Hey and welcome maxtraveler2:-) In Season, you can certainly use Rhodes as a starting point.. you need to check ferry schedules of course for the onward journey to Santorini (keep an eye out at www.gtp.gr/ www.openseas/ as time approaches;-) The run from Santorini on to Ios, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos to Athens is a standard and popular route.. again in Season;-) Happy planning.. and EnjoY!
To add to Litsa's info, you can get to Santorini from Samos but it will depend on when you plan to travel and how much time you want to spend in transit. The Samos ferry will stop at one of several islands depending on the schedule the ferry company adopts for the upcoming year. It will either stop at Syros, Mykonos or Naxos/Paros, to be determined sometime next year, probably in April. You can get to Santorini from these islands I've listed, although timing will be the challenge for you.
2) Kos > Kalimnos > Astypalaia > Amorgos > Naxos.
3) Kos > Santorini. (more frequent in hi-season).
4) Rhodes > Kos > Santorini. (more frequent in hi-season same as the Kos ferry).
5) Rhodes > Karpathos > Crete > Santorini (1/2 per week).
It does not matter which of those central Cycladic islands you end up on as you can get to all on your list Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios, Santorini with daily ferries.
I should also add that Samos Kos and Rhodes are also connected by ferries.Edited: 1:24 pm, November 12, 2012
Thank you all for your excellent information.
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