Crete and Santorini are two very popular Greek islands. Crete is the largest island in Greece. Santorini is a popular holiday destination. En route from Crete to Santorini, you can enjoy the views of the endless sea for hours before arriving at the volcanic island of Santorini. In this article, we will show you everything important: the highlights of Crete and Santorini, the larger marinas and fuel stations.
This article gives you an overview of the following topics::
- Important facts when sailing by a catamaran Crete to Santorini
- Ports in route from Crete to Santorini
- Catamaran tours from Crete to Santorini
- 1-week catamaran from Heraklion to Santorini
- 7 days Crete to Santorini catamaran itinerary
- Marine gas near Crete, boat gas stations in route from Crete to Santorini
Weather in the Aegen Sea
Like the other parts of Greece, these areas have a Mediterranean climate too. In summer, the weather is dry and warm, culminating in early July and the first 10 days of August. This time the temperature can be up to 33-35 degrees, while the constant sea wind reduces the feeling of heat while sailing. In winter, the temperature in the Aegean Sea is 15 degrees, but in summer it warms up to 25-26 degrees. There is little rainfall in the summer months and lasts only a few hours. The winds are relatively predictable, almost sustained at sea.
From June to about the end of September, the Meltemi blows from the north. In spring and autumn, the Sirocco blows from the south. Heading towards Santorini, the summer winds make your trip a little difficult, but when you are returning to Crete, they help a lot. Check the sailing conditions and wind rose diagram of Crete, or sailing conditions and wind rose diagram of Cyclades.
The official currency of the country is the euro. If you are coming from a country where the euro is not the official currency, be sure to visit a currency exchange before you leave. Also, be prepared that the pricing of marinas is not uniform. You can moor for free in some places, but typically you will expect prices of around € 30-50 per port, depending on the length of your yacht. In the Cycladic islands, food is usually 1-2 euros more expensive than, for example, in the Attica Peninsula.
What to see on the island of Crete?
Crete is a big island, the largest in Greece. It offers plenty of places to explore, providing enough experience for a holiday lasting for weeks. In this article, you can find out more about the capital of the island, Heraklion and the surrounding region. You can come here by plane or ferry from Athens.
The CretAquarium is located next to the town. Here you can see several types of marine plants and fish, including sharks. If you are interested in the ancient history of the island, visit the ruins of Knossos, 5 km southeast of Heraklion. You can also find archaeological and natural history museums in the town. When you are arriving at the marina, take a look at the Venetian Fortress and the promenade.
One-way or round trip?
Since you will spend a lot of time at sea, we recommend these routes to more experienced sailors. It is mandatory to use a navigation system or compass to stay on route. If you choose the one-way trip, Santorini is the destination. In this case, you can return to Crete from Santorini by ferry or plane. On a round-trip, you have to spend one day travelling to and back from your destination. We recommend this route if you want to sail around the island of Santorini. The upside of this route is that in summer the Meltemi wind makes it easier to sail back towards Crete.
The marina in the capital of Crete can accommodate 72 boats with a draft of 3.5 metres and up to 20 metres in length. You can find the Venetian-style promenade in front of the marina, offering wonderful views over the sea.
The small marina in Hersonissos is a family-friendly place. It can accommodate boats up to 60 metres in length, with a draft of 4 metres. Only the basic services are available: water tank refill and restaurants nearby.
Agios Nikolaos Marina (Crete)
It is a large marina in the north-eastern part of Crete. It can accommodate 255 boats up to 70 metres in length, with a draft of 3, 5 metres. There are many famous landmarks nearby, so it is a very popular destination among sailors. The marina offers many services, such as WiFi, boat maintenance service, a laundromat and restaurants.
Crete’s easternmost marina is located in a small town. It can accommodate boats with a draft of 6 metres, and up to 60 metres in length. Compared to its size, the marina offers many excellent services. Water tank refill, restaurants, bars, electricity and boat maintenance service are available.
This marina can accommodate 174 boats. They can be up to 60 metres in length with a draft of 4 metres. The marina offers drinking water, restaurants, a marketplace, a laundry, car rental service and boat maintenance service.
It is a small marina in the southeast corner of Santorini. It can accommodate boats up to 25 metres in length with a draft of 1.5 metres. Compared to its size, the marina offers many services like electricity, a marketplace, restaurants and a water tank refill.
It is the largest port of Santorini. It can accommodate hundreds of boats. You can find every important service here that you might need. It is a little far from the town of Fira, but you can go there by taxi, on donkey back, in the cable car or on foot. Yacht charter in Santorini
From the capital of Crete, you are sailing through the southern part of the Aegean Sea towards the island of Santorini. As part of the journey, you visit the island of Anafi, located east of Santorini.
