|The Greek islands||Athens||Piraeus||Rafina|
|Piraeus, Greece - The ferry harbour near Athens|
Piraeus is the main port of Athens and has been so since ancient times. It once was a town of its own, but has now been reduced to a suburb of the Greek capital. Piraeus lies 8 kilometer southwest of the old Acropolis and most of the Greek ferries start their journey here. Piraeus is quite a large affair, and "unromantic" compared to the idyllic islands, but is is also unavoidable to reach a lot of the destinations. Since it can be chaotic it is not a bad idea to plan a little bit ahead and roughly know what you want to do and where you want to go. Piraeus has three harbours of which the "Great Harbour" on the western side is the largest one. Here all the large car and passenger ferries depart, as well as the hydrofoils to Aegina. Half a kilometer east of this harbour over a hill lies the harbour of Zea, which is mainly a yacht marina, but also the starting point for the hydrofoils and catamarans to the Saronic islands. The last port is called Flisvos, 7 kilometer east of Zea, and is a harbour for excursion boats.
Because Piraeus is a commercial town with mainly shipping offices and banks and there are not that many tourist facilities like hotels and restaurants, it is wise to make reservations at a hotel, especially if you arrive late in the evening or in high season and you have to stay here overnight in order to wait for your ferry to depart. During high season rooms tend to be booked out quickly and prices go up, leaving you less or no choice at all.
Most of the ferries are more or less grouped according to the islandgroup they go to and most have a regular berth (although this sometimes changes). To be sure you will find your ferry it is wise to always be there some 30 minutes before the departure time. International tickets should be bought as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
All international ferries leave from the southern side of the harbour. Also if you travel with a car or if you travel in the high season and want to travel on a special ferry (for instance a very fast one) than maybe it is wise to reserve a ticket ahead.
The airport is connected to Pireaus by metro (metro 3, change at Monastiraki station to metro 1 - 60 minutes), by bus or by taxi. For the bus station follow the signs in the airport. On the left side of the exit there is a small ticket office. The price for a ticket in 2015 was 5 euro. You have to buy your ticket ahead. The second and third bus stop from the ticket office are the stops for Piraeus. If it gets busy: buses go regularly and usually there will come two double buses at the same time. Normally there are buses every 20 or 30 minutes. During the night they are less frequent. The number of the bus is x96. The ride to the harbour takes about 1 hour and 15 to 30 minutes.
For the Cycladic island destinations of Andros, Tinos, Mykonos and Paros it is wiser to travel from the smaller harbour of Rafina.
|Piraeus Hotels - Hotel Faros 1 - well priced, good reviews, close to the port|
Hotel Faros 1 in Piraeus, is a recently renovated (2007) hotel that guarantees a flawless service and a pleasant staying. It is situated just a few steps from the center of town, near the port and with immediate access to the public transportation (so close to the metro station). From the hotel you can go by feet to the picturesque Pasalimani and Mikrolimano. The hotel, fully renovated, offers all the modern comforts, such as Internet with adsl for speed. The environment, warm and friendly, together with our loyal staff, offers to the travelers personal service and accommodation. The hotel has got 46 rooms.
All of our rooms have got a personal bathroom, air condition, central heating, color TV, telephone and internet access with adsl line. There is a tour desk in the reception where you can make your reservations to the greek islands and we can solve any question you have. THere is a 24 hours reception, a bar and a breakfast bar.
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