How far is Athens from San Francisco? Here's the quick answer if you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line.
Flight distance: 6,791 miles or 10929 km
Flight time: 14 hours, 5 minutes
Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula. For a long distance, this appears as a curve on the map, and this is often the route that commercial airlines will take so it's a good estimate of the frequent flyer miles you'll accumulate as well.
This is a fairly long flight, so unless you have a Gulfstream G650 or your own Boeing or Airbus, you might be booking a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. Scroll down to see a more realistic calculation that takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.
In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a private plane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city. But for most of us, we're going to be flying on a commercial airline (whether it's first class or coach). So that means we really need to account for all the extra travel time getting to the airport, waiting for our flight, and making it to the destination.
To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.
Departure airport: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Arrival airport: Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH)
With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.
Getting to the airport: 33 minutes
Getting to your destination: 36 minutes
Now finally, let's look at an actual flight from SFO connecting through CPH and arriving at ATH flying on SAS Scandinavian Airlines. We can figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, time to taxi on the runways, and an average layover time of about 2 hours.
Initial flight time: 11 hours, 28 minutes
Connecting airport: Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup (CPH)
Connection flight time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from San Francisco to Athens including time spent getting to and from the airports, roughly 2 hours at the departure airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, plus the connecting flight with a 2-hour layover.
Total travel time: 20 hours
To see the details on this flight plan, including recommended airports, airline, and route, check out the flight planner:
Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Athens, Greece. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Athens. If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out City Circus Athens Hostel. A great place to eat might be Thanasis. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Athens like Acropolis of Athens. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Athens like What would do in one day in Athens (Greece)? . Click the button below to explore Athens in detail.
The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line. But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse directions to get the distance from Athens to San Francisco, or go to the main page to calculate the distance between cities.
If you happen to know San Francisco, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about San Francisco!