Boat and Ferry Travel

Boat travel in Greece is common and reasonably priced. Every weekend thousands of Athenians set off on one- and two-hour trips to islands like Aegina, Hydra, and Andros, while in summer ferries are weighed down with merrymakers on their way to Mykonos, Rhodes, and Crete. Cruise ships, ferries, and hydrofoils from the Aegean and most other Greek islands dock and depart every day from Athens's main port, Piraeus, 10 km (6 miles) southwest of Central Athens. Ships for Corfu sail from ports nearer to it, such as Patras and Igoumenitsa. Connections from Piraeus to the main island groups are good, while connections from main islands to smaller ones within a group are less so.

Boat schedules are published in Kathimerini, an insert in The New York Times International Edition, but it's often more convenient to book tickets through a travel agent; it's what Greeks do as well. Schedules can be found online or by calling the Piraeus Port Authority. Just realize that timetables change according to seasonal demand, and boats may be delayed by weather conditions, so your plans should be flexible. Ideally, buy your tickets at least two or three days in advance, especially if you are traveling in summer or taking a car. Reserve your return journey or continuation soon after you arrive. For further information, see Boat Travel in Travel Smart.

Getting to and from Piraeus and Rafina

To get to and from Piraeus, you can take the Green Line metro (Line 1) from Central Athens directly to the station at the main port. The trip takes 25 to 30 minutes, but there may be a rather long walk to your dock from there. A taxi can take longer because of traffic and costs around €15–€18. Express bus line X80 links the OLP cruise terminal to the Acropolis and Syntagma Square in the center of Athens and runs daily every 30 minutes from 7 am until 9:30 pm.

Athens's other main port is Rafina, which serves some of the closer Cyclades and Evia. KTEL buses run every 45 minutes between the Mavromateon bus terminal in Central Athens and the port, from 5:40 am until 10:30 pm, and cost €2.40 At Rafina, the buses arrive and depart from an area slightly uphill from the port. The trip takes about one hour depending on traffic. (See Bus and Tram Travel).


Rafina KTEL Buses. 210/ 880--8000;

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