Why so many people travel from Crete to Santorini? Because they are both incredible islands in Greece with something truly unique to offer. With so many things to do in Crete, you can easily spend a week exploring Greece’s largest island. Spend time on the beach, indulge in culinary delights, make new friends, hike mountains and just relax in your gastro hotel. And once you are ready for an adventure, take a day trip from Crete to Santorini and admire one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, with its whitewashed houses on the slopes, all with views of the azure sea and golden sunset. Here’s everything you need to know on how to plan the perfect escape from Crete to Santorini.
Heraklion to Santorini
April to mid-October, 2019
There are three ferry companies that operate between April to mid-October. Their schedule is slightly different so it can accommodate travelers with various time requirements.
The Minoan Line Santorini Palace ferry departs from Heraklion at 9:40 and arrives in Santorini at 11:40. Economy class costs around €70. From Santorini back to Heraklion the ferry leaves at 17:45 and arrives in Heraklion at 19:30.
Please note that ferries can change their schedules or prices with little notice so it’s always best to double-check with your hotel reception for further information.
The Champion Jet1 departs Heraklion at 8:40 and arrives in Santorini at 10:35. It costs €60. It returns slightly earlier than the Minoan Line Santorini Palace, leaving Santorini at 17:20 and getting back to Heraklion at 19:10.
It’s important to note that there are no ferries from Chania to Santorini, so the best bet is to stay in Heraklion in a hotel close to the port.
The ferry takes approximately two hours between Crete and Santorini. If you suffer from seasickness or motion sickness, make sure to ask your pharmacist for pills in advance. Take the motion sickness pills at least 30 minutes before departure.
For day trips, take a small backpack with you with water, your camera, your ID, tickets and leave some space for souvenirs. You’ll find an array of beautiful souvenir shops in Santorini so you will probably wish to purchase a few things for family and friends.
Flights from Crete to Santorini
If a ferry crossing is not for you, you can now fly between Crete and Santorini. You can get tickets with Sky Express, a new airline that has its headquarters in Crete. You can fly from Heraklion’s airport to Santorini. Please note that some of the tickets sell out in advance. There are daily trips to and from Santorini, but taking a day trip will be close to impossible due to flight schedules. We recommend spending at least 1-2 nights in Santorini before coming back to Heraklion.
Where to stay in Heraklion
As most ferries from Heraklion to Santorini depart very early in the morning, we recommend staying as close to the port as possible. Our Legacy Gastro Suites hotel is located just 15 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes walk from the ferry terminal. The Lato Hotel is just 13 minutes’ walk away from the ferry terminal and the Olive Green is just a 16-minute walk.
You can check with the hotel reception to assist you with tickets, pick up and to organize a taxi to and from the ferry terminal if you prefer.
Why visit Santorini from Crete?
Santorini is a magnificent island known for its beautiful landscape and stunning sunsets. Many people go to Santorini to get married or pick the island as a honeymoon destination.
Beyond the whitewashed houses with their cute blue rooftops, there is a wealth of culture waiting to be discovered in Santorini. For a day trip, we recommend immersing yourself in Santorini’s unique culinary delights.
Fava is a split yellow pea cream that you can find as an appetizer on all menus all around Greece. However, the island of Santorini is known for growing some of the best yellow split peas. The “Santorini Fava”, is a “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO) product. The indigenous plant is known as Lathyrus Clymenum L. and has been grown exclusively in Santorini for over 3500 years!
Greece is a sunny destination, which means that vegetables and fruits get infused by sunshine, making them taste fantastic. Tomatoes are large, red and juicy and Santorini leads with its delicious cherry tomatoes which explode with taste in your mouth. Tomato fritters are another Santorini specialty, served with delicious yogurt dip.
Santorini was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, which made the island look rugged and creating a gorgeous array of beaches made up of black, red and white lava.
Santorini is also an island of art, with many creative galleries scattered around the island and boutiques selling handcrafted jewelry.
Whether you wish to visit Santorini for the landscape, its culture, food or art, a day from trip Crete to Santorini is always recommended for the romantics at heart who seek to tick a wonderful destination off their wish list.