Monarch Airlines flies to Santorini (09/03/2010)
Monarch Airlines is adding Santorini to its portfolio of Greek islands from Manchester this summer. Monarch's new charter flights to Thira will operate weekly (every Tuesday) from Gatwick and Manchester between May 5 and October 5, 2010.
Germanwings flies to Santorini (20/10/2009)
Germanwings is extending its flights from Cologne, in order to cover interesting european destinations starting by three new connections the coming summer: Copenhagen, Madrit and Thira.
Starting from May 2010 Germanwings will fly to Thira once a week (every Saturday) by an Airbus A319.
Santorini is a long way from Piraeus, so unless you want to spend a lot of time on a ferry you might want to think about flying there instead. Olympic and Aegean fly between Athens and Santorini frequently for fairly reasonable rates. You can also skip Athens altogether and fly to Santorini directly from some European cities. But whether you go by airplane either to or from the island, do yourself a favor and take the ferry in the other direction, because that is the only way to see the spectacular view from the caldera up to the steep cliffs.
Yes, that IS Santorini airport in the picture ! Small isn’t it ! However, Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines fly to Athens around 9 times a day between them, and there are also some flights to other parts of Europe as well charter flights such as Thomsonfly (who we flew with) and Thomas Cook, so it can get quite busy.
When we arrived, the airport was pretty slick, steps appeared on cue, and buses for the short trip to the terminal were waiting. Even the luggage appeared quite quickly.
There are 6 check-in desks, with limited queuing space, so it can get a bit crowded. There is next to no facilities outside security, so you more or less have to go through to the departure lounge. And there was only one security checkpoint – but we didn’t have to wait at all. Once through into the departure lounge, it is also a bit cramped – with two planes departing there wasn’t a seat to spare. No smoking in the lounge either, and the separate smoking area upstairs was closed as well – there were a few tense faces about ! Only two of the six gates are useable – one for international flights with passport control, and one for domestic flights. The other four gates were blocked by kiosks, notice-boards etc ! At least it was possible to but food and drinks, and there was a shop as well.
The Santorini International Airport located near Monolithos, is a small airport,
The flying time from Athens to Santorini is of 40 minutes. Most of all international flights arriving in Athens allow the connection with a flight to Santorini.
In the summer time, many charter flights and low cost airlines fly directly from different cities of Europe to the island.
It is highly recomended to get a window seat, in order not to miss the spectacular views over the caldera.
The airlines serving the airport include Air Manos, Aegean Airways, Olympic Airways,
Olympic Airways operates at least six flights daily.
The airport has public bus service that makes the transfer to/from Fira but it is quite difficult to catch it in the high season. The transfer time is of about 15-20 minutes.
The taxi rank is situated in front of the terminal. but it is advisable to negotiate the fare before you take it.
Most of the hotels offer transfer to their customers.
The terminal building has no Duty Free or other shops. only a mini cafeteria for a quick coffee and a snack.There are ATM cashpoints inside the airport area if you need cash.
Numerous flights go to Santorini. It is not the best way to get there in terms of approaching the island - the best is to come into the caldera on a slow ferry. Do note, however, that ferry transportation is quickly interrupted by strong winds (happened when I was there) while the planes keep flying.
There are several charter companies that fly here from many places in Europe. The others will have to pass through Athens' new and trouble-free airport. Olympic Airways and Aegean Airlines fly frequently from Athens to Santorini (says Thera on the itineraries). Book early as flight quickly fill up in the high season.
The one-way fare with Olympic Airlines from Santorini to Athens in September was 57 Euro.
My reviews about the airport (or rather airstrip):
Arrived from Athens. Small compact airport. Nothing to complain. My flight was the only flight to land that evening and the airport was close to the water's edge so it was a very welcoming sight on arrival. No connecting bridges. You walk down the plane and straight into the arrival hall. Almost spartan arrival hall with only 1 conveyer belt for baggages. Walked out of customs and straight into a horde of touts and a very large carpark. Airport is just 15 minutes away from Fira by car, the biggest town on the island.
Santorini airport is by no means large nor is it particularly busy. I get the impression that most people arrive by cruise ship or ferry. The duty free shop is about as big as your living room and the organisation is a bit shambolic (being told to proceed through passport control and then finding the door there locked for 10 minutes after the announcement; getting to the steps of the plane but not being allowed on for a further 10 or so minutes, and so on). At least the runway is long enough that planes can land easily without screaming brakes, and can take off with a full load of fuel and so not have to make a stop-off on the way home. Not always possible at a variety of Greek airports.
