Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece with a rich history. From the ports of Athens, you can start your journey by ship to all the islands of the Aegean. On BookTickets, you can easily and conveniently find the ferry schedules that interest you and book ferry tickets online at the lowest prices with all discounts for both passengers and vehicles!
History of Athens
The history of Athens is one of the richest and most significant stories in Europe and worldwide. This ancient city has a long timeline that reflects its continuous and highly influential presence in culture and history.
The history of Athens can be summarized as follows:
- Ancient Athens (3000 BCE - 338 BCE): Athens developed from the Neolithic era, and during ancient times, it became a powerful center of Mycenaean civilization. In the 8th century BCE, it experienced a revival, primarily due to its central location and the secure position of the Acropolis.
- Reforms of Solon (594 BCE): Solon implemented political and economic reforms that reduced economic dependence on the aristocrats while organizing citizens into classes based on their wealth and military abilities.
- Age of Tyrants (6th century BCE): Tyrants like Peisistratos ruled Athens for a period, bringing growth and prosperity to the city.
- Democracy (5th century BCE): Athens is considered the "birthplace of democracy" as it evolved into a democratic government under the leadership of Cleisthenes. It introduced new tribes and an assembly called the Boule, which acted as a legislative body and the supreme court.
- Greco-Persian Wars (499-449 BCE): Athens was one of the main Greek cities that faced the invasion of the Persian Empire. The Athenian victories at the battles of Marathon and Salamis significantly contributed to the city's recognition.
- The Golden Age of Athens: After the Persian Wars, Athens became a cultural hub for literature, philosophy, theater, poetry, and the arts. Prominent intellectual figures such as Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides, Sophocles, Aristotle, Plato, and others lived in the city.
- Age of Pericles (5th century BCE): Pericles led Athens during the 5th century BCE and supported the arts and sciences. During this century, many of the city's famous archaeological landmarks, such as the Parthenon, were constructed.
- Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE): A war between Athens and Sparta, known as the Peloponnesian War, had significant repercussions for the city. Athens' defeat led to the decline of its power.
- Macedonian Rule (338-322 BCE): Athens was conquered by Alexander the Great of Macedonia.
- The Persian Wars: In 499 BCE, Athens sent troops to Asia Minor to assist Greek cities in the Ionian revolt against the Persian Empire.
- Roman Rule: During the period 88-85 BCE, Athens was under the rule of the Roman governor Sulla. Athens remained a cultural center during Roman rule, supported by Roman emperors, with continued education and philosophy.
- Byzantine Rule (529 CE): A significant center for Byzantine art and culture. Conquests and Destruction. Conquered by Venetians, Ottomans, and influenced by the Greek War of Independence.
- Capital of Greece (1832): Otto was declared king and moved the capital to Athens.
- Foreign Occupation (World War II): Occupied by the Germans and suffered damage during the war.
Athens has faced many challenges throughout its history but remains an important cultural, political, and economic center in modern Greece.
Beaches in Athens
Below, we provide information about various beaches in the Athens area:
- Edem, Paleo Faliro: This is a bustling beach with easy access, free entry, and the opportunity for late swims. It is suitable for quick dips in shallow and calm waters and is popular with all ages. Additionally, a seaside stroll during sunset is a must.
- Akteo tou Iliou, Alimos: It is the first organized beach you encounter when coming from the center of Athens. It has easy access by tram, bus, or car and offers services such as water sports, a kiosk, and a beach bar.
- Agios Kosmas, Elliniko: This is an organized beach with free entry and a beach bar near the center of Athens. It boasts a beautiful sandy beach and provides a nearby escape.
- Asteras Glyfadas: It is a well-organized beach offering numerous amenities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, children's playgrounds, and a bike path, making it ideal for families.
- Mikro Kavouri: This beach is organized but offers free entry and various options for swimming and water sports. It is located near Mikro Kavouri and provides shallow waters and shaded spots.
- Megalo Kavouri: This beach continues from Mikro Kavouri and is suitable for couples and families. It is also filled with activities for children and has refreshment stands to keep you cool.
- Asteras Vouliagmenis: This is a luxury beach with many facilities and events for entertainment. Located at Asteras Beach, it offers an impressive environment with pine trees and crystal-clear waters.
- Lake Vouliagmeni: It is an idyllic landscape with a natural pool, therapeutic waters, intricate underwater caves, and lush vegetation. It offers many amenities, including a children's playground and Wi-Fi.
- Vouliagmeni: It is an award-winning, Blue Flag-awarded organized beach with various facilities, such as tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts, a children's playground, and refreshment stands. It is ideal for the whole family.
