.

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Hi Dave, We are planning to go to Greece in February. What are the options of going from Crete to Santorini? Is it even advisable to go in this time of the year? Prat

There will be flights and ferries from Athens to Crete, and Athens to Santorini in February but not between Crete and Santorini. You’d have to return to Athens to connect to the other island. February can be grey, cool, and wet on the islands. You certainly would not be swimming. That said, some people love visiting in the off-season when crowds are non-existent and the few restaurants open (on Santorini) are populated by locals. The weather is not great but it’s mild and far better than northern Europe.

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Hello Dave, We intend to travel from Heraklion to Santorini on Oct.5th. I have three questions:

How far ahead should one book the ferry? Are there any flying options (can’t afford helicopter!)? What is the best way to go from the ferry dock to Imerovigli?

Many thanks for any advice you can provide, Peter Thomas

1. Book ferry tickets anytime. Actually, you don’t really have to book tickets in advance but most people do for peace of mind. 2. No flights from Crete to Santorini this year in early October. 3. Taxi is the easiest way. Bus is the cheapest (but you’ll need to switch buses in Fira and get the one heading to Oia, then get off at Imerovigli).

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I have to say, your website is great. Heep’s of very useful information. You definitely have a big knowledge of Greece. I would like to ask you maybe a silly question but very important for me. I would like to go to Santorini from Crete and I was wondering what is better, to buy a ticket in Greece or buy it online?

Thank you so much in advance.

Cheers, Kasia

Either way is fine. If you were traveling during high season then booking in advance is probably a good idea (if only for peace of mind). If traveling outside of July and August then you could easily show up at the port and buy a ticket.

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We’ve just woken up and realise we didn’t set our alarms properly and missed our ferry at 9am!!

We REALLY need to get to santorini today!! How do we do it!?!

It’s only 9.30am now, seems silly that we can’t get there if we want – we’re willing to pay!

Charter a helicopter .

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Hey Dave Thanks for the great website. Just a quick note to report issues with SeaJet transfer. Obviously the Crete to Santorini route, in the morning, is rather reliable, but we had a very disappointing experience on the other way, with a 4 to 5 hours delay. The boat departed at 9pm instead of 5, and still arrived later. In the mean time 1/ no excuse or explication or any reliable information by the company or its agent whatever, some of them blaming the 15th of August bank holidays for the delays in the successive ports, nothing about the much slower route and 2/ a very strange feeling about a boat mismanaged : no ac in the economy rooms (but in front an open door to let some see wind come in), no set seats (OK no big deal boat wasn’t full) and everything a little or a lot worn out. Lastly the people in Santorini and some fellow tourists had tales about how this boat (still, the return to Crete route) was always late, and seemed to express a preference for the other company. This also came after a day with no boat sailing due to strong winds and got us to scramble twice for hotel rooms while our Crete bookings were lost. Just to share and to express caution about this particular trip. Feel free not to publish if out of bounds of your own publishing rules. Regards Guillaume Bernard

Yes, I always take (and recommend) Hellenic Seaways over SeaJet whenever there is a choice. That said, the larger the SeaJet (e.g. Tera Jet) the more reliable they are.

Thanks for the feedback.

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Is there a later ferry to Santorini from Heraklion than 9am? I am afraid that our bus from Chania at 5am won’t get there in time.

Andreas Kelster

9am is the latest ferry but your bus should get you to Heraklion in time for the ferry. The bus is scheduled to arrive by 8am. Even if it was 30 minutes late you’d still have time to walk from the bus station to the ferry port (about 5 minutes), get your tickets (10 minutes), and get on the ferry with a little time to spare.

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Hi! I absolutely love all the details! I’m departing from Heraklion port on July 28 and arrive at Santorini port. Should I buy my tickets in advance? I also would like a ferry where I can walk outside the deck. I do want the fastest route as well. What do you recommend? Are the departing times from Crete to Santorini limited?

Thanks! Mona Lisa Estrada

Yes, I would probably buy tickets in advance through the ferry company websites. There are two: Hellenic Seaways and SeaJet but neither have ferries that will allow you to walk on the decks so you’ll be seated inside. Both ferries leave Heraklion in the morning (before 9am) so there’s little choice on time either.

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Is there a problem with rough Seas in the beginning of October?

Nick Nicholas

In particular, no. But anytime can give a pretty bumpy ride on the open seas between Crete and Santorini.