Also, because of the size of the island, nowhere is for for your transfer. Fira is 10 minutes, Kamari must only be 2 (the runway starts on Kamari high street). Oio and Perissa will be farther flung, but even they are sub 30 minutes.
The only way to get to Santorini by air is by catching a connecting flight from Athens.
Cheap flights to Santorini may be hard to come by, but airlines do offer plenty of package deals that can save you money. Consider such packages carefully to find one that will best fulfill your travel needs.
The most popular are the Olympic Air, Ryanair, EasyJet.
During the summer season, many European charter flights land directly at the airport of Santorini.
The time of flight from Athens to Santorini is about forty minutes.
Santorini has a great number of flights scheduled to and from Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete and Thessaloniki.
Olympic Airways operates at least six daily flights from Santorini to Athens, five weekly to Rhodes and Mykonos and two weekly to Iraklion, in Crete
We had a direct flight from Manchester, England to Santorini with XL, taking just under 4 hours. Santorini has a small airport located near Monolithos, not from from the end of Kamari beach where the planes fly over to land. Space is limited in the departure lounges, there is an outdoor lounge upstairs where you can view the planes landing and taking off. There is a small tax free/duty free shop and a couple of bars for snacks and drinks. Several times we found no running water in he toilets so a pack of wet ones might be handy.
With the flight we flew over so many of the nearby islands and had great views with our day time flight. Managed a couple of shots as we approached looking down onto Fira and even our own village Katerados - we could even make out the hotel on it!
We had a direct flight from Brussels to Santorini with a charter. It took us 3.5 hours. The airport is small. You walk down the plane and straight into the arrival hall. There is only 1 conveyer belt for luggage. The airport is 15 minutes away from Fira.
Space is limited in the departure lounges, which can be a problem if there are 2 planes leaving at about the same time. There is a restaurant upstairs, a small tax free shop, and a kiosk with snacks and drinks.
We were late to get the offer of 19 euros of Aegena airlines (final price of 40 euros with taxes) and we wanted the lunch time flight to athens on the 4th, so we booked with Olimpic airways.
I am so impress with them that I want to share it with you.
first they send you by courier the proper flight tickets (ok maybe it is my first time in 5 years that I do not travel with an electronic one LOL)
the following day I had a phone call from olimpic airways to confirm my adress and also confirm is Stace was a female or male name (as it was a Mr with it LOL). It is the first time an airline confirms that the booking si correct!!!!
Ok I may have paid more, but I got the flight i wanted and an incredible service (ok the same hour with aegean airlines was more expensive hehehehe)
Flying to Santorini is fast (35’ from Athens) and easy this is the most comfortable way but also expensive (unless you book well in advance or out of season).
There’s daily connection with Athens but from May to October you’ll also find many charter flights connecting the island directly with numerous European cities (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Munich, London, Manchester, Milan, Zurich, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Amsterdam are just some of them)
The small airport is located next to Kamari village (check pic 1) and if you visit Kamari beach you can watch the planes over you (pic 2 was taken in 2003 as I was relaxing at the beach). The airport is connected by bus with Fira (the main town) where you can change bus to other towns.
You may also find taxis waiting outside the airport but you can also arrange transfer with your hotel (not for free as in other greek islands though)
This by far the most common way to visit the island and there are different kind of ferries, slow and fast ones (pic 3). As the ferry comes into the caldera you will stay speechless, what a view! (pic 5 shows people admiring Oia from Blue Star Ferry)
The port is Athenios, a tiny busy port 7km S of Fira, packed with a row of taverns, travel agents, car rentals etc Buses will wait for every ferry and they will take you to Fira where the main bus station is if you want to change bus for other places). The windy road up the steep hill is a bit scary, especially at night when there’s no light. When we drove there the last day we realized there’s no parking area, the officers told us that we had 3 hours for our ferry and we should better go back to Fira for coffee!
There are slow ferries (about 32e one way, it takes 8hours, usually 9 because of the delay on other ports, these ferries are huge with plenty of space on decks but also inside where they have lounge halls, restaurant, refreshment counters etc) and fast ones (about 70e one way, it takes a bit more than 5hours). Last time we took Blue Star ferry from Paros (the route was Piraeus>Paros>Naxos>Ios>Santorini)
The fast ones have two disadvantages (apart from the expensive ticket):
1)they don’t run on rough weather, many times they cancel due to strong winds while slow ferries run regularly.
2)on fast ones you don’t have access on deck which means you will miss the spectacular view I mentioned above.
Out of season you will easily find tickets even on the same day but during high season you may want to be on the safe side and book in advance. If you fly into Athens airport you may want to have your ferry tickets ready so you can book in advance (I usually suggest danae.com) and collect your tickets at the airport.