Marc Dubin, The Daily Telegraph, June 18, 2013
Charlene Toh writes
I’m planning a trip to the Greek Islands with my parents in September and our first island hop will be from Athens airport to Mykonos. I understand that Rafina will be the nearest port to take a ferry over to Mykonos but it seems like the timing for ferries availability are pretty limited? Can you point me to the best sources of information?
Marc Dubin, Greece expert, replies
Greek ferry-boat routings, schedules and frequencies are indeed less user-friendly than the were some years ago. The best websites for checking these in advance (all with English options) are gtp.gr, fiddly to use but showing departures for days or weeks either side of your projected travel date; openseas.gr, easier to use, but returning results only for one date at a time; and goferry.gr, more overtly geared to ticket sales but still informative. Once you know the company serving your route - for Athens, starting from Piraeus, Rafina or Lavrio in order of likelihood - the biggest are ANEK, Blue Star, Hellenic Seaways and NEL; it may be easier to use their particular website for ticket booking. Be aware that, unlike buying air tickets online, you cannot actually complete the purchase of ferry, catamaran or hydrofoil tickets from the comfort of your keyboard. You will pay or at least provide your card details online, and receive a printable confirmation as to seating/berth facilites and car space (if any), but you must proceed to the port in question to retrieve the paper tickets from a representative office. Once full online provision of seagoing tickets within Greece is implemented (don’t hold your breath), these offices will have little reason to exist any longer.
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About Marc Dubin
Marc has been writing about Greece for three decades, Cyprus for two. He is the author of several books including the Rough Guides to Greece, the Greek Islands, and Cyprus.