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Is there a place to park a car by the ferry? Can you take a rental car on the ferry? Debbie

In Heraklion, yes there is a parking lot right beside the ferry. Car companies are very reluctant to allow their cars to travel to other islands. In theory, you could get their permission but would definitely be a big hassle. Plus, it’s expensive to take a car on the ferry and you need to book well in advance. And then all that for very little benefit. Much easier to just rent a different car once you get to wherever you’re going.

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Hi Dave. Excuse my ignorance but we have booked tickets for a return trip from Crete (Heraklion) to Santorini in June. I have printed off what appear to be the tickets. Does this mean I can present them directly at the ferry or do I still need to call at the port ticket office?

Without seeing them I can’t say for sure, but I suspect you’ll have to check in at the ticket office. It’s directly opposite the ferry (it’s a 30 second walk from the kiosk to the ferry) so it won’t be a big deal.

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Hi Dave –

Your website is great, thanks for all of the great information on your website, it’s so helpful. I am planning a honeymoon in Greece from May 21 – May 31. We’d like to do 3-4 nights in Santorini and then head to the one of the other islands, and we’re thinking either Crete or Rhodes? Do you have a recommendation between those two? Our criteria are:

– Pretty quiet beach town – Targeted towards couples/adults – Relaxed – Sandy beach if possible – Easy to get to from Santorini

Thanks for any advice! Chris Saxon

Santorini is a great spot to start your trip and May is a great time to visit. You mention Crete or Rhodes as your next destination and you do hint that you may be open to ‘other islands’. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both Rhodes and Crete then at possibly one or two other options that are accessible from Santorini.

From Santorini, Crete is faster and less expensive to get to than Rhodes. Two catamarans run daily between Santorini and Heraklion in Crete leaving Santorini at 17:00 (Sea Jets Consortium) and 17:25 (Hellenic Seaways) respectively arriving in Crete after around 90 minutes. The one-way ticket is €62.00. That leaves you plenty of time to enjoy one final day in Santorini and enjoy dinner in a fine seaside taverna in Crete’s capital, Heraklion. From Santorini to Rhodes it’s a much longer and less frequent ferry ride or a flight via Athens and a connecting flight on to Rhodes. There are plenty of flights during the day but the trip can last between 2 hours and 150 minutes (the 14:30 flight) or 9 hours and and 25 minutes involving an overnight stay in Athens. The ticket price ranges from €116 to €206.

Of the two destinations both Rhodes and Crete meet the kind of criteria that you list, but they are both big islands and vary quite a bit from one end or one side to the other. Of the two, Rhodes is possibly a little more romantic and suitable for a honeymoon – on the proviso that you stay in the exceptionally romantic Old Town of Rhodes. I’d be looking at a cosy boutique hotel with old stone walls and all the mod cons. Avalon Hotel is superb as is the Spirit of the Knights and the Old Town is quite unique. The town beach near the Casino is perfectly sandy and relaxing. Outside of the old Town hotels tend to be less boutique-like and more resorty with infinity pools and your every need pampered to.

Crete is bigger than Rhodes and has a different feel – more rugged, more independent, more mountainous, and culturally the people consider themselves apart from the mainlanders (and quite likely other islanders). It’s a fine destination in its own right and – for honeymooners – can provide just what you are looking for – a touch of luxury, laced with comfort and coziness. Consider one of two possible destinations in Crete: the old world intimacy of Chania’s Old Town, or the new world luxury of Elounda. Both destinations are at opposite ends of this lengthy island. Chania’s Old Town will be more like the Rhodes Old Town experience, while Elounda will give you the lazy, luxurious open feel of the all-in hotel. Beaches are better at Elounda – some hotels have private beaches – while Chania scores relatively low on that feature.

With regards to an alternative destination, a couple come to mind. Just two islands north of Santorini is the archetypically Cycladic island of Paros with just about the right balance of everything: beaches, good food, atmosphere, and top-flight accommodation. Less-touristy and more travel-ly than both Crete and Rhodes, Paros is well connected in terms of transport, has more of an ‘island’ feel and is a perennial favourite with all walk of travellers – and honeymooners.

Here finally is a wildcard that you may not have though of. It’s a bit ‘arty’, popular with Greeks, coy and understated, but meets your criteria. It is Folegandros. Look north west of Santorini and you will see it an almost inconspicuous, Cycladic rock with all the charm that a traditional island can muster. You’d be better served staying in the “Chora” or main settlement up on the cliffs overlooking the cobalt-blue sea, where you can wine and dine in sequestered insouciance and maybe rub shoulders with film directors, football players, or philosophers. One suggestion for a place to stay Fata Morgana high up on the cliffs, but there are plenty more if you look around. For swimming the little beach at Angali (3km) is just fine. Catamaran services link Santorini with Folegandros twice daily.

