By Plane 

Olympic Air (tel. 810/114-4444 or 210/966-6666, official Greek phone numbers never answer; www.olympicair.com) offers daily flights between Athens and the Santorini airport, Monolithos (tel. 22860/31-525), which also receives European charters. There are frequent connections with Mykonos and Rhodes, and service two or three times per week to and from Iraklion, Crete. Aegean Airlines (tel. 810/112-0000; www.aegeanair.com) also has several flights daily between Athens and Santorini. A bus to Fira (4€) meets most flights; the schedule is posted at the bus stop, beside the airport entrance. A taxi to Fira costs about 13€.

By Boat 

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Visit www.gtp.gr and www.openseas.gr for ferry schedules. Ferry service runs to and from Piraeus at least twice daily; the trip takes 9 to 10 hours by car ferry on the Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini route, or 4 hours by catamaran, if you go via Piraeus-Paros-Santorini. Boats are notoriously late and/or early; your travel or ticket agent will give you a rough estimate of times involved in the journeys. In July and August, ferries connect several times a day with Ios, Naxos, Paros, and Mykonos; almost daily with Anafi and Siros; five times a week with Sikinos and Folegandros; and twice weekly with Sifnos. Service to Thessaloniki (17-24 hr.) is offered four to five times per week. There is an almost daily connection by excursion boat with Iraklion in Crete, but because this is an open sea route, the trip can be an ordeal in bad weather and is subject to cancellation. Confirm ferry schedules with the Athens GNTO (tel. 210/870-0000; www.gnto.gr), the Piraeus Port Authority (tel. 210/451-1311, 210/451-1440, or -1441; phone not always answered), or the Santorini Port Authority (tel. 22860/22-239).

Almost all ferries dock at Athinios, where buses meet each boat and then return directly to Fira (one-way to Fira costs 3€); from the Fira dock, buses depart for many other island destinations. Taxis are also available from Athinios, at nearly five times the bus fare. Athinios is charmless; when you come here to catch a ferry, it's a good idea to bring munchies, water, and a good book.

The exposed port at Skala, directly below Fira, is unsafe for the larger ferries but is often used by small cruise ships, yachts, and excursion vessels. If your boat docks here, head to town either by cable car (5€), mule, or donkey (5€); or you can do the 45-minute uphill walk. Be prepared to share the narrow path with the mules. We recommend a mule up and the cable car down. If you suffer from acrophobia, try taking the cable car both ways with your eyes firmly shut.

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.