Hey folks, haven't been on here recently but I'm trying to get back into travel blogging so I'm using this post as a short version of what I'll eventually be blogging about in more depth, with some tips since we did some things very right on this trip and other things fairly wrong and it might be helpful for first-timers to Athens.
I returned yesterday from my second trip to Greece. The first trip focused on Thessoloniki and Pelion. This trip was motivated by a desire to see my favorite band, which is playing a succession of European festivals, but we chose to see them in Athens because it was the cheapest ticket, in the cheapest country, and the easiest to get to venue. Plus my husband is fascinated with ancient Greece and I wanted some beach time, so it just made sense.
Unfortunately, the cheapest flights from my city to Athens only run 3 times a week, so while I would have preferred to fly in, see the show and spend a couple days in Athens, and then go to an island to relax, we had to do it the other way around. We were also constrained by flight times. So if my itinerary seems a little weird, that's why.
Arrived at the Athens Airport at 8:50 p.m. and used Welcome Pickups for a transfer to the port suburb of Piraeus, which was 54 euros. Normally we would just take public transit, but we were arriving late and didn't want to deal with a 90 minute bus or metro ride with transfer that late with a bigger piece of luggage than I should've taken. Ironically the transfer cost more than our hotel in Piraeus, but it was so convenient that I'd do it again in similar circumstances.
Our hotel, "Piraeus Dream" is a perfectly adequate budget hotel walking distance to the port and just a couple blocks . Check in and out was fast and easy, they upgraded us to a larger room, the AC was cold.
Piraeus obviously isn't famous for being particularly pleasant, but we managed to have a nice late meal at Harlequin and then strolled down to Che for a drink in an absolutely lovely patio.
I purchased online tickets for the Flying Dolphin for our trip to Agistri. The port was fairly confusing because multiple ships dock at the different numbers. We finally figured out which one we should be waiting by, only to be told that our electronic tickets required a printout so we rushed to the ticketing booth to get that done before the boat departed. The Flying Dolphin was not the most pleasant boating experience I've ever had. We took the longer car ferry back and had a much more enjoyable trip, mostly due to scenery and being able to go above deck, get a beer, etc. The car ferry is only 30 minutes longer and is a few euros cheaper as well, and drops off at the village most people going to Agistri are headed to - Skala.
I'm going to go ahead and talk about Agistri (against my better judgement) in the next post.