These beaches in the Athens area offer various options to suit every taste and need, from quick dips to luxury experiences and organized facilities.
Sights in Athens
- Constitution Square and Parliament: Constitution Square is the heart of Athens. There, you can enjoy your coffee at one of the traditional cafes. Near the square, you will find the Hellenic Parliament and the Monument to the Unknown Soldier, where you can watch the changing of the guard that takes place every hour.
- National Garden - Zappeion Hall: The National Garden is located next to the Hellenic Parliament. You can take a stroll through the garden towards the neoclassical Zappeion Hall and reach the Panathenaic Stadium, also known as the Kallimarmaro Stadium. It's only a 10-minute walk from the Parliament.
- Panathenaic Stadium: Also known as the Kallimarmaro Stadium, it was built in 1890 and hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. It is constructed from white marble from Athens and is beautifully illuminated at night.
- Temple of Olympian Zeus: The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion, is an important ancient temple in the center of Athens. It was built from the 6th century BC to the 2nd century AD and was the largest temple in Greece during its time.
- Acropolis Museum: The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum that focuses on the findings from the Acropolis of Athens. It houses objects from the ancient period of Athens and is located near the archaeological site of the Acropolis.
- Acropolis of Athens and Parthenon: The Acropolis and the Parthenon are the most iconic archaeological attractions in Athens. A walk in the area offers a magnificent view of the Acropolis and the Parthenon.
- Herodes Atticus Odeon: It is an ancient Roman theater from the Roman period that is used today as a concert venue with a capacity of 5,000 spectators.
- Thissio: The Thissio area is located northwest of the Acropolis and offers a beautiful view of the Acropolis as well as many dining and drinking options in cafes and restaurants.
- Monastiraki - Plaka: Monastiraki is a bustling area with attractions such as the ruins of Hadrian's Library, the Ancient Agora, and the Attalos Stoa. There is also an outdoor market with shops offering traditional items.
- Ermou Street: Ermou Street is the main shopping street in the historic city center, offering rich choices for shopping and enjoyable strolls.
Activities in Athens
- The historic yet always vibrant city of Athens offers visitors a multifaceted experience. You can stroll along the beach in the area of Palaio Faliro, where you'll find modern cafes, restaurants, parks, and playgrounds for children. Don't forget to book a table for a leisurely meal by the sea, with many restaurant options available.
- Within a short distance, you can visit the "Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center" an architectural and cultural landmark worth exploring, especially in the spring. The Great Lawn is a beautifully landscaped park with playgrounds for children, a complex aquatic lake, and numerous free events throughout the year, including concerts, theater, cinema, festivals, and sports activities.
- If you want to enjoy the city to the fullest, you can visit the Tatoi Estate, a 10,000-acre summer palace that once belonged to the Greek royal family. You can also walk under the shaded canopy of Philopappou Hill, across from the Acropolis, or on Pnyx Hill, which offers a stunning view of the Acropolis.
- Additionally, you can take a leisurely walk along the romantic Dionysiou Areopagitou Street to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, an archaeological monument that testifies to Athens' illustrious classical past. The historic city center is easily accessible on foot from any of our luxury hotels in Athens.
- Every Sunday, you can enjoy the experience of bargain hunting at the outdoor markets in Monastiraki, Athinas Street, and Psiri, where you can find everything from antiques to vintage and designer clothing. Let your feet rest and savor a tasty light meal or a refreshing coffee at one of the city's unique museum cafes.
How to travel to / from Athens?
Athens has three main ports:
- Port of Piraeus: Piraeus is the largest and most important port in Athens and one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean. It serves the majority of ferry connections to and from the Greek islands and abroad. Additionally, it is an important port for commercial traffic and cruises.
- Port of Rafina: The port of Rafina is located north of Piraeus and is another significant port for ferry connections to the Greek islands, such as Andros, Tinos, and Mykonos. It is particularly convenient for travelers heading to the islands of the Northern Aegean.
- Port of Lavrio: The port of Lavrio is located south of Piraeus and primarily serves ferry connections to the islands of the South Evoikos Gulf and the island of Kea. It is also known for its historical significance and the presence of archaeological statues and findings in the area.
Ferry routes and tickets from the Port of Piraeus:
In summary, there are ferry connections from Piraeus to various destinations on the Greek islands throughout the year:
- Ferry Routes Piraeus - Cyclades: Multiple ferry routes operate daily connecting Piraeus to the Cyclades islands year-round, with an increased number of routes during the summer. Popular destinations from the Port of Piraeus include Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, and Milos.
