Athens Airport to Piraeus
Visitors can get from the Athens International Airport to Hydra by a combination of taxi, bus, hydrofoil, and/or water bus or taxi. The nearest airport to Hydra is the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH; +30 210 353 0000, www.aia.gr).
Most people flying into Greece and traveling directly to Hydra opt to take the high-speed hydrofoil or catamaran (flying dolphin or cat) from Piraeus. Options for getting to the Hellenic Seaways departure point in Piraeus include taking the X96 bus, the Athens metro, or a taxi. See below for the specifics on each mode of transport.
The X96 bus stop is located outside exit 5 (turn right as you exit customs and enter the arrivals area. Tickets (~5€ in 2014) must be purchased at the small kiosk just in front of the bus stop. The bus leaves every half hour, 23 hours per day, and stops several times on the way. Piraeus is the last stop. The trip will take up to 1.5 hours (less during off-peak hours).
Depending on traffic, the trip from the airport can take as long as 90 minutes. When booking boat tickets, it’s important to leave plenty of time (about 3 hours) for the journey as well as clearing immigration, baggage claim, and customs. In summer the boats fill up quickly, particularly on weekends, so reservations are recommended. If you don’t allow enough time and miss your boat, you might find the next one is full.
Adult tickets cost 5€; children under age 6 travel free. Half price tickets at 2,50€ are available for students (upon showing their student ID plus a passport or other ID), youth age 6 to 18 years old, seniors (age 65 and older on showing their ID). Once on the bus, be sure to validate your ticket to avoid a fine if an undercover inspector happens to be on the bus. Just stick your ticket into the red validating machine mounted on a pole toward the center of the bus.
You will want to debark in Piraeus at the stop across a very busy street from Gate E8. Watch for other passengers debarking with luggage or ask your driver to signal when you’ve arrived at the correct stop. You’ll pick the bus up in a slightly different location on your return trip to the airport. See the map pasted in below to get your bearings, and scroll to the bottom of the page for close-up images of the areas where you’ll want to get on and off the bus. For more information, visit the Athens Airport Bus site.
The metro leaves from the Athens airport metro station every 30 minutes between 06:30 a.m. and 23:30 p.m. Travelers take one metro from the airport to the Monastiraki station in the centre of Athens (~40 minutes). At Monastiraki, you switch the Piraeus line (green), which terminates at the Piraeus metro station (~30 minutes).
The metro station is located a few blocks from the Hellenic Seaways departure gate. For more information, visit the Athens Airport Metro page.
The taxi rank is to the left as you exit the arrivals area (between Exits 2 and 3). Taxis are available around the clock. There may be a bit of a queue, but it typically moves quickly. The fare from the airport to Piraeus runs around 47€ during the day (5 a.m. to midnight) and 65€ at night (midnight to 5 a.m.). Be sure that the taxi driver starts the meter and sets it to tariff 1 during daytime hours and tariff 2 during night-time hours. Depending on traffic, the journey generally takes around 45 minutes.
If you feel more comfortable booking a taxi, rather than grabbing one at the taxi rank, you can do that by phone or online. It is also possible to book a private car to meet you in the arrivals area, assist with luggage, and take you to Piraeus. Visit the Athens Airport Taxi site to make arrangements. We also know of several English-speaking drivers who’ve been transferring travelers from the airport to Piraeus for decades. We’ll be happy to make a recommendation.
The taxi driver will drop you right at the Hellenic Seaways departure gate and for a tip will help you carrying your luggage to the quay.
Hellenic Seaways Departure Area & Bus Stops
In addition to the ticket kiosk, the Hellenic Seaways departure area provides public restrooms, an air-conditioned waiting area as well as an outdoors waiting area, and a small kiosk for snacks and drinks. The following images will hopefully help you identify the X96 arrival and departure bus stops and the gate for the Hellenic Seaways flying dolphins and cats, as well as give you an sense of what you’ll find there.