Basic Flying info for Island Hoppers.
Many say that The Cyclades is the ideal Greek Island hopping region with frequent schedules ferries and short journey times between many of the Cyclades islands and it’s easy to get there. Fly international or low fare airlines to Athens connect and use domestic flights to many of the Cyclades Islands. Be aware of flight arrival times to Athens, quite often it includes several hours waiting time at Athens airport as you can arrive in the middle of the night from many Northern European airports. However, it is compensated by some good flight prices and low fair offers. Info Athens International Airport.
Mykonos – Santorini, and Crete by Air
Fly direct to Mykonos or Santorini Charter flights and or Low fare airlines fly direct 2018 from the UK to Mykonos or Santorini, could be pricey, as there is a limited number of flights.
Another interesting alternative is to fly directly to Crete from the UK (and many other European airports). A good combination flight service + ferry connections to the Cyclades island is fly to Chania or Heraklion airports with more seats available on charter flights and/or low fare airlines.
(Heraklion main ferry port Crete), provide good ferry service to/via Santorini. Santorini it’s on the main ferry route between Athens/Piraeus port and Crete/Heraklion. Santorini connecting to many Cyclades destinations daily, especially during the high season.
The distance to/from Athens International Airport and Athens city center is about 20 km. Take Metro Line 3 (Aghia Marina – Douk. Plakentias – Athens International Airport), which connects the Athens airport with the city center. Trains run every 30 minutes, 7 days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The trip from/to the Airport to Syntagma station (Athens center) lasts 40 minutes, (from 2016).
Express Bus routes connect directly the Athens (city center & greater area) and Piraeus (port) with the Athens International Airport (AIA) “Eleftherios Venizelos”. Service is provided on a non-stop basis seven days a week including holidays (24/7 operation). All buses disembark passengers at the Departures Level (inbound trips to the airport) and depart from the Arrivals Level (outbound trips from the airport), (from 2016).
The Suburban railway departs every 15-25 minutes from the Athens Airport railway station to Plakentias station, where you can change trains and continue to the city center (Metro Line 3 to Egaleo), using the same ticket. (from 2015/2016) Live updated Information here
Taxis is available at the designated Taxi waiting area located at Exit 3 of Arrivals Level. Note: The charge is determined by the time of arrival at the destination and includes all applicable surcharges and extras, (from 2016).
Lots of live updated travel information Athens Airport taxi link Metro timetables and so on.
Athens three main ports Piraeus, Rafina and Lavro
Piraeus is the largest and busiest port of Athens and the most popular departure point/port for Island hoppers and tourists. Ferries to all Aegean Islands, Crete, and ports of Peloponnese. Piraeus is the third largest commercial port in the world. Located 12 km from the center of Athens. Piraeus can be accessed by metro (green line), bus and taxi. Piraeus Port Authority has good gates and destinations plan here. Allow yourself a good 45 minutes to find and board your ferry. Secure luggage storage is available via regular luggage deposit in the passenger terminal building.
Rafina port located 27 km from central Athens on the west coast of Attica. The popular Rafina port with a high reputation for good fish tavernas. Rafina port is also the second departure point/port to the Greek Islands. As Rafina is the closest port to the International Airport of Athens, 17.5 km it is mostly chosen by visitors who want to travel directly to the Greek islands, without spending time in Athens. Rafina is connected to the airport of Athens with regular buses (departure every 30-60 min) approximately 25 minutes journey.
In general, busy morning and evening services to the Cyclades North (Andros, Mykonos, Syros, Tinos among the islands, all year. Paros-Naxos-Santorini in summer) and to the port of Marmari in Evia island. The port is located below Rafina town’s main square.
Lavrio port is about 60km from the center of Athens and approximately 25km from Athens Airport. There is no direct bus line to Lavrio from Athens airport at present (2016). However, the KTEL bus line runs from the airport until 22:00, and you can change at the Markopoulo stop to a bus that will reach the Lavrio cruise terminal. Tickets cost 4€ (2018) and the total journey will take around 60 minutes. A taxi will normally take 30 minutes from Athens airport to Lavrio.
Lavrio is a small port town on the southernmost point of Attica, very close to Cape Sounion. All year round, the port of Lavrio serves ferries to the islands of Kea and Lemnos. In summer, ferry trips are scheduled to Kythnos, Serifos and other Cycladic islands
Ferries in Greece. From and To Athens Pireaus, Rafina and Lavrio ports