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Can you tell me if Minoen Air are still trading, we would like to us them this year, but have noticed on the web they have suspended services.

I have been trying to email them but they haven’t responded so yes, perhaps they have stopped running.

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Hi Dave, First, thank you for creating such an amazing resource in your website. It’s wonderful! Second, I want to warn you that the below is so very specific to my vacation & I want to thank you in advance (and apologize!)

We currently booked a trip to Greece and for the last leg of the trip we’re going from Santorini to Crete on July 7th and flying out from Herkalion on Monday, July 11th. I know you mentioned that there are currently no ferries from Santorini to Rethymno, but we really want to stay in Chania for the entirety of the trip to access all the beaches and activities we’d like to do. I am running into many questions and concerns when figuring out how and when to get to Chania.

For July 7th, the only ferries from Santorini to Herkalion arrive in Crete around 7pm. The only bus to Chania leaves at 9pm. This concerns me because 1. what if the ferry is late? 2. it pretty much wastes the night of the 7th. I heard staying in Herkalion should be avoided, mainly because there’s not much to see/do, but staying the night of the 7th seems like the most viable option. Unless of course, a ferry schedule pops up for Santorini to Rethymno.

Here are a couple questions: 1. Should we rent a car the next morning (the 8th) and drive to Chania? Is it dangerous? 2. Is Herkalion an okay city to stay in for the night? 3. If a new ferry schedule were to be released, where should I check? When’s your best guess on when it would come out? 4. What’s your best advice on what we should do? On one hand, the bus ride on the night of the 7th seems like a good idea because we wouldnt have to drive ourselves, and we can wake up the 8th and are ready to go. On the other hand, not wasting a night traveling and staying in Herkalion seems like a good idea. What do you think?

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Jessica

1. If you needed a rental car for other purposes then yes, rent one, but if it’s only to get to Chania then just take an early bus. Here’s the Heraklion to Chania schedule . Is it dangerous driving a car? No more than in Western Europe. 2. Heraklion is great. There’s a wonderful museum, great restaurants, and Knossos (one of the best historical sites in Greece) is a short drive outside of town. 3. Check for the most recent ferry schedules. 4. Personally, I would stay in Heraklion for a night and morning and explore its attractions. But you don’t sound too interested in the city so trying to take the last bus of the day is probably what I would recommend. You’ve got a good two hours between ferry and bus so it should work out. The bus is a 5 minute walk from the ferry port.

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Hi Dave, we are going to stay in Crete from 24th to 31st March. What would be the quickest way to go to Santorini for a day trip or two? Would there be any possibility of those fast ferries starting earlier than 8th April? Please suggest.

The only way to get from Crete to Santorini in March is a flight via Athens or hiring a private helicopter. One takes a half day of travel each way (so you’d have to stay a night to make it at all worthwhile) and the other is very expensive.

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Here I found a one day trip from Crete to Santorini but I don’t understand how much is the transfer from Chania to Agia Marina zone. Or it is not available the transfer? Last year it was 120 euro and it included the excursion in Santorini. Same trip without excursion was 119,6 euro. A little bit strange…. Thenk you, Roxana

You’re right. It doesn’t say anything about a transfer from Chania. They usually do. If you waited to book after you arrive I’m sure you’ll find a tour company in Chania advertising this tour with transfer. Taking the bus is also a possibility. The first one of the day leaves Chania at 5:15 and gets to Heraklion at around 8am. It’s about a 5 minute walk from the bus station to the ferry port in Heraklion.

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Hi Dave. Hoping you can advise regarding transportation. We are leaving Crete on May 31 ( Blue Palace ) and will be heading to Santorini Oia ( Atrina Traditional House ). Which port should I buy a ticket from in Crete? Is there only one port in Santorini? Would like to spend most of the day on the 31st in Crete. What would you suggest? thanks.

You’ll leave from Heraklion port and there is only one port in Santorini. Two different ferries leave at 9am from Heraklion and there are no later ferries.

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Hello Dave,

A friend and I are traveling to Athens in February. We hope to visit both Crete and Santorini; however, I am not having much luck finding ferries between the two islands. Do you have any ideas for the best route to take in the off-season?

Thank you! Aaron Barton

There are no ferries between Crete and Santorini in February. You’ll need to fly or ferry via Athens.

