Ios is just 40 minutes away from Santorini on the quickest ferry. This guide shows how to book your Santorini to Ios ferry tickets, what to expect, and more!
Ios island in Greece
As you can tell on this map, the Greek islands of Santorini and Ios are located very close to one another. This makes them a natural pairing when it comes to choosing which islands to combine on a Greek island hopping trip.
Although Ios has something of a reputation as a budget party island, I found it had a lot more to offer.
The beaches were among the best in the Cyclades islands of Greece (which is up against some pretty stiff competition!), there were some nice hiking trails, cool artisan and local product stores, and the sunsets were simply amazing!
If you're after the party scene, by all means go in August. Just make sure you have your hotels in Ios organized a few months in advance.
If you're not that bothered about the party side of things, might I suggest visiting Ios in June or September instead. It's more relaxed, cheaper, and the weather and sea temperatures are still great!
I've got two travel guides here that might be useful for further planning your itinerary in Ios island, Greece:
- Best things to do in Ios
- Best places to watch the sunset in Ios
- Paleokastro in Ios
- Kalamos Beach in Ios
How to get from Santorini to Ios
With the intro out of the way, let's look at how you can travel between Santorini and Ios.
As there is no airport in the Greek island of Ios, the only way to make a journey from Santorini to Ios is by taking a ferry.
During the peak months of summer, there might be up to up to 3 ferries per day from Santorini to Ios. These ferries to Ios from Santorini are operated by SeaJets, Zante Ferries, and Express Skopelitis.
Ferry Santorini Ios
The quickest crossing from Santorini going to Ios takes around 40 minutes, whilst the slow ferry sailing to Ios from Santorini island takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes.
The most regular company offering a daily ferry from Santorini to Ios is SeaJets, but they can be more expensive. As a general rule, you can expect faster ferries to have more expensive tickets prices.
Prices for ferry tickets to Ios change from year to year. The best place to look at up to date schedules and book tickets online is Ferryhopper.
Ios Island Travel Tips
A few travel tips for visiting the Greek island of Ios:
- Booking is my favourite platform for reserving hotels in Greece. You'll find a good selection of accommodation in both Santorini and Ios.
- Ferryhopper is the best site to check timetables for the Santorini to Ios ferries, and to book tickets online.
- I'd strongly suggest aiming to be at the Santorini port an hour before the ferry Santorini Ios departs especially if you have to pick up tickets there.
- There's not much shade at Santorini port, so I'd suggest diving into one of the cafes if you have some time to kill. They're a little overpriced, but at least you won't melt in the sun.
- Welcome taxis offer a sensibly priced pre-booked pick up and drop off service for the airport and port in Santorini. This way you'll be on time for your boat from Santorini to Ios!
What to see in Ios Greece
I've already mentioned my guide on the best things to do in Ios. A quick list of highlights if you haven't got time to check that travel blog post out are:
- Explore Chora
- Check out the churches (there's 365+!)
- Relax on amazing beaches
- Visit Skarkos Archaeological site
- Spend time at the Archaeological Museum
- Walk to Homer's Tomb
- Hike to Paleokastro
- Watch a sunset at the lighthouse
- Enjoy watersports like paddleboarding
- Celebrate in a bar or nightclub!
How to take the ferry from Santorini to Ios FAQ
Questions that people ask about traveling to Ios from Santorini include:
How can you get to Ios from Santorini?
The only way to travel from Santorini to Ios is to take a ferry. There are up to up to 3 ferries per day sailing to the island of Ios from Santorini leaving from Athinios Port in Santorini and arriving at Ios Port.
Is there an airport in Ios?
There is no airport in Ios island, so the only way to take a trip from Santorini to Ios is to use a ferry. The closest airport to Ios is on Santorini.
How long is the ferry from Santorini to Ios?
The ferries to Ios from Santorini take between 40 minutes and 1 hour and 50 minutes. Ferry operators on the Santorini Ios route may include SeaJets, Zante Ferries, and Express Skopelitis.
How can I buy tickets for the ferry to Ios?
Ferryhopper is perhaps the easiest site to use when it comes to booking Ios ferry tickets online. Although I recommend you book your Santorini to Ios ferry tickets as much in advance as possible, you might also prefer to use a travel agency in Greece when you have arrived.
How do I get from Santorini airport to Ios
Using the airport in Santorini is a good way to get to Ios for international travelers, as Santorini airport has connections with European cities. Once at Santorini airport, you'd then need to take public transport or a taxi to Athinios Port, from where you'd then take the Santorini to Ios ferry.
You might find these Ios and other Greek island ferry guides to be of use if you're planning an island hopping trip in the Cyclades:
- Athens to Ios by ferry
- Ios to Sikinos by ferry
- Santorini to Sikinos ferry guide
- Santorini island hopping guides
If you found this guide on the ferry Santorini to Ios useful, please share on social media. You'll find some buttons in the bottom right corner of your screen. The image below would look great on one of your Greek island Pinterest boards!
– Dave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer who's been living in Greece since 2015. He's been traveling around and writing about Greece since then, producing useful travel tips and guides such as this one about the Santorini Ios ferry routes. He hasn't visited every Greek island yet, but rest assured it's on his list!