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Pre-booking Ferries

We are planning a first trip to Greece in September. It is a simple schedule but requires booking ferries from Athens (Pireaus) to Paros and after several days back to Athens where we will stay for a short while. It is September which I believe is beyond high season. Do we need to book our ferry tickets early?

Thank you for any advice.

Posted by
3118 posts

No, but you can either buy them at the ferry port before your departure or when you first arrive you can buy them at the airport from Aktina Travel in the Arrivals Hall betweem exit/entry doors 2&3. A 3rd option would be to buy them from a travel office in Athens if you're spending time there before you go to the islands.

Posted by
1781 posts

For ferries timetables and prices, see:

https://www.ferryhopper.com/

But do not book from this site. When you have found the ferry that suits you, go to the website of the ferry company (Seajets, Blue Star Ferries, Golden Star ferries, etc)

Most ferry companies now offer, when you book on their website, a "Webcheckin" option which allows you to receive your tickets (with a QR code) on your smartphone and go directly on the ferry without going through a ticket office.

If you do not use this option you can book in advance on the website (a few days in advance is enough), you will get a reservation number with which you can collect your tickets from a ticket office (about €1 charge per ticket)

As Lee told you, If your ferry leaves early in the morning, collect your tickets the day before. Otherwise you can pick them up at the port of Piraeus on the day of departure. Allow some time to collect the tickets

Posted by
800 posts

Good advice given by previous posters. I would recommend that you register your trip with the US Smart Traveler Program. They will alert you to a ferry strike in case you need to change plans. The ferry companies will not and you may be left scrambling.

Posted by
1781 posts

For information and for all those planning an Airport-Piraeus journey by metro.

New metro stations will be open (scheduled date September 2022) as an extension of line 3 (blue) of the metro which leaves from the airport, it will be possible to go from the airport to the port of Piraeus without changing lines at Monastiraki station and take line 1 (green) which goes to Piraeus.

In the meantime there is still the suburban railway which connects the airport to the port every hour (same stations as the metro)

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks to all for the great information. It really helps.

I have one more question (I guess there's always at least one more question). We are arriving in Athens mid-afternoon, spending the night in Pireaus, and traveling to Paros the next morning. The hotel provides free shuttle service to the port and will also pick guests up at a variety of locations. One of those arrival locations, as well as the metro station, is the x96 airport bus stop. I understand taking the bus is about an hour ride. Which would you recommend, metro or bus.

I appreciate all your advice.

Posted by
1781 posts

The port of Piraeus is very large (4 km of quays from one end to another). And Piraeus is a big city too. Given all the possibilities of transport from the airport or from Athens it is difficult to say which is the best transport without knowing the final destination in Piraeus.

Since you are going to Paros, your ferry will leave from a Gate located between Gate E6 and Gate E9.
If it's a Blue Star Ferry, it will be at Gate E6. If it's a Seajets it'll probably be at Gate E9.
From the metro/train station Gate E6 is very close (less than 10
minute walk)
Seajets Gate E9 is further away (15 to 20 minutes walk)

The X96 bus that comes from the airport stops at several bus stops in the port. For someone who does not know Piraeus it can be difficult to determine at which bus stop to get off.

I think that now, like in all other buses in Athens, there is an electronic display in the bus which indicates in real time its position and the next stop (I haven't taken the X96 for more than 4 years)

But if he waits to arrive at the bus terminus to get off, he will be at the end of the port and will have to walk back (which can take more than 30 minutes on foot).

Also, depending on the traffic and the time, the bus journey can last more than an hour (sometimes 1h20).
The advantage of the bus is that it operates 24/7 and is not expensive (less than €6)

In my opinion and as I have tried everything in the last 20 years since the new airport exists, from the airport I would recommend the metro or the suburban train.
The train leaves the airport at 07 of every hour between 06:07 and 23:07. He arrives at the port of Piraeus 63 minutes later.

The metro leaves every half hour at 02 and 32
it takes 40 minutes to Monastiraki station where you have to get off to take the line that goes to Piraeus. Travel time Monastiraki - Piraeus is about 15 minutes.

(Unless the new stations are open, as I specified in a previous message. In this case the route will be direct)

Train and metro leave from the same platforms at the airport station. The ticket price is 9€
The station in Piraeus is also the same for the train and metro

The metro is also the best option from the center of Athens. There are also buses and trolleybuses, but I will not complicate the subject. You have enough to digest for today LoL