Santorini, with its iconic white-washed buildings and stunning sunsets, is a dream destination for many travelers visiting Greece. Chania, located on the island of Crete, is another gem known for its Venetian harbor, charming old town, and beautiful landscapes. If you’re staying in Chania and wondering whether you can squeeze in a day trip to Santorini, this blog post will help you navigate the logistics and feasibility of such an adventure.

Is a Day Trip from Chania to Santorini Possible?

Technically, yes, a day trip from Chania to Santorini is possible, but it requires careful planning and a willingness to spend a significant amount of time traveling. The primary considerations are travel time, transport options, and what you hope to experience on the island.

Travel Options from Chania to Santorini

By Ferry:

Ferries are the most common way to travel between Crete and Santorini. However, the journey can be time-consuming:

  1. High-Speed Ferry:
    • Duration: Approximately 2 to 3 hours
    • Companies: SeaJets, Minoan Lines
    • Schedule: High-speed ferries usually operate during the summer months and have limited departures per day. It’s essential to check the schedule in advance as departure times can vary.
  2. Conventional Ferry:
    • Duration: Approximately 4 to 6 hours
    • Companies: Anek Lines, Blue Star Ferries
    • Schedule: Conventional ferries are slower and may have fewer departures.

By Air:

While there are no direct flights from Chania to Santorini, you can fly via Athens:

  1. Flight from Chania to Athens:
    • Duration: About 1 hour
    • Airlines: Aegean Airlines, Ryanair, Olympic Air
    • Frequency: Several flights per day
  2. Flight from Athens to Santorini:
    • Duration: About 45 minutes
    • Airlines: Aegean Airlines, Ryanair, Olympic Air
    • Frequency: Multiple flights per day


Given the ferry and flight schedules, a day trip to Santorini from Chania would involve significant travel time. If you opt for ferries, the round trip could take up most of your day. If you choose to fly, you need to account for transit times between flights and potential layovers in Athens, making it a long day of travel.

What to Do in Santorini on a Day Trip

If you decide to go ahead with a day trip, here are some must-see highlights you can try to squeeze into your visit:

1. Oia:

  • Famous for its breathtaking sunsets and stunning views, Oia is a must-visit. Stroll through its narrow streets, browse boutique shops, and capture iconic photos.

2. Fira:

  • The island’s capital, Fira, offers beautiful views of the caldera, charming cafes, and vibrant nightlife. It’s a great place to explore the island’s culture and history.

3. Red Beach:

  • Known for its unique red volcanic sand, Red Beach is a striking sight. You can spend a short time here enjoying the scenery and taking a quick dip.

4. Akrotiri Archaeological Site:

  • Explore the ancient Minoan city preserved in volcanic ash. It’s an incredible glimpse into Santorini’s past.

5. Wine Tasting:

  • Santorini is famous for its wines, particularly the Assyrtiko variety. Visit a local winery for a quick tasting session and learn about the island’s winemaking traditions.

Tips for a Successful Day Trip

  1. Plan Ahead:
    • Check ferry and flight schedules in advance and book your tickets early, especially during peak tourist season.
  2. Travel Light:
    • Bring only the essentials to make moving around easier.
  3. Prioritize:
    • Decide on the top sights you want to see and plan your itinerary accordingly. You won’t have time to see everything, so focus on what interests you most.
  4. Stay Flexible:
    • Weather conditions and transport delays can affect your plans. Stay flexible and have a backup plan.
  5. Consider an Overnight Stay:
    • If possible, extend your trip to an overnight stay in Santorini. This will give you more time to explore and enjoy the island without the rush.

While a day trip from Chania to Santorini is ambitious and involves considerable travel, it is possible with careful planning. If you are determined to see Santorini’s famous views and soak in its unique atmosphere, the effort can be worth it. However, for a more relaxed and immersive experience, consider staying overnight. Whether for a day or longer, Santorini’s beauty will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.

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