Sailing the Azure: Your Ultimate Itinerary from Athens, Greece to Santorini by Boat

Yia sas, fellow wanderers! I’ve always been captivated by the allure of the Greek islands, and the journey from Athens, Greece, to Santorini by boat is an absolute dream. Picture this: stunning sunsets, crystal-clear waters, and charming villages. 

Whether you’re a budget-conscious backpacker like me or fancy a taste of luxury, there are options to suit every traveller. I’ve hopped on ferries and chartered private yachts, and each experience offers a unique slice of this Aegean paradise. 

So, if you’re itching for an unforgettable adventure, grab your sunglasses and let’s dive into the magic of island hopping. I’ll share my insider tips and favourite routes to help you craft your own perfect itinerary. Trust me, this is one journey you won’t want to miss!

Ferrying Through the Aegean

Hopping on a ferry is a classic way to island hop, and it’s my go-to for budget-friendly adventures. They’re super convenient, with frequent departures from Athens’ Piraeus port. 

Plus, you get to mingle with locals and fellow travellers, soaking up the lively atmosphere. Of course, ferries might not be as glamorous as a private yacht, but they offer a charm all their own.

Choosing the right ferry depends on your priorities. High-speed ferries like the Blue Star Ferries zip you to Santorini in about five hours, while conventional ferries take around eight. 

Quick Pro Tips For You

If you’re prone to seasickness, opt for a larger, more stable ferry and grab a seat on the deck for fresh air. Most ferries have cafes and shops, but bring a book or some music for entertainment, as the journey can be a bit long.

I always use websites like Ferryhopper or Direct Ferries to compare prices and schedules. Book your tickets in advance, especially during peak season, and keep an eye out for last-minute deals if you’re flexible. 

Travelling along the seas of Greece via boat

And here’s a pro tip: consider a Greek island hopping itinerary that includes stops at other islands like Paros or Naxos along the way!

Choosing Your Ferry

  • High-speed: Faster but pricier, great for short on time.
  • Conventional: Slower but more affordable, with a laid-back vibe.
  • Amenities: Some have cafes, shops, Wi-Fi, and even swimming pools!

Packing for Your Ferry Adventure

  • Seasickness remedies: Just in case!
  • Skin protection: Bring your shades, cap or hat, and sunscreen 
  • Entertainment: Book, music, or games to pass the time.

Chartering Your Dream Voyage

Now, if you’re dreaming of a truly luxurious escape, chartering a private boat is the way to go. You get to be the captain of your own adventure, designing a personalized itinerary that hits all your must-see spots. 

It’s like having your own floating villa, complete with a crew to cater to your every whim. Plus, you’ll have access to secluded coves and hidden beaches that ferry passengers can only dream of.

You’ll find a wide range of boats available for charter in Greece, from sleek catamarans to charming sailboats and traditional gulets. Choose one that suits your group size and budget, and make sure it has the amenities you desire, whether that’s a Jacuzzi on deck or a fully stocked bar. 

To find a reputable charter company, I recommend checking out platforms like Zizoo or contacting a local travel agency for recommendations.

Chartering a luxury yacht in Greece is surprisingly affordable, especially if you split the cost with friends or family. 

Prices vary depending on the boat type, duration, and itinerary, but you can expect to pay anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of euros per week. It might sound like a splurge, but the experience is truly priceless.

Boat, a famous mode of transportation and tourism in Greece

Crafting Your Dream Itinerary

  • Must-see stops: Santorini is a given, but consider adding islands like Milos, Folegandros, or Sifnos to your itinerary.
  • Hidden gems: Ask your captain or crew for recommendations on secluded coves and off-the-beaten-path spots.
  • Wine tasting: Santorini is famous for its unique wines, so why not visit a local winery for a tasting?

Exploring the Magic of Santorini 

This iconic island is a feast for the senses, with its whitewashed villages perched on dramatic cliffs, black sand beaches, and breathtaking sunsets. Once you arrive, be sure to explore the charming villages of Oia and Fira, wander through ancient ruins like Akrotiri, and indulge in fresh seafood and local delicacies. 

If you’re arriving by boat, take advantage of your unique perspective by exploring secluded coves accessible only from the water.

Try Wine Tasting

For an unforgettable experience, book a wine tasting at one of Santorini’s many vineyards. The volcanic soil here produces distinctive wines with unique flavours, and many wineries offer tours and tastings with stunning views. 

If you’re visiting during peak season, consider taking a day trip to a nearby island like Ios or Folegandros to escape the crowds and discover a different side of the Cyclades.

Athens, Greece, to Santorini by boat

As you sail from Athens to Santorini, keep your camera ready! The Aegean Sea is full of photogenic moments, from the sparkling water to the picturesque islands dotting the horizon. 

In Santorini, don’t miss the chance to capture the iconic blue-domed churches of Oia or the colourful houses cascading down the cliffs in Fira. If you’re a history buff, visit the Archaeological Museum of Santorini or the Museum of Prehistoric Thera to learn about the island’s fascinating past. 

These spots make the trip from Athens, Greece, to Santorini by boat really worthwhile. 

Santorini at early evening 

The Cost of Your Journey

The cost of your journey will depend on your chosen mode of transport and your travel style. Ferry tickets can start as low as €40, while private boat charters can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of euros per week. 

Accommodation on Santorini can also vary, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious hotels with private pools and caldera views. It’s worth noting that Santorini can be pricey, especially during peak season, so plan your budget accordingly.

No matter how you choose to travel, your voyage from Athens to Santorini is sure to be an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags, set sail, and let the magic of the Greek islands sweep you away!

Wrapping Up

Are you ready to embark on your own Aegean adventure? Whether you choose to hop aboard a ferry or indulge in a luxury yacht charter, the journey from Athens, Greece, to Santorini by boat promises to be an unforgettable experience. 

It’s a chance to witness the stunning beauty of the Greek islands, explore hidden coves, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, what are you waiting for? Set sail and let the winds of the Aegean guide you to your own slice of paradise. Trust me, this is one journey you’ll cherish forever.

Make Your Trip Easier

I’m all about planning trips on your own and figuring your way around the local scene. But still, I don’t want to leave you like a fish out of water!

Here are some resources I regularly use whenever I travel (on my own or with other people):

xo, Alice


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