we are on a tight schedule and want to plan in advance for a ferry from pireaus to hydra on sept. 25, the morning after arriving in athens from california. we will be tired and want to relax for 3 nights in hydra where we have hotel reservations. our athens hotel is near monasteraki metro. we want to take the slower type of ferry so we can be on deck during the ride and relax and enjoy. does anyone know a website that works for the slow boat? coming back to athens we'll prefer the faster route. do we need a different websitefor the fast boat? what are the logistics for accomplishing this? we'd like to have the ferry tickets available for use when we arrive athens and just hop the metro to the ferry dock and out. we can figure out the return from hydra, i think, if we don't have to book in advance. we have to make a plane connection so want to get it right. i have been trying to surf the web to figure this out but am getting nowhere. thanks so much for any help anyone has!
A number of schedules do not show ferries to the Saronic Gulf Islands, these ferries are more like commuter ferries than the ones to the further flung islands. Ferries are frequent and rarely are an issue getting tickets. My advice would be to wait until you arrive, stop at one of the many travel agencies around Syntagma Square and pick up tickets. They will be able to present you with all the options. You could probably do it as well over the internet, using a Travel agency, but doing it the day before offers simplicity in talking to a person and getting the tickets in hand immediately.
Penelope, I can see why you were having trouble. I did some searching myself and it looks like the conventional (slower) ferry stops running after Sept 13. After that the higher speed ferry is the only option I see. The crossing takes a little over an hour and a half. It's still scenic and relaxing just not as long and it doesn't stop at the other islands (Poros and Aegina) before Hydra. Because you're going later in Sept that may be your only option.
thanks fro your replies! danaetravel is a link i found that seems to provide some useful info on saronic island travel. there is a catamaran that goes to hydra but, i don't know what that is. is it an open air ferry? it leaves piraeus at 10a. this may be just what i want. now i haveto see if ican get the tickets sent to the hotel. communication is complicated with some greek agencies! any furthur intelligence will be geatly appreciated!
Penelope, the catamaran is not an 'open air' ferry. That's the fast ferry that I mentioned. There is an inside cabin area with seats and also an outside area where you can sit to see better and take pictures. As far as I remember where you sit is up to you and you can have a seat inside and still go out and take photos then come back to your seat. Weather could determine if you want to sit inside or out.
penelope, You might consider contacting one of the travel agencies listed on the excellent www.greecetravel.com website. They'll be able to advise on which Ferry or Hydrofoils will be optimum for getting to Hydra at that time of year, and they can also set up an easy transfer from your hotel right to the docks. I used Fantasy Travel for similar arrangements a couple of years ago, and the service was excellent! Be prepared to drink bottled water on Hydra as the tap water is dreadful. Bottled water is easily available. You didn't say if you've been to Greece before, but be sure you make note of the slightly different "bathroom practices". As an after dinner drink, you might find Mastika interesting (I'm wishing I'd brought a larger bottle home - oh well, that's an excuse for another trip to Greece). Happy travels!
okay nancy - just what i wanted to know! we'll take the catamaran and looking forward to it!