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Renting a Car at the Santorini Ferry Port
Where is the Santorini Ferry Port?
• Ferryhopper.com – The best site for booking and buying Santorini ferry tickets.
Santorini Ferry Port vs Santorini Cruise Port
There are two ports on the island of Santorini: one for ferries and one for cruise ships. The ferry port is Athinios Port, also known as the “New Port” or “Thira Port.” The Old Port of Santorini (aka Skala) accommodates cruise ship tender boats and some private tour boats. All passenger and car/passenger ferries serving Santorini arrive and depart at Athinios Port.
The Santorini Ferry Port is located on the southwest side of the island, about 8km (by road) south of Santorini’s capital town of Fira, 20km south of Oia, and 9 km west of Santorini airport. Athinios is a very busy port, especially during the summer high season, with many ferries departing and arriving daily. For the number of passengers it serves, Athinios Port is very small; it tends to be crowded and can be confusing.
Santorini Ferry Port Transportation
Athinios Port is much too far from any Santorini town to be walkable, so transportation will be needed no matter where on the island you’re staying. Options are bus, taxi, private car or shuttle service, and private transfer arranged via your hotel. Generally, taking the bus is the easiest and cheapest option.
Be advised that most areas in Greece, including Santorini, have public transportation strikes throughout the year. These strikes affect all forms of transit, including, buses, trains, ferries, flights, and taxis. During strikes no buses, no ferries, and only a handful of trains and flights will depart on time (or at all). Taxis tend to be the least affected mode of transport, but in Santorini a taxi is hard to come by on a good day. Though strikes can occur any time, there is always a huge strike on May 1. Avoid booking any ferries or flights that day.
Buses at Santorini Ferry Port
- From the Port: Public buses to Fira, Santorini’s main town and transportation hub, wait at Athinios ferry port after every ferry arrival. They are located to your left as you disembark the boat. Stow any luggage you have either below the bus – the driver will usually be waiting outside the bus to sell you your ticket and direct you, if not you’ll purchase your ticket onboard. Tickets are cash only and cost €2.30/person; the trip takes about 20 minutes. If you are staying anywhere other than in Fira, you will need to change buses (and purchase an additional ticket) to your final destination; timetables are clearly posted at the Fira stop. Buses on Santorini are cheap, comfortable, fairly frequent, and generally reliable. The main bus stop in Fira can seem chaotic, but it’s actually pretty easy to navigate; the only time I don’t recommend taking the bus is if you require a bus change to Oia and you’re traveling with luggage – the Fira-Oia route is extremely popular and it can be difficult to secure a spot for yourself (above) and your luggage (below) at the same time. The current timetable can be found on the KTEL bus official website.
- To the Port: The bus to Athinios ferry port in Santorini only departs from Fira; if you’re staying somewhere else, you’ll first have to take the bus to Fira and then change buses (and buy an additional ticket) to Athinios port. The Fira-Athinios schedule changes daily in accordance with the schedule of ferries leaving the port, and is posted only a couple of days ahead; it is not listed on the website timetable.
Taxis at Santorini Ferry Port
- There are only about 25 taxis serving the entire island of Santorini. Sometimes there will be a few waiting at the port after the arrival of a ferry, but’s it’s not guaranteed – if so, you’ll find them to the left as you disembark the ferry. If there are no taxis waiting, or if you’re not one of the first passengers off the boat to snag one, you could be in for a long wait. Instead of relying on a taxi from the port, travelers who are unwilling to take the bus should book private transfer in advance.
- Santorini taxis are unmetered, with prices negotiated before starting your trip. If a price is not agreed upon in advance, you’re stuck paying whatever the driver asks upon arrival. A taxi from the ferry port to Fira, Firostefani, or Imerovigli should cost about €30 to €35; €30 to €45 from the port to Oia. Expect taxis to be more expensive in the evening and after midnight. Taxis on Santorini only accept cash in euros, and cannot be paid for by credit card.
- All taxis in Greece have a strict four-passenger limit.