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Thank you for the very informative website and the advice to buy ferry tickets in advance and pick up at the port. We are planning a trip to Crete and Santorini departing on April 8 from Athens to Crete (via air), then a ferry to Santorini on April 11 and back to Athens on April 19 (via air). I don’t see a specific ferry schedule for April, just a comment about mid-April. Do you have an idea when the specific schedule may be released? I may need to change the itinerary and don’t want to make reservations until I see the schedule.

Thanks, Jan

The schedule has not been finalized yet but is currently showing a ferry 7 days a week starting April 8. It’s the Hellenic Highspeed 6 and leaves Heraklion at 9am and gets to Santorini at 10:45am. (It continues to Ios, Paros, and Mykonos.) Not sure when this will be finalized but I personally would feel 98% confident that there’ll be a ferry from Crete to Santorini on your chosen day. (Of course, it could be cancelled for bad weather but that’s a different issue.)

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Dear Dave We will spend one week in Crete and 3 days in Santorini in February 16. What should be the best transport way from and to those slands: ferry boat or by air? Thanks Alvaro Avezum

There will be no direct ferries between Crete and Santorini in February. You’ll need to fly or ferry (very long) via Athens.

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Paleologos Shipping & Travel Enterprises – you listed them in your above details. Are they and all the other mentioned by you reliable? I mean, if I were to go into their office in Iraklio and pay for a two day trip to Santorini from Iraklio, will they be able to give me the ferry tickets and any other paper I will need for accommodation or do I just have to be at the port and pick them up on the trip day? Artemisa

I’ve used them and think they are reliable. I can’t vouch for them other than a few personal experiences. It’s much easier to pick up tickets at the port the morning you depart. I would book hotels online and not through a travel agent.

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Hi Dave. My wife and I are visiting Santorini for 3 nights in June. I see that the Seajet timetable is out. Could you tell me roughly when the Hellenic Seaways timetable will be out please? Thanks.

It should be out the in the New Year.

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Firstly thanks so much for this webpage. It is so useful! Myself and my partner are travelling from Santorini to Chania on June 11th (+/- 1 day) and we are trying to figure out the best way to do this. Originally we were thinking of just catching the late ferry from Santorini – Heraklion and then catching the even later bus, but I saw a comment you made in May about catching a ferry from Santorini to Rethymnon but I can’t find any information about this ferry. Is it true that there is a ferry from Santorini to Rethymnon? And if so where can I find the schedule for this ferry? I also take it that is no Santorini to Chania ferries that you might happen to know about? Ideally, we wanted to fly direct from Santorini to Chania but it doesn’t seem that is an option.

Thanks in advance!

The schedule for ferries to Rethymnon is not out yet (probably in January) but there’s a 95% chance that there will be a ferry from Santorini to Rethymnon for the summer. However, there won’t be a Santorini to Chania ferry.

Thanks Dave. That sounds promising at least. Do you know where i would find the ferry schedule from Santorini – Rethymnon so I can keep an eye out for it? Thanks again, Aaron.

GTP.GR has the most recent and best ferry routes and times.

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Dave, this blog is so helpful! Do you know which company will have the ferry from Rethymno to Thira in the summer (if it does happen)? Thanks! Jocelyn

If it runs it will be with SeaJets.

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Plan unforgettable road trips!

Crete to Santorini Day Trip (2024): options + tips

Last updated on February 7, 2024 by Claire Robinson - this article contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them, I get a small commission ( more )

Planning a holiday in Crete but don’t want to miss the famous island of Santorini?  Don’t worry it is totally feasible either with a group or self-organized. It will be a long day but you will get to see one of the most unique places in the world. Below is my guide to help you plan your Crete to Santorini day trip with tour options, ferries, tips…

Before my tips + photos, here are my favorites for Crete:

day tours from crete to santorini

My favorite platform to rent a car in Crete: DiscoverCars

The unmissable boat tour: Gramvousa island + Balos Lagoon

Fun activity: Quad excursion off the beaten path

My favorite places to stay:

  • Chania: see best rated hotels – e.g. Casa Delfino
  • Palaiochora: see best rated hotels – e.g. Blue Horizon Hotel
  • Rethymno: see best rated hotels – e.g. Leo Hotel

Is a day trip from Crete to Santorini worth it? 

The first question everybody has: Is the day trip from Crete to Santorini worth it. Well it depends… Below are some pros and cons for you to take an informed decision.

Pros of planning a day to visit Santorini –

  • It is the famous island of Santorini with jaw dropping cliffs and charming white houses – this is truly a unique place
  • Crete is only a 2h30 ferry ride from Santorini, if you are not planning a trip to Greece any time soon, it is a great opportunity
  • There are organized tours. So you don’t have to worry about a thing. You just follow the flow.

