Most voyagers embark for the Aegean Islands of the Cyclades, Dodecanese, N.E. Aegean and Crete from Athens' Harbor Piraeus. See Map Piraeus Harbor left click to see it larger. It a good idea to know what gate your boat departs from especially if you aren't going to a Cycladic island. Ask when you buy your ticket. If you click the map left you can get an idea of where you want to end up after you have purchased your ticket which you can do near the metro station if need be. You can even purchase your ticket at the gang plank if its a slow day or under booked but not a good idea if its high season and there are scads of annoyed people waiting around.
Its easy to get to the harbor because the metro drops you off right at the boats departing for the Cyclades islands which are the most popular islands and the most visited.
If you are going to another island group get there early and be prepared to walk quite a bit so a wheeled suitcase is going to be very nice to have!
Piraeus also has 2 smaller harbors: Marina Zeas where Flying Dolphins moor and depart and Tourko-limano, where fishing boats moor and many pricey, but excellent sea food restaurants contend for your tourist dollar. The latter is particularly charming by night but expensive.
Still if you can afford it its a great experience and very picturesque too. At night the moonlight glitters across the water illuminating the yachts and its a quintessential Greek experience to eat by the sea!
Greater Athens boasts additional embarkations ports such as Rafina and Lavrion an hour or two by car depending on traffic. These ports are most busy during the summer months and reach highest departure rate during August.
Rafina services, by Flying Dolphin, the following Cyclades Islands: Andros - Tinos - Mykonos - Ios - Amorgos. In summer larger boats depart from here to more destinations. Also visit how to get to ports of Rafina or Lavrion.
Lavrion serves among others, Kea, the closest Cycladic island.
Straight from the airport departing from these ports can save you a trip into Athens and Piraeus but remember you will spend money and time to reach them too and they are less of a sure thing.
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