The quickest high speed ferry from Santorini to Ios has a trip duration of just 35 minutes, and in the summer there can be 8 ferries a day.
5 different ferry companies operate crossings on the ferry route between Santorini and Ios, using a mix of conventional ferries and high speed services.
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.
Another thing that makes traveling from Santorini to Ios by ferry worthwhile is the contrast between the two islands.
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 some 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 on the Greek island of Ios, flying is not an option. The only way to make a journey from Santorini to Ios is by taking a ferry.
Santorini to Ios ferries run all the year round. Most people who want to visit Ios will travel in the summer, and there can be 8 sailings a day in August.
While there is still a ferry service between Santorini and Ios in the winter, there are fewer sailings. You could count on perhaps just one ferry a day in the low season.
Check ferry timetables and book Santorini Ios ferry tickets online at: Ferryscanner
Santorini Ios Ferry Operators
The Greek ferry network is made up of dozens of different ferry operators. On the Santorini to Ios ferry route, there are 5 or 6 different companies to choose from depending on the month.
These ferries to Ios from Santorini are operated by SeaJets, Zante Ferries, Blue Star Ferries, Golden Star Ferries, Maistros Santorini and Small Cyclades Lines (Express Skopelitis).
Each ferry company offers a different type of vessel such as a slower conventional ferry or a high speed ferry. Ferry ticket prices will differ depending on the company and type of vessel.
Rather than visiting each companies website to check their individual ferry schedule for the Santorini – Ios journey, I recommend Ferryscanner where you can see everything in one place.
Ferry Santorini Ios
High speed ferries from Santorini to Ios can have travel times as quick as 35 minutes. The slow ferry sailing to Ios from Santorini island takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes.
The Blue Star Ferry is somewhere in the middle at about an hour, and may be the most cost effective way to travel.
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 foe the boat from Santorini to Ios change from year to year. The best place to look at up to date schedules and book tickets online is Ferryscanner.
Ios Island Travel Tips
A few travel tips for visiting the Greek island of Ios:
- Wondering where to stay in Ios? Take a look at my guide to places to stay and the best hotels in Ios for all budgets.
- Booking is my favourite platform for reserving hotels in Greece. You'll find a good selection of accommodation in both Santorini and Ios.
- Book your ferry tickets with Ferryhopper. It's the best site to check ferry schedules for the Santorini to Ios crossing, and it's easier to get your ferry ticket as an e ticket rather than going into travel agencies in Santorini.
- Check out the weather conditions – you might want to take something for travel sickness before your boat leaves!
- I'd strongly suggest aiming to be at the Santorini ferry 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 and you can enjoy a relaxing drink before the ferry to Ios leaves.
- 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 ferry trip 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.
Is Ios cheaper than Santorini?
In comparison to popular Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos, Ios is one of the more budget-friendly places in Greece since it targets younger visitors and backpackers. When the island is bustling with tourists during the high season, accommodation costs can go higher, but they remain relatively inexpensive in comparison to Santorini.
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!
Ios is a beautiful island worth exploring. If you're looking for a more relaxed experience with less parties and crowds of people, try visiting in the off season-June or September. You'll enjoy warmer weather, fewer people and lower prices without sacrificing any amazing scenery!
Have any questions about how to book ferry tickets or how to reach Ios? Leave a comment below, and I'll get back to you!
– Dave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer who's been living in Greece since 2015. In addition to creating this guide about taking a ferry to Ios from Santorini, he's written hundreds of other blog post and itineraries about other islands in Greece.
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4 thoughts on “Santorini To Ios Ferry Guide: Travel tips, tickets & times”
Hi Ive been online having taken your advice to book ferry tickets in advance but I note the last ferry from Santorini to Ios leaves early afternoon on any summer ferry schedule I’ve read. Are there extra ferries put on that run later in the evening in July? My plane doesn’t arrive in until 5.30pm and I’m wondering if I will get to Ios on that evening or book accommodation for the night in Santorini.
It’s possible that Zante Ferries will add crossings to that schedule, or that extra ships might be added according to seasonal demand. Nothing is guaranteed though.
For a 17.30 arrival, I don’t think you would be leaving the airport itself much before 19.00 even with pre-booked transport.
If you do decide to wait and look to see if ferries are added, I wouldn’t try to get one before 20.00 departure.
Hello, is there a car ferry option from Santorini to Ios, so we can hire a car in Santorini and take it with us to Ios? Thanks Lush
Yes there would be – the Blue Star ferry that makes the crossing can take vehicles as can Zante Ferries.
The only thing is, your car hire company insurance will almost definitely not be valid on the ferry. Most car hire companies don’t like you taking the cars from island to island.
Better instead to just hire a new car in Ios – Also, you save on the cost of transporting the car.