Cons of planning a day trip to Santorini –

  • It will cost you more than a day trip inside Crete
  • Over one day, you will have the bus then the ferry and same for the return, so you will only have something like 6 hours to really explore the island. Santorini is big and traffic is intense, so you can see only a few spots
  • It is a very crowded place. If you don’t enjoy being surrounded by hundreds people, don’t do it

If you are staying less than a week in Crete, then it is not worth it. There are already amazing sights on the island. If you want a white village, go to Loutro . If you have a week or more and you know you won’t come back soon to Greece, then yes. Especially if it has been a dream for a long time. Some people say they have been disappointed. It is true that it has become extremely touristic, but the craziness of this location with the caldera cliffs and villages is still amazing!

Below is a photo from Oia that might seal the deal.

Is a day trip from Crete to Santorini worth it?

Shortcuts to organized tours in 2023

If you don’t want to read the whole article and just want to look at options where everything is organized for you, check out:

  • a Santorini day trip from Chania – includes hotel pick and drop off, ferry to Santorini, guided bus tour (with air conditioning) to Oia, Fira and a beach stop Check out program and Book
  • a Santorini day trip from Rethymno – includes ferry and guided bus tour (with air conditioning) to Oia, Fira and a beach stop – no hotel pick up as it departs from the easily accessible Rethymno port Check out program and Book
  • a Santorini day trip from Heraklion (or extra bus pick up in Elounda or Agios Nikolaos) – includes ferry to Santorini, guided bus tour (with air conditioning) to Oia, Fira and a beach stop Check out program and Book
  • a Santorini overnight tour – includes way more time to discover this gorgeous island and the opportunity to see the famous Oia sunset – with hotel pick up and drop off in Crete Not available anymore

Overnight Santorini Tours from Crete: the sunset 2

Crete to Santorini Trip – your questions answered

  • How to get to Santorini from Crete? The main option is by ferry. But there is also the option of flying.
  • How long is the ferry ride from Crete to Santorini? Different ferry services run between Crete and Santorini. The high speed catamarans are the fastest. They will take you from Heraklion to Santorini island in approximately 2h30 or from Rethymno to Santorini in 2h50. The ferries are more frequent in Summer with usually 2 per day from Heraklion (April to Mid October).
  • Can you fly from Crete to Santorini? There is a possibility to fly from Crete to Santorini from the Heraklion airport. Sky Express is the company. However there are limited seats and considering how short the ferry ride is, I think the boat is the best option.
  • What is the cheapest way from Crete to Santorini? Swimming 🙂 Kidding… but it is the truth. The ferries are the cheapest options compare to flights.
  • How many days do you need in Santorini ? Ideally I think 3 days is a good time to visit the island of Santorini in order to enjoy the white villages on the rim and the center of the island off the beaten path plus explore the various beaches and admire it by boat. But seeing Santorini is a unique experience, so even with just one day you can already appreciate the impressive cliffs of the caldera and the unique look of the villages.
  • Crete to Santorini day trip price / cost If you are booking one of the organized tours (listed above) it will cost you around 170 euros per person. Any self organized tour will be more expensive.

Santorini cliffs

Travel from Crete to Santorini – ferry ride

If you organized yourself or book an tour, you will have to take a ferry from Crete to Santorini. So here is what it looks like.

Crete to Santorini Ferry companies and departures

There are 2 main companies operating high speed catamaran ferries from Crete to Santorini ( book Greek ferries here ):

  • Seajets – with Champion Jet boats Classic operating hours April to October (but check your ticket) are: Heraklion to Santorini ferry – departure at 7:50  (arriving at 10:15) or departure from 8:40 (arriving at 10:35) and return at 4:50pm from Santorini (arriving at 6:35pm) or return at 5:15pm from Santorini (arriving at 7:15pm) Or Rethymno to Santorini ferry: departure at 7:45  (arriving at 10:35) and return at 4:50pm from Santorini (arriving at 7:50pm)
  • Minoan Lines Classic operating hours April to October (but check your ticket) are:  Departure from Heraklion at 9:40 (arriving at 11:40) and return from Santorini at 5:45pm (arriving at 7:30)
  • There are also larger ferry boats but they take longer (3h45 from Rethymno), so there is no point for a day trip

Seajets Catamaran Ferry

Inside the ferry from Crete to Santorini

You don’t have to be 1h early for boarding. It all goes very fast and access does not open early. If you don’t have an hotel pick up, come to the port 30 to 45min before. Pay attention, the boarding goes very fast. And watch out where you walk. The access on the boat is via the metal hatch and it is uneven flooring. People will leave their luggages and all passengers make their way to the seating areas.