- Ferry Routes Piraeus - Dodecanese: Regular ferry routes operate from Piraeus to the Dodecanese islands every week, with popular destinations such as Kos and Rhodes.
- Ferry Routes Piraeus - Crete: There are ferry connections from Piraeus to Crete Heraklion, Chania, Kissamos, and Sitia year-round, with increased routes during the summer.
- Ferry Routes Piraeus - Saronic Islands: Daily ferry services are available year-round from Piraeus to the Saronic Islands, with popular destinations including Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetses, and Agistri. Additional ferry routes are added during the summer to accommodate the growing number of visitors to the Greek islands.
Ferry routes and tickets from the Port of Rafina:
Rafina is the second most important port in Athens after Piraeus. It is a small port that accommodates both conventional and high-speed/catamaran ferries, connecting to several Cyclades islands. The port is connected to many Cyclades islands, including Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Andros, Tinos, and Ios.
Popular ferry connections:
- Ferries from Rafina to Santorini: This route is one of the most popular from the port. However, it's important to note that the ferries operating this route are seasonal, running from May to October. During this period, there is usually a daily high-speed ferry to Santorini, with a travel duration of approximately 6 hours, operated by Golden Star Ferries.
- Ferries from Rafina to Mykonos: There are numerous daily ferry connections from Rafina to Mykonos during the summer. Specifically, there are at least 6 daily routes between the two destinations. This route is served by both high-speed and conventional ferries. The travel time is approximately 2-3 hours by high-speed ferry and around 4 hours by conventional ferry. Ferry companies operating this route include Fast Ferries, Seajets, and Golden Star Ferries.
- Ferries from Rafina to Andros: Rafina is the only passage from Athens to Andros, which is why there are frequent ferry routes to the island. At least 5 daily routes are available during the summer season. The travel time is approximately 2 hours for conventional ferries, while a high-speed vessel takes about one hour to reach the island. Fast Ferries and Golden Star Ferries operate conventional ferries, while the Seajets fleet includes the high-speed vessel.
- Ferries from Rafina to Tinos: Traveling to Tinos from Rafina is simple and quick. Ferries to Tinos are available year-round, with an increased frequency of routes during the summer. Specifically, at least 8 ferries (both conventional and high-speed/catamaran) depart from Rafina to Tinos. The ferry companies serving this route include Fast Ferries, Golden Star Ferries, Seajets, and Blue Star Ferries and Hellenic Seaways. The travel time can range from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the type of ferry (conventional or high-speed).
Ferry routes from the Port of Lavrio
- Ferry routes Lavrio - Kea (Tzia): Ferries depart from Lavrio to Kea with 1-3 daily schedules throughout the year, with an increase in frequency during the summer. The journey lasts approximately 1 hour, and the ferry companies operating these routes are Goutos Lines, Karystia, and Hellenic Seaways.
- Ferry routes Lavrio - Kythnos: Ferries to Kythnos depart from Lavrio several times a week year-round, with an increase in frequency during the summer. The journey takes about 1.5-2.5 hours, and the ferry companies providing these routes are Goutos Lines, Karystia, and Hellenic Seaways.
- Ferry routes Lavrio - Cyclades Islands: A conventional ferry operated by Hellenic Seaways departs from Lavrio to islands in the Cyclades, including Naxos, Paros, Milos, and others, once a week throughout the year. The duration of the journey varies depending on the destination, with Paros taking approximately 7.5 hours, Naxos about 9 hours, and Milos around 15 hours. It's worth noting that this is the most economical option for traveling to these islands.
- Ferry routes Lavrio - Lemnos - Agios Efstratios - Kavala: A conventional ferry operated by Seajets offers a route from Agios Efstratios to Lemnos and Kavala three times a week. The journey takes approximately 8 hours for Agios Efstratios and about 9 hours for Lemnos.
These are the popular ferry connections from Lavrio to various destinations, with an increased frequency of schedules during the summer season.
Departure Gates at the Port of Piraeus:
- E1 - Dodecanese
- E2 - Crete, Chios, Mytilene, Ikaria, Samos
- E3 - Crete, Kythira Vehicle Entrance
- E4 - Kythira Vehicle Exit Only
- E5 - OLP Bus Terminal - Pedestrian Entrance
- E6 - Cyclades, Rethymno - Pedestrian Bridge - Pedestrian Entrance
- E7 - Cyclades, Rethymno
- E8 - Argosaronic Islands
- E9 - Cyclades, Samos, Ikaria
- E10 - Cyclades, Samos, Ikaria - Vehicle Exit Only
- E11 - Foreign Passenger Terminal A
- E12 - Foreign Passenger Terminal B