Private Car and Shuttle Service at Santorini Ferry
- The best way to get a private transfer from the Santorini ferry port is to pre-book with Welcome Pickups. Prices are determined and paid for in advance, so everything is taken care of before you arrive. After booking your ride you’ll be sent a confirmation email, followed by a photo of your driver so you’ll know exactly who to look for at the port. Your driver will monitor your ferry in case of late arrival, and be waiting for you upon arrival at the port with a welcome sign. Child car seats can be pre-ordered in advance of your trip.
- Welcome Pickups costs about the same as a pre-booked taxi (€35 to €40 to Fira, Firostefani, or Imerovigli; €40 to €50 to Oia), but because they’re pre-paid, you won’t need to worry about having cash on hand.
Car Rental & Parking at the Ferry Port
- In my experience, it’s easiest to pre-book a Santorini rental car online through RentalCars.com. They use reputable international brands and their easy-to-use website makes it simple to find the best deal. If you’re arriving at the Santorini port, the best pick-up locations are either Downtown Fira (take the bus up to Fira from the port and walk to the rental car office: most of the rental car offices are within a 5-minute walk from the bus station) or the Santorini airport (pre-book private transfer from the port to the airport, and then pick up your rental car there).
- You can also reserve rental cars for pick-up at the ferry port – select “Santorini Port”. Be warned, however, that the road up from the port is very steep, very narrow, peppered with sharp switchbacks, and often clogged with traffic – I have never attempted it, don’t plan to, and don’t recommend it.
- Santorini port has a small and very loosely organized parking area, located to the left as you exit the ship. The port is usually packed with tourists, buses, and cars when a ferry is arriving or departing so be prepared for chaos. (Once again, I do not recommend picking up a rental car from the ferry port.)
Santorini Port to the Airport
- In high-season there is often a ferry port to airport bus. But there is no regularly scheduled bus that does the port-to-airport route. To get from the Santorini port to the airport (when the direct bus is not running) first take the bus from the port up to Fira, and then change buses (buying an additional ticket) to the airport; buses from Fira to the airport depart every hour or so. A bus ticket from the port to Fira costs €2.30 (20 minutes trip), and the bus from Fira to the airport is €1.80 (10 minutes). Cash only. (Santorini Bus Timetable)
- There is often a handful of Taxis waiting at the port after the arrival of a ferry, but sometimes not – and, as there are only 25 taxis that serve the entire island, your chances of securing one are low. Especially if you have a flight to catch, it’s best not to rely on a taxi. Pre-book a ride via Welcome Pickups instead.
- A pre-booked ride from Welcome Pickups from Athinios Port to the Santorini airport will cost around €50 – similar to a pre-booked taxi. Drivers are English-speaking, monitor the ferry schedule for delays, and wait for you upon your arrival at the port with a welcome sign. Car seats are available on request.
Santorini Port to Fira
- The easiest and cheapest way to get to Fira from Athinios port is by bus. Buses in Santorini are clean, comfortable, and reliable, and there are always buses waiting at the port after a ferry arrival. Find the local buses parked to your left as you disembark, pay the driver before you board (or sometimes onboard), stow your luggage under the bus, and choose your seat. The fare from Athinios port to Fira is €2.30/person, and the trip takes about 20 minutes. Bus fares are paid in cash only. The Fira bus station is centrally located near the beginning of the cliffside pedestrian-only zone. (Map)
- If you have a lot of luggage, require a child car seat, or your lodging in Fira is not located near the bus station, it’s best to pre-book a ride from Welcome Pickups. These pre-arranged rides are also pre-paid, with fares from the port to Fira ranging from about €35 to €40 – the same as a pre-booked taxi.
- Taxis are sometimes waiting at the port after the arrival of a ferry, but sometimes not. There are only 25 taxis on the whole island, so your chances of securing one are low. It’s much safer to pre-book a ride via Welcome Pickups than to hope for a taxi. Also, Welcome Pickups rides are paid for in advance (Santorini taxis only take cash), larger minivan-sized rides are available (there is a strict 4-passenger taxi limit in Greece), and you can arrange for a child car seat if needed.
- Many of the best Fira hotels offer complimentary port transfer, arranged in advance.