All tickets have a seat number and reserved seat. Find the map to locate your section and then find you number.

All the ferries have some kind of food service.

INside the crete to santorini ferry

If authorized (depending on weather conditions), make sure to go outside as you get closer to Santorini. This way, without doing the small boat tour, you still get to enjoy the caldera with the layers of red and dark rocks and the white villages covering the rim of the volcano.

Crete to Santorini ferry ride 2

You can see the crazy steep cliffs and the white villages atop on the rim of the volcano. Impressive!

Crete to Santorini ferry ride 3

I must admit that getting on and off the ferries were some fo the worst experiences I had while traveling in Greece. They are crowded and there is very little time to get off and for the next travelers to get in. There is only limited space at the port but lots of boats (cruise, ferries, products…) waiting. The good news is that on a day trip you don’t have to carry your luggage around. It will be a lot easier for you.

Ferry arrival in Santorini

From there buses, taxis and pick ups are on the left. If you don’t have any transportation organized, go fast to catch a taxi! 

Option A – Crete to Santorini Day Tour (organized)

If you only have one day, the easiest option for you is really to book an organized tour. You won’t have a choice of where to go, but you won’t have to worry about timing and finding things. Tours to Santorini leave from the ports of Heraklion and Rethymno. If you’re staying in Chania or Agios Nikolaos you’ll get hotel pickup by bus to take you to the port.

Organized tour from Crete to Santorini – Programs

All tours from Crete to Santorini have the same program.

  • The day starts with a hotel pick up if you are in Chania or Agios Nikolaos / Elounda
  • Your ferry departs either from Rethymno or Heraklion
  • You enjoy the 2h30/2h50 on the ferry – food can be purchased
  • Once you arrive in Santorini, you find the bus matching the information you were given
  • The first stop will be the famous village of Oia in the North of the island where you will walk and see the famous view
  • Then you can enjoy Thira, the capital of Santorini – you have free time to explore, shop and eat
  • In the afternoon most offer different options: stay in Thira, head to one of the black sand beaches on the East coast (Perissa or Perivolos) or take a boat tour to the caldera (extra price)
  • And then back to the port, on the ferry and back to the hotel.

Village of Oia

Book your tours

  • Santorini day trip from Chania  –  Check out program and Book
  • Santorini day trip from Rethymno  –  Check out program and Book
  • Santorini day trip from Heraklion  (or extra bus pick up in Elounda or Agios Nikolaos) –  Check out program and Book

Crete to Santorini Day Tour (organized)

Bus tour to Oia & Perissa beach

If you are wondering what you will see on a bus tour where you don’t have a choice, here are a few pictures:

Visiting Oia in Santorini

You will walk the narrow alleys of the white village where you will only see restaurants, hotels and shops.  Even though it is extremely touristic, you can enjoy the local architecture and maze-like experience.

Crete to Santorini Day trip - Bus tour to Oia 4

Don’t miss the many churches and bells

Crete to Santorini Day trip - Bus tour to Oia 5

From several spots in the village you can have impressive views of the volcanic cliffs with the white constructions above. The whole geography is very impressive.

Crete to Santorini Day trip - Bus tour to Oia 2

You can get to the ruins of the castle to see the most photographed place in Greece: Amoudi Bay

Crete to Santorini Day trip - Bus tour to Oia

Bus stop at Perissa Beach

In the afternoon you can spend some time at one of the black sand beaches on the East Coast. Below are pictures of Perissa. The contrast is surprising.

Crete to Santorini Day trip - Perissa beach 1

Santorini Caldera boat tour

My favorite activity in Santorini is the sailing tour. However it takes all day so it is not compatible with your day trip from Crete. But you can still enjoy a shorter tour that goes to the center of the Caldera and its hot waters. This is a extra you can choose on the day trips. For those interesting in geology, this might be a great option.

Santorini Caldera

I don’t drink coffee

But I also like other drinks and sweets! Do you like the free content you find on my blog? All my tips and practical information, without intrusive advertising…

day tours from crete to santorini

Option B – Self-organized Crete to Santorini Day Trip 

Step 1 – book your ferry  .

