There’s aren’t many people who can easily take an island day trip from their home city. Athens residents surely can. They even have several islands to choose from. Athenians can even visit three islands in one day without having to sleep over. There are many day cruises from Piraeus (the main port of Athens) to Hydra, Aegina and Poros, three beautiful Greek islands that belong to the Saronic Islands group. This article is about Aegina ferries. It shows you how to take the Athens to Aegina ferry from Piraeus to make the most out of your island day trip.
I visited Aegina on a weekend trip from Bucharest. I don’t think many of my readers would do the same thing, so I decided to show you how you can visit Aegina island on a day trip from Athens. I’ll add some information on getting from the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos to Piraeus, should you decide to go straight to Aegina from wherever in the world you may be.
If you prefer to have someone else take care of you during the whole day, you can check out this private day trip to Aegina Island. You’ll get pick-up and drop-off from/to your hotel in Athens, an English speaking guide, ferry tickets and transportation in an air conditioned vehicle.
If you’d rather visit three islands in one day, you can take a look at this tour, here. It includes visits on three Saronic islands, Hydra, Aegina and Poros, as well as a skip-the-line ticket to Acropolis.
How To Get To Piraeus from Athens (To Catch the Aegina Ferries)
The fastest way to get to Piraeus from wherever you are in Athens is by taxi. Alternatively, if you want to save some money, you can travel by bus or metro.
My advice is to take a taxi, particularly if you are more than two people. You’ll get to your destination much faster and you won’t have to bother with finding bus stations and checking out bus timetables.
Getting to Piraeus from Athens by Taxi
There is a flat fare of 50 Euro to get from the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos to Piraeus.The taxi station is just outside the airport. You can’t miss it, because it is the first thing you see as you exit the building.
From Athens Center to Piraeus, the taxi fare is 25 Euro. Bare in mind that these are daytime fares. After 11pm, prices are higher.
Catching a taxi on the streets of Athens is something I still have to figure out. Rather than waving at all drivers you see, try to find a taxi station or find a hotel and kindly ask the receptionist to help you order a car.
Getting from Athens to Piraeus by Bus
The express bus line X96 takes you from the Athens International Airport to Piraeus. These buses are fine, provided that you can find a seat. If you have to stand, however, you won’t like it very much. There’s no special place for the luggage, so you’ll have to take care of it yourself (you may want to check this information again, as I haven’t used this bus since a few years ago).
The ride takes minimum one hour, so make sure you do have enough time before the departure of your Aegina ferry. The X96 buses go every 30-40 minutes. Here’s the bus timetable.
Taking the Piraeus to Aegina Ferry
With four ferry operators and 26 daily sailings, you can rest assured you’ll find a suitable Piraeus – Aegina ferry ride, regardless of the time of the day.
The Aegean Flying Dolphins and the Blue Star Ferries Helenic Seaways are the fastest boats. The ride from Piraeus to Aegina Town takes 40 minutes. The one-way ticket adult price is 14 Euro.
Traditional ferries (Ahios Nektarios Anes Lines and Saronic Ferries) are cheaper. The one-way adult passenger ticket is 8 Euro. The ride takes 70-75 minutes.
In the summer months there are more options, so make sure you check them out before your trip.
Beware that Aegina is only the first stop from Piraeus. If you don’t pay attention, the boat will depart with you on board, taking you to the next island on their itinerary.
If you have to leave Aegina on a Sunday afternoon, you’d better book your ferry ticket in advance. Many people from Athens spend their weekends on Aegina or on other Saronic islands, so ferries can get busy on Sundays.
If you want to check out the Aegina ferries timetables and book your tickets, feel free to use the following app:
If you forgot to book your tickets, you’ll be able to buy them on the spot, right at the departure gate.
On Aegina, ferries have their ticket booths right by the pier.
In Piraeus, ferries for the Saronic Islands depart from gate E8. Tell this to your taxi driver.
Out of All Greek Islands, Why Aegina? There’s More to It than Aegina Ferries
The first reason to visit Aegina is its proximity to Athens. The second largest of the Saronic Islands, Aegina is located at only 27 km (17 miles) from Athens. This island is the closest to Athens you can get. From Piraeus, you can reach it in as little as 40 minutes by hydrofoil ferries. Regular boats take a little over than hour.
Apparently, Aegina was inhabited since 3500 B.C. Today, the island is home to a cathedral, an archeology museum, an impressive number of churches, the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, and the ancient Temple of Aphaia, as well as countless orange trees and olive trees. The Church of Agios Nektarios on Aegina is one of the most important Orthodox landmarks. Agios Nektarios is one of the most well-known Greek Orthodox saints. He was a healer and a miracle worker. At a certain point in his life, he established a nuns monastery on Aegina, named The Holy Trinity. Lots of Orthodox people travel to Aegina to pray to Saint Nectarios and to visit his tomb. Here are some details about this saint and about this holy church.
This is the Cathedral in Aegina Town, just by the harbor:
Tavernas are spread along the main road of Aegina Town, right by the harbor. You can enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine while waiting for your boat. Beware, though, the service on Greek islands is rather slow, so you have to make sure you don’t miss your boat while waiting for the bill. By the way, this almost happened to us!
The Greek island of Aegina is famous for its pistachios. I had no idea about that. I also had no idea about the amount of pistachios I could eat within such a short time! I’m even eating some now, as I write about taking the ferry from Athens to Aegina.
They add pistachios even in the fish roe salad on Aegina island. The green stuff in the next photo is fish roe salad with ground pistachios. Try it, if you have a chance! It is very good. The other dish is tzatziki salad.
The good food and the laid back atmosphere are two more reasons to visit Aegina. Ferries from Piraeus will take you to Aegina Town. Here you’ll find a harbor with a neat promenade alongside the main road. You’ll also find lots of tavernas serving fish, seafood and Greek specialties such as moussaka and tzatziki. There’s also ouzo, beer and wine. I like how they all serve the local wine in brass jugs.
If you’re on Aegina on a day trip, you won’t have time for hiking. However, if you choose to stay a few more days on the island, you’ll be able to climb on top of those mountains for some great photo opportunities. Together with a friend, I took a hike on Mount Oros. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring drinking water with us, so we had to return before reaching the highest point of Mount Oros.
Anyway, the views on Aegina are breathtaking. Watching the sun setting is a blessing. The starry ski is unbelievable. On a clear ski night, you can see more stars than in any urban area. There’s not as much light pollution on Aegina. Photography lovers, remember to bring your tripods to take some stunning shots of the Milky Way (I didn’t).
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