Santorini Port to Oia
- There is no direct bus from Athinios Port to Oia. Getting to Oia by bus requires a transfer at the somewhat chaotic bus station in Fira; the Fira-Oia route is the most heavily-used on the island, and it can be difficult to secure a spot for both your luggage (below the bus) and your person (inside the bus) before the bus fills up. Unless you are traveling without luggage, I do not recommend taking the bus from Athinios port to Oia. The fare from Athinios port to Fira is €2.30/person, and the trip takes about 20 minutes; the fare from Fira to Oia is €1.80/person, and the trip takes about half an hour. Bus fares are cash only. (Santorini Bus Timetable)
- The best way to get to Oia from the Santorini Ferry Port is to pre-book a ride from Welcome Pickups. Drivers are English-speaking, monitor the ferry schedule, and wait for you at the port with a welcome sign. Welcome Pickups fares are pre-paid and will cost around €50 from the port to Oia – the same as a pre-booked taxi. Car seats are available on request.
- Taxis are sometimes waiting at the port after the arrival of a ferry, but sometimes not. And with only 25 taxis on the island in total, chances of securing one after you disembark are low – unless you are super speedy and have sharp elbows. It’s much less of a gamble to pre-book a ride via Welcome Pickups than to hope for a taxi. Other benefits to Welcome Pickups over taxi: pre-paid online (taxis on Santorini only take cash), you can get a larger minivan-sized ride (Greek taxis have a strict 4-passenger limit), and you can arrange for a child car seat if needed.
- Many of my favorite Oia hotels offer pre-arranged complimentary port transfer or will arrange a pre-booked taxi for their guests.
Santorini Port to Imerovigli
- The cheapest way to get from Athinios port to Imerovigli is by bus. Clean, comfortable, and reliable buses are always waiting at the port after a ferry arrival; find the local buses parked to your left as you disembark, pay the driver before you board (or sometimes onboard the bus), stow your luggage under the bus, and choose your seat. Bus fares are paid in cash only. There is no direct bus from the port to Imerovigli; the trip requires a transfer (and an additional fare) at the Fira bus station. The fare from Athinios port to Fira is €2.30/person (20-minute trip), the fare from Fira to Imerovigli is €1.80/person (also 20 minutes). Buses to Imerovigli depart from the Fira bus station hourly from 8am to 10pm. (Santorini Bus Timetable) The Imerovigli bus stop is located near the town entrance, a 5 to 10-minute walk to most cliffside hotels. (Map)
- The easiest way to get to Imerovigli from the Santorini Ferry Port is to pre-book a ride from Welcome Pickups. English-speaking drivers communicate with you about your trip in advance, monitor the ferry schedule for delays or schedule changes, and wait with a welcome sign when you arrive. A pre-paid Welcome Pickups fare from the port to Imerovigli will be around €40, similar to a pre-booked taxi. Car seats are available on request.
- I don’t recommend relying on a taxi to get from the port to Imerovigli. There are only 25 on the island, and often there will be none waiting at the port after a ferry arrival. Pre-book a ride via Welcome Pickups instead: it’s arranged in advance (no stressing about finding a taxi), paid for in advance (taxis on Santorini only take cash), you can book a larger minivan-sized ride if needed (Greek taxis have a strict 4-passenger limit), and you can arrange for a child car seat if needed.
- Many of the best hotels in Imerovigli will provide complimentary port transfer or pre-arrange transfer for their guests. Call or email ahead to arrange.
Santorini Port to Kamari
- Taking the bus is the cheapest way to get from the Santorini ferry port to Kamari, and it’s pretty easy to do so. Santorini buses are clean, comfortable, and generally reliable, and there are always buses waiting at the port after a ferry arrival. Local buses will be parked to your left as you get off the ferry; pay the driver before you board (or sometimes on the bus itself), stow your luggage under the bus, and you’re good to go. Note the bus fares are cash only. There is no direct bus from the port to Kamari; the trip requires a transfer (and an additional fare) at the Fira bus station. The fare from Athinios port to Fira is €2.30/person (20-minute trip), and the fare from Fira to Kamari is €1.80/person (25-30 minutes). Buses to Kamari depart from the Fira bus station regularly from 7am to 11:30pm – usually every 20 minutes or so. (Santorini Bus Timetable) The Kamari bus stop is located in downtown Kamari, a 5 to 15-minute walk to most Kamari hotels. (Map)
- The easiest way to get from the Santorini Ferry Port to Kamari is to pre-book a ride from Welcome Pickups. English-speaking drivers will monitor the ferry schedule for delays or schedule changes, and will be waiting with a welcome sign at the port when you get off the boat. Rides are prearranged and pre-paid; fare from the port to Kamari is similar to a pre-booked taxi, around €40. Car seats are available on request.