Book your ticket departing Rethymno or Heraklion. If leaving from Heraklion you can take the earliest one in and book the latest one back, to have to most time available possible in Santorini. Those ferries can get full in Summer so make sure you prebook on the Internet. And at the port get your final ticket from the booths (they open 1h30 to 1h before departure) Book your ferry rides

Step 1b alternative – Crete to Santorini flight

You can also opt for a flight – very limited seats. The company is Sky Express

Step 2 – Book your transportation 

You can either:

  • Book a bus tour (but then it is as limiting as the organized tour)
  • Book a private tour – Check out some options here
  • Rent a car (know that renting from the port is more expensive, but considering you only have one day that’s your best option) – compare prices on on
  • Use public transportation – considering you have only one day, I would not recommend it – unless you just want to go to one place and back to the port. Connecting bus in the main town Thira.

If you are organizing your own visit, consider my favorite places in a section below. And plan enough time for driving and getting back down to the port. There is a lot of traffic on the island!

Self-organized Crete to Santorini Day Trip

Option C – Overnight tour to Santorini from Crete

If you have a little bit more time in Greece, you can plan an overnight tour to Santorini from Crete. Most of what I explained earlier applies; But you can spend the night and explore a bit more. This will allow you to experience the sunsets Santorini is famous for.

Organized tour not available anymore

Overnight Santorini Tours from Crete: the sunset 1

Self organized

As for the day tour, you can also organize things yourself,

  • Step 1 – Book your ferry rides
  • Step 2 – Book your accommodation I recommend staying in Oia if you want to enjoy the famous sunset, or staying in Emporio if you want something different and less touristic or staying in Kamari for a beach stay. Check out the best rated accommodations in Santorini and use the map function Or check out my article about the best places to stay in Santorini.
  • Step 3 – Rent a car – Compare car rental prices on – one of the best customer-rated comparison sites! Choose the car and company you prefer (I recommend a smaller car)

Overnight tour to Santorini from Crete

Define your itinerary in Santorini with my travel guide eBook:

Plan your dream trip in Crete thanks to my guide

Small Mainland Portugal Algarve ebook cover

  • 5 maps to easily plan your itinerary
  • 60+ pre-selected locations
  • GPS coordinates direct to the carparks
  • Tips to make the most of your time
  • 150+ original photos to help you choose

One day in Santorini – My self-organized alternative

I showed you earlier how to plan your own day trip from Crete to Santorini. It you choose this option and rent a car, below are 3 stops I would include on top of Oia.

One day in Santorini - red beach

Those black beaches are for people who want to swim and sunbath. But if you love geology or just amazing scenery, head to the red beach. The cliffs are made of red volcanic rocks and the contrast with the small white church is gorgeous.

Vlichlada Beach

One day in Santorini - Vlichada beach

Vlichada beach is not famous at all (except for naturist who go at the far end). But for those like me who are fascinated by crazy rock formations, this is  a wonderful place. The cliffs are twisted and wave-like sculpted by erosion. I walked for a really long time, mesmerized by the shapes.

One day in Santorini - Emporio

Everybody runs to Oia and Thira. And I understand. They are built on stop of steep cliff with beautiful sea views and white walls contrasting with the dark volcanic rocks. However Emporio was the village that stole my heart in Santorini, in the South center of the island. I was almost alone as I explore the narrow alleys. The geometrical shapes and colors were fascinating. And it felt like traveling back in time.

Are you also planning a road trip in Crete? Check out my eBook to help you plan it: 

Want to see more of the best Crete has to offer ?

  • 40 best landscapes in Crete (in pictures) –  read article
  • 20 best things to do in Crete – read article
  • The 27 best beaches in Crete – read article
  • The most beautiful archaeological sites – read article
  • The best destinations in Crete, where to stay – read article
  • The most beautiful boat trips around Crete – read article
  • Chania or Heraklion or Rethymno – where to go? – read article

Where to stay in Crete?

My favorites:

  • Chania , a charming town:   See best rated accommodations
  • Rethymno , history, beach and central location:  See best rated options
  • Heraklion , main city: See best rated options
  • Palaiochora , for stunning scenery, away from crowds –  See best rated options
  • Mochlos , for a very quiet area: see best rated options
  • For a sandy beach and some nightlife:  Malia  or  Bali

day tours from crete to santorini

And keep track of your own trip!

Crete road trip journal

Want to see more of CRETE?




Best landscapes in Crete (in 40 pictures)

Tourism Crete Travel Guide

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Reader Interactions

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August 7, 2019 at 2:56 PM

Extremely informative thank you. Really want to visit Santorini on a day trip but confused by different options but this has helped. Travel first time to. Greece in 6 weeks

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August 7, 2019 at 3:32 PM

Hi Kathleen Thanks. I am glad you are finding it useful. Greece is really wonderful. Beauty and history. I wish you wonderful travels! Claire

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Santorini, often referred to as Thira, is a picturesque and enchanting island nestled in the Aegean Sea. It forms part of the Cyclades archipelago in Greece. Famous for its breathtaking sunsets, whitewashed buildings with blue domes, and crystal-clear waters. Santorini is a dream destination for travelers from around the world.

