Since my recommendation for folks splitting their time between Athens and the islands is to leave Athens for the end of their trip (remember the old saying “leave the best for last”), and people are always asking me about it, I thought I’d include some information here on getting to and from Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH) Athens International Airport and the various ports one might be heading to or coming from in their Greek journey.
Before offering up the specifics, let me just remind those who don’t know, Athens is about in the center of the Attica – meaning it is essentially “landlocked”. The major port of Athens is actually in Piraeus, which is located on the western side of Attica, with two smaller ports, Rafina and Lavrio(n) serving some of the island on the eastern side of Attica.
Transportation between the Athens Airport and the port of Piraeus
• By metro: Use Metro line 3 from the Athens International Airport and change at Monastiraki to Metro line 1.
Estimated journey time is 60 minutes.
For further information visit the Metro website.
• By bus
Use Route X96 Piraeus – Athens International Airport.
For further information please contact the OASA (Athens Public Transport Organization) call center at 185, visit the ‘Service Info’ section of the OASA website, or call the Piraeus Port Authority at (+30) 210-4147800.
• By suburban railway
For further information please contact the Suburban Railway website (currently online available in Greek, but who cares, since the metro between the airport and downtown Athens will opened again on September 3, 2009, so there’s no need to take the Suburban Railway if you are going to the port.
Transportation between the Athens Airport and the port of Rafina
Take the KTEL bus (Regional Bus Service ) to the port of Rafina. The line departs from the Arrivals Level, opposite the Sofitel Hotel.
For further information, visit the KTEL Attikis website (tel.: +30 210 8808080) or call the Rafina port Authority at (+30) 22940-22300
Airport – port of Lavrio
Take the KTEL bus (Regional Bus Service) to the port of Lavrio(n). The line departs from the Arrivals Level, opposite the Sofitel Hotel. Change bus at Markopoulo.
For further information, visit the KTEL Attikis website (tel.: +30 210 8808080) or call the Lavrion Port Authority at (+30) 22920-25249 & 22920-26859
And of course, you can always just take a taxi (my father-in-law was once an Athens taxi driver, and though I never knew him, he must have been a terrific guy because everyone who knew him speaks fondly of him, so its in his memory I put this little plug out there for the tourism focused taxi drivers of Athens). You can grab one at the taxi stand outside the Arrivals Hall on the Arrivals level, or you can order one to be waiting in the Arrivals Hall for you (you know, those guys with the signs … before I had my apartments and a great relationship with a terrific Athens taxi driver, I always stumbled, exhausted and bleary eyed, into the Arrivals Hall, pulling my luggage, envying those folks who had someone waiting to grab their bags and whisk them downtown, or to the port, or wherever their final destination .. now, I am one of those folks I used to envy!) . I know some great drivers, but I like to keep them busy with my guests, so unless you are staying in one of our places, you are on your own when it comes to sorting out which of the “Famous” Greek taxi drivers you’d like to book your trip with. Rest assured, they are all (mostly) great, reliable guys, who enjoy their work as the “unofficial” ambassadors of Greece, and you won’t have much to complain about if you choose this last method for getting to or from the Athens International Airport (and you will be especially appreciative that you prebooked your transfer if you happen to arrive on a day the public transit employees have decided to go on strike!)