3D/2N Backpacking Santorini Without A Tour (Part 1) : Public Transport To/From Syntagma Square – Athens International Airport & Ryanair Night Flight to Santorini

Avid readers and followers of this travel blog of mine will know that I usually have a travel itinerary for almost every destination that I go, and would probably be anticipating a travel itinerary for my recent trip to Santorini (Thira) as well.

This time however, I decided to wing it and just go with the flow. Once in a while, it feels good to let go and just embrace what the world or Santorini (Thira) has to offer to us. Therefore, there will be no travel itinerary for #ErikaEvaTohTravelsSantorini series. Instead, I will share our travel stories and experiences in Santorini. 😉

 

Public Transportation To/From Syntagma Square  Athens International Airport

Before my sister and I went to Santorini, we spent 2 days and 1 night exploring the historical city of Athens, Greece. Athens is by far, my favourite European city or travel destination apart from Santorini. There are several reasons leading to the above conclusion and I shall elaborate further in my #ErikaTohTravelsAthens series. 😉

Back to the story, there is excellent public transportation service in Athens ranging from the busses, metros and taxis. As a result of that, getting from one place to another in Athens is easy and convenient. However, during a strike, the metros, busses and even the taxi service will be crippled and visitors will be left stranded in the city unless they are able to find other alternatives. 🙁

My sister and I were lucky enough to experience a strike on the day we arrived in Athens. You can read our unforgettable Greek strike experience here.

 

Public Bus

From the city of Athens, we made our way to Athens International Airport by bus because not only is the fare cheap, we get to enjoy scenic views of Athens city too. Besides the bus, one can also take the metro or taxi to the airport, but those will cost more. At Syntagma Square, look out for kamaronia FoodBar (in bright yellow):

  • Wait at the bus stop with the sign: ΑΦΕTHPIA
  • Purchase the bus tickets at the ticket booth (EKΔOΣH EIΣITHPIΩN & KAPTΩN)
  • The trip to/from the airport costs €5 per person, per journey
  • Take bus no. X95 ΣYNTAΓMA (Syntagma) – AEPNAΣ AΘHNON (Athens Airport Express)
  • Remember to validate the bus ticket at the ticket validation machine on the bus (strictly compulsory, failure to do so will result in a hefty fine or imprisonment)
  • The journey from Syntagma Square to/from the airport takes about 60 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions

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The public bus X95 ticket booth and bus stop at Syntagma Square, Athens

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The public bus X95 bus stop at Syntagma Square, Athens

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Metro

Take Metro Line 3 (Aghia Marina – Douk. Plakentias – Athens International Airport) which connects Athens International Airport with the city centre. The trains run every 30 minutes, 7 days a week from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm. The trip to/from the airport to Syntagma station (Athens centre) takes about 40 minutes. The metro ticket fares are as follows:

  • One-way ticket for one person: €8
  • Return ticket for one person: €14 (valid within 48 hours)
  • One-way ticket for 2 persons: €14
  • One-way ticket for 3 persons: €20
  • One-way half price tickets (for students younger than 25, youngsters 6-18 or people older than 65): €4.00
  • Children under 6 years : Free

When using a return, a day or a week ticket, be sure to validate the ticket at the special ticket validation machine upon your exit and entry at the train stations. Keep your tickets safe for random inspections by the train officers on duty.

 

Taxi

Taxis are available at the designated taxi waiting areas around Athens city. A taxi to/from the airport to Syntagma Square costs a flat rate of:

  • €35 from 5:00 am to midnight
  • €50 from midnight to 5:00 am

Do take note that the charge/fare is determined by the time of arrival at the destination and includes all applicable surcharges and extras.

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There are many taxis (in yellow) in Athens city

 

Ryanair Night Flight From Athens (ATH) To Santorini (JTR)

Of all the airlines I surveyed, Ryanair offers the cheapest flights from Athens to Santorini, especially if the tickets are bought several months in advance. For the record, our flight tickets to Santorini costs €138 (including VAT 23%) for two, with no checked baggage. 😉

Do take note that Ryanair is extremely strict with their carry on and cabin bags allowance. Any bags that exceed the dimensions given will be charged a hefty €50 fee, whereas online checked baggage only cost €15 for a bag below 30kg! Be sure to measure your luggage bag and online checked baggage if it exceeds the required dimensions to save your euros! I warned you!

Checking-in was a breezy affair, so was the time when it comes to board the plane from our designated terminal. Do take note that there are no announcements for Ryanair departures at Athens International Airport, so pay attention to the live departure board and make your way to the correct boarding terminal to avoid missing your flight.