- Don’t rely on a taxi to get from the port to Imerovigli. There are only 25 on the island, so there’s no guarantee that any will be waiting at the port when you arrive – or that you’d be lucky enough to snag it if there were. Better to pre-book a ride via Welcome Pickups: rides are arranged and paid for in advance (no stressing about finding a taxi or having enough cash onhand to pay), you can book a larger minivan-sized ride (Greek taxis have a strict 4-passenger limit), and you can arrange for a child car seat, if needed.
- Many of the best Kamari hotels will provide complimentary port transfer or pre-arrange transfer for their guests. Call or email the hotel in advance to arrange.
Santorini Ferry Port Video
Tickets for Santorini Ferries
• Ferryhopper.com – The best site for booking and buying ferry tickets.
How Early to Arrive for Santorini Ferry Departures?
- The Santorini ferry port is small, but it’s also one of the most heavily-used in Greece – so it can be hectic, especially during the summer high season. Expect some chaos, and arrive at least an hour before your ferry’s scheduled departure. This will give you enough time to pick up your tickets (do this first, as ticket collection points can get crowded just prior to departure) and chill out at the port, knowing that your spot on the boat is secured. In addition to the passenger waiting station, Athinios Port also has a few small minimarts and cafes; it’s easy and pleasant to grab a bite or a drink while you wait.
Should I buy my ferry tickets in advance or at the port?
- Santorini is a Greek island-hopping hot spot, so it’s a good idea to purchase ferry tickets in advance – especially for travel between June and September. During spring, fall, and winter, it’s usually not a problem to show up at the port an hour early and purchase tickets there, but I still like to book in advance if possible, just to be on the safe side. FerryHopper.com has an easy to use search function to research ferry routes, schedules, and prices whether you’re buying in advance from their website or purchasing at the port. Ferryhopper is also great at contacting their customers to inform them of any ferry changes, cancelations, or delays; if you’re buying in advance, I recommend doing so through their website. Some ferry lines offer e-tickets, which can be booked online through Ferryhopper. Any other tickets booked in advance can be collected at the port an hour prior to the ferry’s departure.
Where are the ticket kiosks in the Santorini Ferry Port?
Do Greek ferries use e-tickets?
- Certain Greek ferry companies, such as Golden Star Ferries and Aegean Speed Lines, now offer electronic tickets, eliminating the need to collect physical tickets at the port. After booking e-tickets on FerryHopper.com, you will receive a confirmation email with links to web check-in. After checking in online on the day of your departure, you can then download your boarding pass to print on your own or keep in your phone/tablet to present when you board the ferry.
Delivery of Santorini Ferry Tickets
- Some ferry companies allow you to have your tickets delivered in advance to your hotel, but don’t do this. Schedule changes are common, and once you are in physical possession of your tickets, any cancellation or modification can only be processed in person by a representative of your ferry company – for a fee. It’s much easier to book e-tickets or pick up your paper ferry tickets at the port an hour before departure.
Santorini Port Ferry Schedules
FerryHopper.com will have the most up-to-date schedules and fares for Greek ferries and is the best way to buy ferry tickets. Although most ferries do not sell out, for peace of mind I recommend booking tickets 2 to 3 months in advance.
Staying Near the Santorini Ferry Port
- There are no hotels close to the Santorini ferry port. Regardless of where you stay on the island, you’ll require a taxi, bus, or pre-booked transfer to get to and from the port, so I generally don’t recommend moving hotels just to be close to the ferry.
- Fira is the closest town to Athinios Port and the only town with direct buses to and from the port. Every other town will require a change of bus in Fira. The most convenient Fira hotels for the bus to the port are Angel Luxury Suites (luxury), Atlantis Hotel (mid-range), and Petini’s Place (budget).
- If you’re taking a taxi or booking a ride with Welcome Pickups, there’s little difference in cost and time to get between any Santorini town and the port, so stay in your preferred town and don’t worry too much about convenience.
Santorini Ferry Port Photos
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