Santorini Tour from Crete

Embark on a day trip from Crete to Santorini. The ferry journey promises stunning vistas of the sparkling Aegean Sea. Feel the thrill of island-hopping adventures as you explore this captivating Greek gem.

As you sail towards Santorini, indulge in the beauty of the Cyclades archipelago. Admire the iconic whitewashed buildings perched on cliffs against the azure backdrop. Immerse yourself in the laid-back island atmosphere and soak up the warmth of Greek hospitality.

Arriving in Santorini, prepare to be spellbound by its charm.

Why a Santorini Tour and Not Try it Alone?

Buying a Santorini tour instead of just ferry tickets can be better for a few reasons:

Convenience: Tours plan everything for you, saving you time and effort. You don’t have to worry about figuring out transportation, finding a place to stay, or deciding what to do once you’re on the island.

Guidance: Santorini Tours come with a professional guide who can tell you interesting facts about Santorini, show you the best spots, and help you make the most of your time there. They can give you valuable tips and suggestions.

Cost-effectiveness: Sometimes, tours bundle together different activities or experiences, which can be cheaper than buying each one separately. This can save you money in the long run. We have noticed that are website advertising ferry prices for 16 Euro. That is not true. It is misleading. The cheapest ferry only price during the summer period is around 70 Euro for one way and 140 Euro for both ways. Our tour is cheaper than that, plus it offers transfer in Crete, transfer in Santorini and a tour guide.

Safety: Going on a tour means you’re with a group and have someone responsible for making sure everyone stays safe. This can be reassuring, especially if you’re not familiar with the area.

Overall, buying a Santorini tour gives you a hassle-free and well-planned experience, with the added bonus of having a knowledgeable guide to enhance your trip.

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    Top day trips from Crete, Greece to Santorini: See reviews and photos of Crete to Santorini day trips on Tripadvisor. Find day trips to take today, this coming weekend, or later in April. Book with confidence with our Low Price Guarantee and 24/7 support.

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    Day Tours from Crete to Santorini. View of the Santorini caldera on the day-trip tour from Crete. Santorini Full-Day Tour by Boat – Hotel pick up and drop off for the following towns: Heraklio, Chania, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, and Elounda.

  3. Crete to Santorini Day Trip (2024): options + tips

    Travel from Crete to Santorini – ferry ride. Option A – Crete to Santorini Day Tour (organized) Option B – Self-organized Crete to Santorini Day Trip. Option C – Overnight tour to Santorini from Crete. One day in Santorini – My self-organized alternative.


    One day trip to Santorini from Crete. The unique opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful islands in the world! Our comfortable bus will pick you up from your hotel and bring to the port of Heraklion. There we will embark on the high-speed boat and begin our journey to Santorini.

  5. Santorini from Crete, Day Trips and Cruises

    Crete to Santorini Day Trip from Heraklion. Heraklion Port - Santorini (Oia and Fira Towns) English French German Polish Italian Dutch Romanian Czech Hungarian. From €129.00. 12 hours 50. Explore. 11. Santorini Tour from Rethymno. Rethymno Port - Santorini Island (Oia and Fira Towns) English French German Polish Czech. From €150.00.

  6. Santorini Day Tour From Heraklion 2024

    Day Tour to Santorini Island from Heraklion Crete. 29. from $187.27. Crete, Greece. Santorini 1 Day Cruise and Tour from Heraklion Port in Crete. from $185.07. Crete, Greece. From Heraklion: Small Group 6h Sunset Sailing Trip to Dia Island. 3. from $77.11. Crete, Greece. Agios Nikolaos Evening Catamaran Cruise in Mirabello with Dinner. 25.

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    Full-Day Santorini Island Trip from Crete. 71 Reviews. Crete, Greece. See More. From $194.63. Lowest Price Guarantee. Select Date and Travelers. Check Availability. Free cancellation. up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time) Reserve Now and Pay Later. - Secure your spot while staying flexible. 12 hours. Pickup offered. Mobile ticket

  8. From Crete: Santorini Guided Day Tour and Cruise

    Join a day trip from Crete and visit the most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea, Santorini. Begin your trip with a fast ferry cruise from Heraklion port, then enjoy a guided tour of Oia and Fira. About this activity. Free cancellation. Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund. Reserve now & pay later.