 

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Ryanair strict baggage allowance policy
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Boarding the plane to Santorini (JTR) at Athens International Airport (ATH)
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Ryanair night flight from Athens to Santorini (Thira)
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Good bye, Athens International Airport!
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The view of Santorini island at night

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Hello, Santorini National Airport!

After spending about 40 minutes on the plane, we arrived safely at Santorini National Airport. The airport was rather quiet, small, but operational. From the airport, we made our way out to the main street and spotted a local bus waiting at the bus stop located on the left, several metres away.

We boarded the bus to the central bus station in Fira. The journey took about 20 minutes. Fyi, the last bus from Santorini National Airport to Fira is 7.10pm. In fact, the last bus for most of the destinations in Santorini was about the same time, around 7pm. For the accurate time, kindly check the timetables at this website: http://www.ktel-santorini.gr 😀

It was dark by the time we arrived in Fira and there was no bus to Oia after 6.30pm, so we had to spend the night at Fira. We took the opportunity to explore the town and had our dinner at a Chinese restaurant located just down the road. A plate of egg fried rice, curry fried rice and two bottles of mineral water was €18.

Initially, we wanted to spend the night at the bus station, but the presence of rowdy youths racing and on the streets with their noisy ATVs turned us off. We feared for our safety as well as those youths looked rather mischievous. They are like the pesky “Mat Rempits” we have back in Malaysia. 🙁 Thus, we decided to stay at the nearest decent hotel that we could find that happens to be Central Fira Hotel.

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A Skyserve bus waiting to transfer passengers from the plane to the airport, Santorini
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Santorini National Airport
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Food and souvenirs on sale at Santorini National Airport
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A sign displaying the local buses timetables at Santorini National Airport
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The local bus from Santorini National Airport to Fira
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Fira central bus station in Santorini at night
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Fira town at night, Santorini
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Greek and Chinese restaurants in Fira town, Santorini
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This plate of egg fried rice in a Chinese restaurant at Fira town costs €8!
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Up next: A review of our double deluxe room at Central Hotel Fira, Santorini
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6 Comment

  1. That's very useful information for future travellers. Hope to visit Santorini one day.

  2. Hi Jasbir,

    Thank you for dropping by my travel blog. I'm sure you'll visit charming Athens and dreamy Santorini one day. When you do, do share your travel experience with us. 🙂

  3. hhanni says: Reply

    Hi Erika, l and ve yr blog. What month were u in santorini? And where are the famous blue domed white washed houses located? Thanks!

  4. Hi hhanni,

    Thank you for visiting and reading my travel blog. I visited Santorini in the month of November (autumn, low season) with less tourists and most of the establishments on the island are closed. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful time and enjoyed our time on the island.

    The iconic three blue domes are located below a row of buildings on the steep cliff in Oia. It is an approximately 3-minute walk from the Oia Caldera Square (where stood the Church of Panagia Platsani). From the square, turn right and walk along the marbled main pedestrian street. Turn left at Lotza Restaurant. The iconic three blue domes are just below and to the left of Lotza Restaurant.

    Another way is from the square, turn right and walk past a small church. Turn left at the second lane where you will see a sign for Aspaki Hotel. Once you are standing behind the church, you will be able to see the iconic three blue domes below and to the right.

    More info on the iconic three blue domes in Santorini are on my blog post:

    3D/2N Backpacking Santorini Without A Tour (Part 6) : A Spectacular Sunset And Blue Hour From The Old Castle & Finding The Iconic Three Blue Domes Postcard View In Oia
    URL: http://erikatoh.blogspot.com/2016/01/iconic-three-blue-domes-castle-sunset-oia.html

    Good luck and have fun looking for the iconic three blue domes in Oia! 😉

  5. hhanni says: Reply

    Thanks for yr reply Erika. Another question is how did you manage to travel on ryanair in winter without checked-in luggage?

  6. Hi hhanni,

    Well, I did not. I checked-in my luggage. I could not stress more that Ryanair is very strict with their cabin bag allowance, so I did not take the risk (to be heftily fined €50 again!). Fyi, I learnt that pricey lesson when flying from Paris to Rome. Online checked-in baggage only cost €15 for a bag that weighs below 30kg.

    Another alternative is to store your luggage somewhere in Athens before flying off to Santorini for several days. By the way, I would not recommend you visiting Santorini during winter months because it's off season travel where most of the establishments on the island are closed. Plus, the weather will be very cold with cloudy skies that's not so suitable for photography isn't it? 😉

    I hope that answers your question. Have a great week ahead!

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