My family and I will be flying out of Athens in September at 6 a.m. My concerns are about getting some rest before flight (close to airport) and being able to get to airport in a quick way. Any recommendations? Thanks so much!
A 3-minute walk from the arrivals hall is the Airport Sofitel. It's expensive but VERY convenient. The closest hotels otherwise are St. Thomas B&B, Peri's Hotel and Pantheon Hotel.
As well as Lee's suggestions there is a Holiday Inn 7km away which runs a 24 hour shuttle. I've never stayed there but often drive past: it's on the main road into Athens and the airport bus stops there.
How many days are you planning on staying in Athens before flying home? That could make a difference on where you stay. If it's a couple days I would recommend staying in Athens to experience the city. If it's just one day then somewhere closer would be best.
What transportation are you using to get to the airport? If it's a taxi it may cost you 54 euros for that time of morning. If so you might as well stay in Athens for that price and enjoy the city.
Regardless you'll need to get to the airport at least 2 hours before your flight to check in, go through security and make sure you'll have time to wait for the flight.
Either way it's a an early morning wake up and trip to the airport. You'll have more options and maybe better prices in Athens with a wide range of budgets and still get a taxi for a door-to-door service.
I think it's about €40 for taxi/private transfer to the airport. It's about 1/2 hour drive from the center of Athens when there's no traffic. The airport is small, if you are there at 4 a.m. you'll probably have an hour for breakfast before boarding.
Correction to Chani: The taxi flat-rate from Central Athens to the Airport was set at €38, last I heard (this includes any tolls and the former "baggage fee"). This applies if your trip ENDS after 6 a.m, and before Midnight. during the other 6 hours, the permitted rate is considerably higher ... about ??? 65€ ?? You must be in your check-in line at 4 am, so you don't have the flat-rate. The Metro is not an option because service only begins about 5:30 am. The X95 Bus leaves 24/7 in Syntagma Square (Top corner RH side), and in the wee hours goes every 30-40 minutes or so... A sign by the ticket Kiosk gives timetable. At that time of night it takes only 45 minutes, costs €6 for adults, €half-price for seniors, I think under-10? goes free.
Besides the 2 airport accommodation options mentioned, there are 2 smaller places... they are a 10 minute (?? €15) taxi ride away.
• HOTEL PERIS is a modest but well-kept small place, with A/C etc & continental breakfast. Used to be €75-80 double. FOrmerly a free shuttle from airport until 11 pm, and free shuttle back after 7:30 am but their website no longer mentions it. If you go there before having dinner the night before, about 1/2 km away is a beach with some tavernas, pizza type places
• St. THOMAS B & B, also a 10 minute taxi ride away, is in a nice olive grove, and has a small pool. Only 3 rooms I think, but one of them is a Suite, can accommodate 3-4. By advance arrangements, they could have dinner delivered. In AM there's a buffet breakfast that would be no good for you... They might pre-pack something for u to take along. Rates vary by room €90 - 150.
Would these be appropriate for you? who knows??? Cramcke if you want the best advice, next time don't be so terse. We are experienced on Greece but we are not mind-readers. We don't know if your "family" is 4 adults, or whether there are tiny ones, or if there are 5 or 6 of you. It would matter a lot, certainly in Taxis, because by law they can carry only 4 plus driver, even if a child is under 2.
Your dilemma is lesson to all Greece newcomers -- not to jump at a good airfare that involves an early morning departure. I now advise newbies to look for homebound flights departing no earlier than 9-10 am. Yes, a higher fare, but the wee-hour departures end up having all these extra costs, and energy expenditures as well.
Athens airport is small. The airline personnel at the main/bag check in desk told a number of separate "us"es to hurry because there was a long delay at security. Security had one person ahead of me...? (and the others apparently). This was around noontime. There were 4 of use waiting alone at the gate. No one showed up at the gate until 20 minutes before the flight, not even other passengers. This is a low key airport. I'd be willing to bet there will be no one around if you get to the airport at 4:00 AM. I've learned my 8:00 AM international flight from Boston does not have any agents at the main check in desk even, until approximately 6:15/30, and Logan is huge in comparison. Perhaps you will hear from others who took such an early morning flight out of Athens to confirm their actual hours. When it comes to my transportation system, I pick the easiest, not the least expensive. However, rather than paying for business class, I fly economy, daytime flights, and I sleep at the terminal hotel if there is one (sofitel usually) and/or take taxis. I believe in low stress/low fatigue. So I suggest picking the least stressful system for you. That being said, the only early morning flight I ever take is the day flight out of Boston.) Don't have breakfast at the hotel. Have it while you wait, when the airport venders actually open in the morning. But more importantly, see if you can find out when the check-in personnel actually start working at the airport and don't arrive before then.
We stayed at the Sofitel and found it very agreeable, especially because we used points to pay for it. There is an alternative to the 28 euro breakfast. For 10 or 12 euros we got coffee, pastries, juice and fresh fruit.