We're coming into Pireus by ferry overnight from Chania, Crete, with probably a 6:00 AM arrival. Earlier I had noticed the number of rental car offices in the immediate area of the ferry port and thought that was going to be perfect, as we are planning to drive down to Napflio that day. We will return several days later in early evening to drop off the car and then on into Athens city center. But there are a number of posts on the web about how difficult it is to get in and out of Pireaus by rental car. Those posts advocate taking the bus to the airport to pick up a car, but that really takes us out of our way. So I was thinking of taking a cab or mass transit either into central Athens or to the Avis location at north Athens Halandri, 47, Vas Georgiou Str. which appears out by the main east/west highway, to pick up a rental car. Has anyone picked up/dropped off in Pireaus and how bad was it? Has anyone picked up a car in central Athens - how bad was returning it there? We want to rent from a large international company. Have driven in Europe many times and we know to generally avoid having a car in a large city. We will have a rental car in Crete prior to this time, so hopefully will have gotten used to driving in Crete/Greece somewhat.
I realize that flying from Crete to the Athens airport would simplify this, but we were looking forward to taking the ferry. I've read debates on the other threads on this forum about ferry travel so I understand the pros and cons. We took the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead last summer and thought it was a charming alternative to airports The overnight won't take that much time from our schedule.