So I went to Naxos, one of the Cycladic island of spectacular beauty, calm sea and wonderful cuisine. I can’t say it was a hundred percent hassle-free process so I’ve decided to share with you my experience of getting from Piraeus to Naxos.
Usually, it all starts in Athens.
Getting from Athens Airport to Piraeus port
I arrived in Athens Airport and had to go to Piraeus port in order to catch my ferry to Naxos. There are two ways to reach Piraeus from Athens Airport by metro (+the suburban railway) and by bus.
Athens Airport to Piraeus port by metro
Here you’ll find all the practicalities of the Athens public transport operation – https://www.thisisathens.org/getting-around/public-transportation-metro-bus-tram
Here’s the Athens metro map + suburban train map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Athens_Metro_stations#/media/File:Athens_Metro_Map_(December_2013,_English).svg
The best way to reach the Piraeus port from Athens Airport would be:
- Taking the M3 metro line in the direction of Agia Marina to Monastiraki, exchange lines to M1 going in the direction of Piraeus
- Taking the P2 suburban train to Neratziotissa station, exchange there to M1 metro and go all the way to Piraeus
Here’s what you should know about the Athens metro ticket prices:
Piraeus metro station is situated right at the E7 gate of the Piraeus port.
Athens Airport to Piraeus port by bus
If you don’t want to use the metro (and make the changes) and would like to take a direct bus instead, you should use the Χ96: Airport – Piraeus port bus. That was the one I used as I arrived at Athens Airport at 23:00 and the metro wasn’t an option.
Attention: the ticket for the X96 bus can be bought only from the cash desk right next to the bus stop (the bus stop is situated at the entrance to the arrivals section of the Athens Airport). That’s important for you to know as I forgot about that upon arriving and almost missed the bus.
The X96 bus ticket cost is 6 EUR.
On OASA (a public transport authority of Athens) you can find all the stops this bus does as well as see its route on the map.
It goes 24 hours so it’s always a safe choice when you’re arriving late.
Getting from Piraeus to Naxos by ferry
In order to get to Naxos by ferry you have to buy your ticket first.
I’ve used the Ferryhopper website to book the ferry tickets to Naxos. There are other websites but I loved the design and UX of this one and it appeared not to be a scam so I would really recommend it to the fellow travelers.
How to get from Piraeus to Naxos with Blue Star Delos ferry
Attention: there’s one thing that you should be aware of when booking a ferry ticket to Naxos (or other Greek islands). The majority of the ferry operators require you to come to their cash desk in order to exchange your ticket number (that is issued by the website when you buy it online) to the physical ticket.
Why it sucks? For example, I had a Blue Star Delos ferry from Piraeus to Naxos at 7:25 in the morning (and I arrived in Piraeus at 1:05 at night before). Now I had to wake up really early to exchange the ticket number to a ticket at the counter. The cash desk of Blue Star Ferries opens at 6 am.
If you’re also traveling to Naxos with them, here’s where you can exchange your ticket number to a ticket:
If you’re in Piraeus port for the first time, it’s not the easiest experience. It’s not unorganized either, it’s just a little bit complicated. On Blue Star Delos website you can find a map of the Piraeus port:
Blue Star Delos ferry departs from Gate E7.
Ticket collection point is also at the Gate E7, here’s how it looks like:
Here’s where you find it:
The tickets are collected, you’re ready for the ferry ride!
Leaving the Piraeus port.
Blue Star Delos ferry from Piraeus to Naxos
The duration of the ferry trip from Piraeus to Naxos is 3 hr 55 min. Not that long, not that short. Just enough to have a good read when the vessel is in the open sea and gaze at the magnificent island panoramas when the ferry passes by Aegina, Kea and Kithnos islands.
Also, the Blue Star Ferry Delos makes a stop at Paros, another breathtaking Greek island and you can have the fantastic vistas there too.
Finally, you’re approaching the glorious Naxos, the largest of Cycladic islands.
Believe me, you won’t be disappointed by this gorgeous island.
This is a first article of my Naxos island series. More follows. Feel free to ask questions and share your own experience/suggestions.
My other articles about Greece:
- 5 fascinating museums in Athens, Greece
- 11 photo reasons to fall in love with Plaka neighbourhood in Athens, Greece