Day 1. Heraklion – Gazi Marina
9, 56 km (5, 94 mi)
You sail west from Heraklion to the calm little bay of Gazi. You can admire a beautiful beach and observe marine life in its natural environment. The little town of the marina has great restaurants, give them a try!
Day 2. Gazi Marina – Vlichada
114, 87 km (71, 37 mi)
After a long northbound cruise, you arrive at the town of Vlychada. The 2-3 hour horseback riding tours are very popular here. On these guided tours, you can explore Vlychada and the nearby beaches by horseback. If you arrive early, you can go on a tour of the archaeological excavations at Akrotiri. On this tour, you will visit the ancient town of Akrotiri, go to a wine tasting and visit the monastery of the Prophet Elijah.
Day 3. Vlichada – Anafi
30, 06 km (18, 68 mi)
Your next stop is the island of Anafi, located east of Santorini. It is a peaceful little island with beautiful sandy beaches. There are few tourists here, so the locals are very welcoming. You can find some Christian churches and monasteries on the island. In summer, the island is home to cultural festivals and events. Many visitors come from Santorini.
Day 4. Anafi – Kamari
25, 53 km (15, 86 mi)
You go west to Santorini and drop anchor in Kamari on the east coast. You can find several shops, pubs and restaurants in the streets close to the coast. There are cinemas on the island, one of them is an open-air cinema, surrounded by trees. Be sure to visit the beach that has Blue Flag Certification! You can go diving or try some exciting water sports. If you are interested in the ancient history of the island, visit the ruins of Thera on Mount Mesa Vouno on the south part of the island. Information about sailing in Santorini, or yacht charter in Santorini
Day 5. Kamari – Monolitos – Panagia Kalou
11, 99 km (7, 45 mi)
Heading north, you will arrive at Monolithos. It is a peaceful pebble beach that only a few tourists visit. There are no famous landmarks aside from the beautiful sea. After taking a dip, sail north to Panagia Kalou. It is small but very beautiful, full of white marble houses with blue roofs.
Day 6. Panagia Kalou – Agia Eirini, Therasia
10, 03 km (6, 23 mi)
After sailing around the northern part of Santorini, you turn south and head to the island of Thirassia. Drop anchor at Agia Eirini and discover the beautiful, almost untouched island. Only 300 people live here, most of them live a traditional life. In the town of Thirasia you can find some restaurants and shops. You can walk around the island or explore it on donkey back. Agrilia and Kera are two old, abandoned villages where you can see small cave houses. In the small ports of Korfos and Riva you can eat fresh fruit and fresh seafood dishes.
Day 7. Agia Eirini – Oia – Thira port
14, 18 km (8, 81 mi)
Sailing northeast from the island of Thirassia, you will arrive at the town of Oia. It is very popular among tourists thanks to the beautiful views and gorgeous sunsets. The narrow, steep streets have an authentic Greek atmosphere. Take a walk around the town!
The final destination is the port of Thira, south of Fira. You can go to the town on foot, in a cable car or on a donkey back. In Fira, you will find yourself in front of the local archaeological museum where you can discover several ancient artefacts. The Gyzi Megaron Museum is at the northern end of the town. Here you can see the photographs taken before and after the 1956 earthquake. We recommend local restaurants. The town is famous for its wines and delicious gyros. Read more about what to do in Santorini or Santorini sailing. Check our boats: yacht charter in Santorini
You have to spend most of the two days travelling the 100 km distance between Crete and Santorini. We recommend this route to more experienced sailors. On the way back from Santorini, the mistral wind is a big help.
Day 1. Heraklion – Agia Pelagia 16, 30 km (10, 13 mi), Day 2. Agia Pelagia – Thira Port 117, 79 km (73, 19 mi), Day 3. Thira Port – Oia – Agia Eirini 12, 41 km (7, 71 mi), Day 4. Agie Eirini – Panagia Kalou – Monolitas 17, 78 km (11, 05 mi), Day 5. Monolitas – Anafi 26, 14 km (16, 24 mi), Day 6. Anafi – Kamari – Vlichada 33, 11 km (20, 58 mi), Day 7. Vlichada – Heraklion 112, 88 km (70, 14 mi)
- Riva Tirasia, Santorini: Depth: 5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 36.452705, 25.344247
- Thira New Port, Santorini: Depth: 4.5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 36.386354, 25.428268
- Rethymno Marina, Crete: Depth: 4m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 35.367884, 24.481550
- Heraklion Marina, Crete: Depth: 3.5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 35.346677, 25.151282
Do not miss this trip if you are sailing from Crete and want to explore the volcanic island of Santorini! During the journey, you can immerse yourself in the view of the seemingly endless Greek sea. The beautiful island of Santorini offers an unforgettable experience you do not want to miss. Find more Cyclades sailing routes or Crete sailing destinations