Research in Encoding And Decoding of
Nomikos Conference Centre
16-20 June 2020
Most paths to Santorini require a stop in Athens. While there are some international flights directly to Santorini airport from larger European cities such as London and Frankfurt during the summer, these flights are less frequent than those from Athens. In addition to the information on this page, there are many travel guides and web sites with extensive coverage of Santorini, such as www.santorini-island.biz.
Air transportation to Athens International Airport (ATH) is available on a regularly scheduled basis through nearly all of the major international airlines and many discount and charter companies. We recommend arriving in Athens in the morning if possible to facilitate connections to Santorini. Participants coming from non-EU countries connecting in Athens for Santorini Airport (JTR) will need to pass though immigration at the first entry into the European Union, and customs at ATH (collecting baggage and re-checking it). Departures from Athens for the United States tend to be in the early morning or early afternoon. It is usually possible to select flight schedules so that overnight stays in Athens are not required when flying to and from Santorini.
Air transport to Santorini from Athens takes less than an hour and is available multiple times per day. The Santorini airport (JTR) is about 5 km from the central town of Firá where the Nomikos Conference Centre is located, and transportation to Firá is normally by taxi, public bus, or hotel shuttle service. Airlines servicing Santorini from Athens include Aegean Airlines, along with Olympic Airways that has merged with Aegean. Flights take 40-50 minutes. Aegean Airlines is a Star Alliance partner, and is known by the IATA two-letter code as A3. Olympic is not a full Star Allicance partner, but must benefits and mileage accumulations accrue; it is known by the IATA two-letter code OA, although many times Olympic service is booked as Aegean.
For an amazing view of the island while landing, sit on the left side of the plane when going from Athens to Santorini (under the most common weather pattern).
Nonstop air transport to Santorini is available from many of the larger cities in Europe during the summer months. Flights through discount airlines as well as charter services are available. For specific information, please contact a local travel agent in your area, or web sites such as Kayak, Opodo, Travelocity, Expedia, Google Flights, Hipmunk, and so forth.
Boats to Santorini leave from the Athenian port of Piraeus (TZE) located about an hour's drive away from the airport. There is bus and rail transportation from the airport and other parts of Athens to Piraeus. The train station in Piraeus is directly across the street from the port itself, although you should be prepared for a possibly long walk to get to your boat. Boat tickets can be arranged beforehand or purchased as late as the day of travel, but often the less expensive classes of travel fill up early. If you are flying in to Athens and want to take a ferry the same day, we strongly recommend arranging the sea tickets beforehand. If you are planning a few days' stay in Athens before going by ferry to Santorini, then it is possible to purchase tickets in Athens. Ferry ticket prices are controlled, so shopping between agents for price is not necessary, although some agents do not represent all carriers and not all agents willingly accept credit cards. Boat schedules are available on line through www.gtp.gr.
The alternative seaport is Rafina, which although substantially smaller than Piraeus, is also substantially closer to the Athens airport. The boats from Rafina tend to be somewhat smaller than the boats from Piraeus, but it is worth considering taking the ferry from Rafina if you are not spending time in Athens.
There are two broad classes of boats which serve the Aegean islands: traditional ferries, and high-speed ferries. The traditional boats are slower, have open decks, make more stops, and are less expensive. The high-speed ferries are faster, enclosed, and are more costly. Be sure to check the transit time in addition to the departure time for any boat you are considering, as some boats make many stops on the way to Santorini. There is only one inter-island seaport in Santorini (ATI). Slower boats can take 10 hours from Piraeus, and high-speed boats as little as 4 hours. Be certain to verify the route and schedule when booking. As of Summer 2018, passage on a high-speed boat from Piraeus to Santorini runs about 65 euros, and on the traditional ferries about 40 euros. Smoking is permitted on ferry boats, and non-smoking sections are available.
Upon arrival in the port of Santorini you will be greeted by many hoteliers clamoring to make last-minute bookings, and taxi drivers looking for fares. Be aware that taxi prices can vary considerably with negotiating skill; the best strategy is to insist on the meter. An inexpensive public bus to the center of Firá is available and meets most boats; tickets are purchased on the bus, and only in cash, for under 2 euros. Some hotels have pickup service from the port if you arrange the details beforehand; we recommend phoning from Athens to confirm. The drive up the caldera face to the town of Firá can be breathtaking; sit by the window (either side) and be sure your camera is handy!
The town of Firá is the main settlement on the island, and is where the conference is held. Firá has become continuous with the town of Firostefani slightly to the north. These towns are readily explored on foot, and many establishments are not accessible by any other means. Vehicles, even scooters, are not allowed on most of the pathways in the heart of the town.
We provide a high-quality map of Santorini to participants for navigating the island. A preview of the Firá portion of the map is available that can be helpful with hotel planning.
The island of Santorini is small enough that it can be circumnavigated in a single day by motorized vehicle. There is frequent bus service from Firá to all of the other towns, beaches, airport, and seaport; the bus depot is near the center of town and the inexpensive tickets (under EUR 2) are purchased in cash on the bus. Cars, motorized scooters, and bicycles are readily available for hire, but you must have a motorcycle license to rent even the smallest of two-wheeled scooters, and an international driving permit is recommended. Filling stations are strategically placed around the island. The central taxi station is in Firá. Although it is technically possible to hail a cab, empty taxis typically do not circulate looking for fares, thus rides are best arranged by phone or by going to the main taxi stand in Firá. There can be a very, very long wait at the taxi stand. When calling for a cab, be prepared for a long and somewhat ill-defined delay before one arrives. Make sure that the taxi driver sets the meter when you enter the cab. Longer taxi rides should normally not exceed 30 euros. A typical fare from Firá to Selene Restaurant in Pyrgos (the restaurant of our catering service, and the location of our Gala Banquet) is 10 to 12 euros. As of 2018, ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are planning to expand to Santorini, but have not yet started.
Local travel agencies offer day trips to the nearby islands and especially the volcano and hot springs in the caldera. If you visit the volcano, be prepared to walk uphill for 20 minutes. You will need to bring a hat and sun cream as there is no shade whatsoever, along with sturdy shoes as the volcanic rock is sharp and can be hot. Flip-flops are discouraged. If you visit the hot springs, be aware that the high mineral content, especially sulfur, can discolor swimwear. In 2006, the volcano excursion had reports of jellyfish in the springs (and since then, that excursion stops elsewhere for a swim).
We have put up a page of collected web cams of Santorini (when viewing, don't forget that Greece is on Eastern European Time, GMT+2 in the winter or GMT+3 in the summer). Some of these are more reliable than others, but as a collection, they form a nice view of the caldera from different points along the populated rim. If you find a webcam that is not listed on that page, please let us know!