How to Take the Ferry from Santorini to Paros

How to Take the Ferry from Santorini to Paros

Most popular Greek island hopping destinations include magnificent Santorini island, followed by the cosmopolitan Paros island, so here is absolutely everything you need to know about booking and taking a ferry from Santorini to Paros.

Luckily the two Greek islands are connected by multiple daily ferries and I will share with you all you need to know for the journey – how to buy the ferry tickets, find timetables, choose the right ferry and ferry routes, and find your way to and around the ports of Santorini (Athinios port) and Paros (Parikia port).

Santorini to Paros Ferry Essentials


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Santorini is a very thin island with a very particular layout and geography. As it grew in popularity and visits, the original harbor became small, and another one was introduced.

Approaching Athinios Port by Ferry, Santorini
Approaching Athinios Port, Santorini on Ferry (water spray on lens)

Nowadays Santorini has two ports, but only one is a ferry passenger port – Athinios Ferry Port, also known around the island as the New Port or Thira (Fira) Port.

The original one is called Gialos, or the Old Port and it serves only cruise ships and local day trip vessels.

To avoid any confusion, if you are taking a ferry to reach or leave Santorini, the departure port you need is Athinios port.

Santorini and Paros tend to get busy during the summer high season, although they are connected to Athens and neighboring islands by many daily ferries.

Athinios Port in late September, Santorini, Greece
Travelers arriving with ferry cruisers at Athinios Port in Santorini, Greece

Book your tickets on time to avoid crowds and sold-out ferries.

Although cancellations due to bad weather conditions are highly unlikely to happen during the summer months, they may occur during the winter. In case you are flying out from Santorini or Paros, book a ferry crossing a day in advance.   

Best to book several months in advance. This helps with the changes in the ferry ticket prices as they can become more expensive the closer to your travel date.

Most of the tickets you buy online will have a QR code or a bar code printed on them. This means you only need to print them out or have them ready on your phone to embark.

Pretty much everyone these days just holds their phone up to the card reader of the ferry staff members as you embark and then enter the ferry and find your seat. An electronic ticket is super easy. The ebst palce to get them is Ferryhopper.

Greek ferries are run by large private ferry operators and are very reliable.

Blue Star Ferries Ferry leaving Paros Island, Greece
Blue Star Ferries Ferry leaving Paros Island, Greece

They are also a lifeline of this semi-insular country with almost 200 inhabited Greek islands, so they run regardless of tourism business. Nevertheless, knowing some details is useful:

⛴️ Almost all inter-island ferries service a group of islands or even several groups of islands in one line. This means that the vessel will depart from its initial port on time, but may be a bit late on each next port of call due to weather and embarking procedures.

⛴️ Many locals use online vessel tracking applications to see the location of the boat and calculate the delay. Nevertheless, be in the port on time for your scheduled time of departure.

⛴️ Greece is known for its strikes that bring all public transportation to a halt for a day. This means buses, trains, ferries, airplanes, and even taxis. Luckily, no more than one or two strikes per summer in Greece.

⛴️ International Workers’ Day – May the 1st – is always a strike day, make no bookings on that day!

🧳 Check with your ferry operators for the limitations. However, all allow one large piece up to 50kg and no limitations on hand luggage. Some even have no limitations whatsoever.

Ferry Luggage Storage Area on Seajets Ferry from Santorini to Paros
Ferry Luggage Storage Area on Seajets Ferry from Santorini to Paros

🧳 Large suitcases and oversized items (bicycles, surf, and other water-sports equipment, hiking or diving gear, etc.) need to be placed in the cargo area of the boat, which is the area you use for embarking.

🧳 Usually, the officers point to where to leave your luggage for a specific island. Paros is always well indicated on ferries departing Santorini.

Big ferries carry all sorts of vehicles, as they are the essential way to connect islands with the mainland.

Cars and passengers are lined up beside each other and are ready to disembark the ferry
Cars and passengers are lined up beside each other and are ready to disemark the ferry

However, taking your vehicle on this journey is rather expensive and the rates vary depending on the type and the length of the vehicle.

Indicative vehicle ticket prices for Santorini to Paros ferries:

💶 Motorbikes – from €21

💶 Cars – from €87 (small and medium) to €150 (large family cars)

💶 Motorhomes – between €100-200

🐾 Pets can be brought on board and when booking, you need to indicate you will have a pet companion on the journey.

🐾 Bring along all the certificates, tickets and any food or water your pet needs during the journey.

🐾 There are no costs for bringing pets on these routes.

How to get from Santorini to Paros – ferry timetables, duration, ferry routes, type of ferries + ferry ticket prices

Santorini and Paros are connected by as many as 6 daily ferries during the summer high season.

During the busy months of July and August, additional vessels are brought into service making more crossings than during the spring (April-Jun) and autumn months (September-November).

Although year-round, during the winter these ferries are limited in number.

During the summer, ferries depart from early morning (before 7 am) until early afternoon (the latest ferry at 3:30 pm for the year 2022).

Santorini to Paros crossing takes between 2 and 3+ hours (120 – 180+ minutes), depending on the type of ferries you choose and the scheduled stops.

Large ferries are more stable, and more comfortable but slower. The catamarans are quick (2 hours), but can be uncomfortable when the seas are choppy.

If you are a sensitive traveler or suffer from sea sickness, avoid fast ferries.

