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Flying to Santorini from Athens

My friend and I are flying in to Athens, Thursday May 14th at 5:15 pm. Is it too risky to then schedule a flight to Santorini at 7:30pm or 10pm that same day? We figured that since we were in the airport, why not go to Santorini first (in hindsight, we should've booked through there initially) and then have following days in Athens with a cruise in between. We are also checking to make sure that the hotel in Santorini will let us check in that late. Has anyone flown Aegan Air from Athens to Santorini? It looks like it might be best to get the flex fare that allows a free checked bag up to 50 pounds. Costa Marina Villas in Fira? Any other suggestions for low budget/good location in Fira? We thought that would be a good central location since the bus hub is there to go to other parts of the island. We then plan to spend all day Friday and Saturday in Santorini and fly back to Athens on an afternoon/night flight Saturday night. Thanks!

Posted by
7657 posts

There is a risk, the main one being a delay somewhere, too risky? flip a coin. I can't think of many flights to Europe I have been on that have been more than a couple hours late, maybe one or two in a dozen or more. That said, look at what your backup plan is, either a much more expensive air ticket the next day, or a long ferry ride, if you know what the options are, and the cost, then at least you can plan for it.

Another thing to consider though is making some arrangement with a hotel on Santorini for a late arrival, figure if you fly out of athens at 10pm, in Santorini at 11pm, it will be midnight by the time you get to your hotel, small places may have no one at the desk, or at least be expecting check ins.

Posted by
3130 posts

Assuming that you will have already passed through Immigration/Passport Control in some other EU airport, 2.25 hours is more than adequate to make the flight to Santorini as long as you arrive on time.

Posted by
6 posts

Ah, I forgot to say, we're flying from New York City to Athens directly, so we'll be going through immigration/customs in Athens.

Posted by
3335 posts

No Christy it will not be possible to get that 7:30 flight ... 10 pm yes. You were not correct when you say you are flying directly from NYC to Athens -- the only direct (nonstop) flight from USA/NYC to ATHENS is 1x a day Delta arriving 9:30 AM or so. That is always on time even when taking off late (because there's all that transatlantic time to make up for lateness). You are flying Air France with a change in CH deGaulle mid-day sometime. And whenever there's a change at an EU airport, a good chance for delay .. personally I have never seen my flight in midday Europe take off on time for Athens.

It is your best idea to go to Santorini first. You haven't missed out by not booking it initially... because there's no "linkage" between airlines flights from US and the domestic flights to Santorini. YEs u should get the flex tickets. And YES, you can check in late, as long as your hotel knows in advance. My own choice for good budget places to stay is Firostephani -- that's really the north fringe of Fira Town ... all the advantages w.o. the disadvantages. You can get a place at or near the rim and The View, you will avoid busloads of tour-package folks or cruise crowds, yet its easy to get anywhere: (1) FIRA -- you are an easy 15-minute walk to all t he "buzz" and nightlife of Fira town... either along the rim path or a quiet flagstoned lane paralleling the main street and (2) OIA -- right on that main street/road, there's a FIrostephani bus stop for Oia-bound bus (hourly, the first 1 is about 8:30). That way you don't have to struggle thru the fira-town streets to the "Bus Yard."

When people say "budget" it's hard to know what they mean; can u give a range (and in EUROS please; this is a handy conversion site: My top budget GEM in Firostephani is VIlla Fotini... a true bargain, PLUS use of neighboring pool, but its fame is spreading & it may be full. Depending on what your idea of budget is, look at Villa Remvi, Hotel SUnset, HOtel Mylos. Gaby Apts, Hotel Sofia, and on the other side of main road/street, Hotel Margarita.

If u want to see OIA, I would suggest going first thing in the morning, before crowds arrive -- the lighting is best then for taking great photos, and the place is beautifully uncrowded until about 9:45 - 10, then the streets get clogged. Since Friday AM you'll be totally exhausted from your 20+ hours of travel, unless your adrenalin is rushing, devote Friday (day 1) to FIra Town, the caldera view etc.... maybe take a bus down to Akrotiri "dig" if that interests you. If u DO want to go to Oia on Friday, make it late in the day ... by about 4:30, crowds will thin out, and you can enjoy late day light in relative peace --- until sunset-lemmings pour in about 6:30 to pack the pathways. My choice is to find a good restaurant in FIrostephani or Fira town to enjoy the sunset ... roof terrace of STAMI in Fira town is TERRIFIC (ask your hotelier to mark location on your map, and u might stop by ahead to make sure u get a table wit the best view... get there by 7:30 or so, sunset mid-may is about 8:15-8:30).

If flying back on Saturday, your hotel of course will require you to check out at noon, but if you have a late plane u can arrange for them to hold your bags in reception. Remember u must be at airport for check-in 1 hr before departure (despite the fact that you'll hve to hang around waiting), & it takes 30 mins by taxi (€25) to or from airport. No handy fast bus to airport.

I don't quite get what you mean about "a cruise in between" ... did u think you could pick up a cruise starting in Santorini. No can do. We can give the best help if you are specific about homebound departure date/time of day and what you want to do/see in the days besides Santorini stay.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks so much for the great tips! We'll have to consider that area.

Our budget, I'd say we're finding what looks like decent places, clean, quiet, close to bus line and close to walking to the main town of Fira, around $80 a night for two people.

Our itinerary for now:

Wed, May 13th, fly out of Denver->Minneapolis->Paris->Athens
Thursday, May 14th - arrive in Athens at 5:15pm -> take 9:30pm flight to Santorini (we're getting flex tickets in case we need to change), arrive at 10:20pm verifying that hotel will let us check in late, checking on transportation to hotel from airport that late. It looks like from the bus schedule that the last bus is at 7pm, or maybe that's just the winter schedule? We were picking to stay in Fria because of the location to get on the bus and go to different parts of the island.

Friday, May 15th Santorini (still deciding on what we want to see and do)-night in Santorini
Saturday, May 16th Santorini, fly out later in the day back to Athens - night in Athens
Sunday, May 17th, day in Athens, Acropolis - night in Athens
Monday, May 18th, we booked a cruise for 5 nights, leaving Athens at 11am, going to Mykonos, there for 5 hours, cruise overnight
Tuesday, May 19th, Kusadi, Turkey for 6 hours, cruise overnight
Wednesday, May 20th, Rhodes for 11 hours, cruise overnight
Thursday, May 21st, Crete for 4 1/2 hours, cruise to Santorini
Thursday, May 21st, Santorini for 4 1/2 hours, cruise overnight
Friday, May 22nd, back in Athens at 6am - Athens overnight
Sat, May 23rd, day trip to Delphi on bus- Athens overnight
Sun, May 24th, fly out of Athens back to NYC->Denver


Posted by
3130 posts

If there's no bus at the airport convenient to your arrival there will be taxis waiting, and it's not expensive to get to Fira, maybe about €12 is all.