There are ferries sailing directly to Paros, while others will make one or a few stops along the way. The usual stops on the route from Santorini to Paros are the islands of Ios and/or Naxos.

Similarly, ferries sailing from Crete will usually stop in Santorini then Paros and onwards to other islands or Athens

Direct high-speed ferries are around 2 hours. Slow ferries and those calling to other islands will take 3:30 or up to 5 hours. Check the duration when booking.

At least 4 ferry companies are making ferry crossings from Santorini to Paros.

⛴️ Seajet: Depending on the season, Seajet operates one to three ferries – catamarans: PowerJet, Caldera Vista, SifnosJet, or NaxosJet.

Indicative ticket prices range from €26.3 (for the slow Caldera Vista) to €43.9. WiFi at extra cost.

⛴️ Blue Star Ferries: This ferry company offers the largest and the most comfortable, albeit slowest ferries. Blue Star Ferries operates Blue Star Patmos and Blue Star Delos.

KTEL Bus terminal at Parikia Port, Paros, Greece
KTEL Bus terminal at Parikia Port, Paros, Greece

Several seating options are available – a simple ticket will get you to some inside areas, with basic chairs and tables around you, and/or most outdoor decks with benches or chairs.

Upgrading to a (designated) airplane seat is cheap and very much worth the difference of several euros.

Snacks and drinks are available on board. These conventional ferries are usually the cheapest (from €32.5) and there is no free WiFi.

To get a WiFicode you need to wait until the ferry departs then go to the information/concierge or to the cafeterias/snack bars, depending on the type of ferry. You can buy a wifi code there.

Snack on SeaJet ferry from Santorini, Greece
Snack on SeaJet ferry from Santorini, Greece

⛴️ Minoan Lines: This company has one fast ferry – a catamaran on the Santorini to Paros route, the Santorini Palace. Minoan Lines is the fastest ferry option. Prices from €44, free WiFi.

⛴️ Golden Star Ferries: One ferry-catamaran, the Superexpress, is operating daily on the Santorini – Paros line.   

Getting to Santorini departure Port Athinios

The Bus to Santorini Port leaves Thira (Fira) several times a day at 11:30, 12.00, and 14.30. The bus ride takes 25 minutes and the indicative single ticket price is €2.3.

If you are coming from the airport, you need to get to Thira (Fira) first. Buses from the airport to Thira are very frequent.

Private transfers are also available and are a sensible option if you are not leaving from Thira (Fira). I use private transfers to and from many ferry ports, but especially Santorini because it removes some of the stress of the process.

What to do once you’ve arrived in Paros?

Paros is one of the most beautiful of the Cyclades islands, with a traditional background and the same time, a cosmopolitan feeling.

Just another beautiful home in Paros Island, Greece
Just another beautiful home in Paros Island, Greece

You’ll disembark in the town of Parikia, the capital and the ferry port of Paros. It is one of the most picturesque Chora (main towns) in the whole archipelago, almost as beautiful as Mykonos Chora!

If you’re only here for a day or two, it’s best to stay in Parikia as great beaches, a Venetian castle, maze-like narrow alleys of whitewashed houses, an archaeological museum, bars, and restaurants are all within walking distance.

Naoussa is the other main settlement on the island and is more beautiful than Parikia! And if you have a few days, don’t miss lovely Lefkes, which is the prettiest village in Paros.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy ferry tickets?

The best place to search ticket prices, timetables, and buy tickets is a site called Ferryhopper which covers 80 ferry companies in 22 countries and guarantees the lowest fare.
Booking Santorini to Paros tickets should be done in advance. Ferry tickets sell up in advance and you should avoid waiting for last-minute deals on the Santorini to Paros route.

Are Santorini and Paros close?

Santorini and Paros are in the same group of islands, the Cyclades islands and the distance between them is 43 nautical miles which is 80 kilometers or 50 km. Fast ferries cover the distance between the two islands in 2 hours.

How long before my ferry should I come to the Santorini Athinios port?

One hour in advance. Avoid the crowds, stock up in one of the mini-markets, and grab a drink in a café while you watch the world go by in one of the busiest ports in the Med.
People will begin queueing up in peak season an hour before the scheduled departure.

How long does it take to get to Paros from Santorini?

Depending on the ferry, you can travel between Paros and Santorini in 2 hours if it is a fast and direct ferry. Slower ferries with more stops will be cheaper by can take 5 or more hours.

What about the wind on the Cyclades? How to cross the Santorini Paros route?

Summer winds in Greece can be strong. The wind is called the Meltemi and it is strong in Santorini, especially in May.
Avoid the fastest ferry; slow and big ferries make it a smooth ferry ride.

Which is the best ferry?

The best ferry is the one that leaves you with the most time to explore Paros. Greek island hopping usually consists of short hops and it doesn’t matter if it’s a 35 or 55-minute ferry as the service doesn’t vary enormously. My preference is Fast Ferries because they have the nicest ships but they are for the longer hauls across the Aegean. All that really matters is that for a day trip, you get at least 6 hours to explore!

Can I fly from Santorini to Paros?

It is possible to fly from Santorini to Paros and from Paros to Santorini. The issue is that there are no direct flights and you need to fly first to Athens. There are many flights daily from Santorini to Athens and many flights from Athens to Paros.

However, these flights are more expensive, time-consuming, and impose luggage limitations that you don’t have on ferries Sometimes it’s a line ball call when the flight times are good and the prices low, but generally, the ferry is the simplest option.