Most visitors to Greece are familiar with Piraeus Port in Athens. There are three ferry terminals in Athens, which not many people are aware of. Rafina Port is the second biggest of these. The Rafina port, which handles over 2 million passengers annually, is also the second busiest port in Attica. It is one of the primary escapes to the Cyclades and the islands of the northeast Aegean Sea and is situated on the Athens coast to the northeast.
Rafina Port is located on the easternmost point of the Attica peninsula, 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from the city center of Athens and 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the airport. Depending on traffic, it takes an hour to travel to Rafina port from the city center and 30-45 minutes to travel there from the airport.
The port of Rafina is situated closer to the Cyclades in the northwest. Because of this, getting to Andros, Tinos, and Mykonos via ferry from Rafina is the simplest and quickest option. Ths blog post gives a thorough guide on how to book a ferry the Rafina Port, what to expect when you get there and how to get there. So keep reading to discover all you need to know about the Rafina Port in Athens!
Unlike Piraeus, the port is fairly small, and getting around the port area only takes a few minutes. Rafina port has a variety of ferry kinds, from small, quick ferries to larger ferries that can transport automobiles. The Rafina’s passenger port includes a single, spacious terminal with two high-speed vessel ramps and 13 ramps for standard boats.
The pier is just a few meters from the port’s entrance, making it simple to walk to the ships’ locations. Due to the numerous ferry departures and arrivals throughout the summer, the port of Rafina can get extremely busy. Hence, if you are taking a vehicle, we strongly advise that you go to the port at least one hour before your ferry departs.
Taking a taxi from the heart of Athens is the quickest method to get to Rafina Port. Depending on traffic, a taxi ride from Athens to Rafina will often take up to 4 passengers under an hour. If you don’t have a car, you can take public transportation to go to Rafina. Here are a few ways you can get there: The KTEL Attikis intercity bus lines will take you from the heart of Athens to Rafina.
Every hour, buses travel from Pedion tou Areos, and the trip takes around 1.5 hours. Please be mindful of the city traffic and take an earlier bus to ensure that you arrive in plenty of time for your ferry departure. The cost of the bus to Rafina is €3. Depending on traffic, a taxi ride to Rafina from Omonia or Syntagma takes around an hour. It costs approximately €5.0 during the day and €6.5 at night (00:00-05:00).
There are similar City buses (AS) as well. These buses, number 314 (St. Douk. Plakentias – Rafina), leave from the Doukissis Plakentias (Line 3) metro station and make stops close to Rafina’s harbor. A taxi will take you there in around 10 minutes from the bus stop to the harbor. The trip takes about 45 minutes and the 314 bus lines run roughly every hour. You can use the Athens Transport tickets and cards on this route.
You should note that there isn’t any free parking in the port of Rafina unless you leave your car on one of the surrounding town streets, which is a little bit more away from the port entrance. The Rafina public parking lot is 3 minutes from the port terminals, and parking costs as little as €4.5 for the first 6 hours. Private parking lots that provide the option of parking in a covered area are also located close to the port.
There are various shops and helpful services in the town center, which is not far from Rafina’s port. If you have time, you can stroll through the city and relax at one of the ouzeri and tavernas known for their delicious fish dishes. The stunning church of Agios Nikolaos, Rafina’s signature structure, is located just five minutes from the harbour on a tiny hill with a commanding view of the Aegean Sea. The stunning Marikes beach, located approximately 1.5 km south of the port, is a great place to swim before or after your journey.
All year long, there are multiple daily ferry crossings from the port of Rafina. You may get ferry boats to areas like Tinos, Andros, Mykonos, Crete, and the islands of the northeastern Aegean Sea from Rafina. Ferries from Rafina often sail for destinations in the Cyclades Island chain. Moreover, there are frequent ferry services between Rafina and Marmari in Evia. It often takes less time and costs less to go to any of these islands from Rafina’s Port than it does from Piraeus. The busiest ferry routes from Rafina are:
- Rafina to Andros: Because of its distance from Piraeus, Andros is frequently overlooked by tourists. It is one among the Cyclades islands with the most vegetation and has some of Greece’s top beaches. It’s also a terrific weekend getaway from Athens because it only takes a little over an hour to get there. Golden Star Ferries and Quick Ferries are two ferry companies that operate on this route.
- Rafina to Tinos: Tinos is a wild, hilly island with a number of wonderful settlements and several stunning beaches that is well-known for its enormous religious ritual on August 15. If you enjoy classic, real Greek cuisine, it’s also a terrific place to visit. It’s simple to travel there because it’s only a few hours from Athens.
- Rafina to Crete: Throughout the summer, there are weekly crossings on this seasonal route. The nine-hour ferry ride from Rafina to Heraklio in Crete normally departs from central Cycladic islands like Naxos or Santorini.
- Rafina to northeast Aegean: In the summer, there are frequently direct ferries from Rafina to Ikaria or Samos in the northeast Aegean.
- Rafina to the Cyclades: The ferry service goes from Rafina to the central and southern Cyclades. Rafina to the Cyclades islands is served by a large number of ferries during the summer. Rafina-Milos and Rafina-Santorini are two of the most well-liked routes, respectively.
- Rafina to Mykonos: The majority of Greece itineraries include this tiny island, which has gained popularity among the international jet-set since the 1950s. You’ll either love it or loathe it, depending on how you like to travel. If you have the chance, take a day trip to the archaeologically rich island of Delos from Mykonos Town. Only 2 hours and 10 minutes are needed to go from Rafina Port to Mykonos.
- Rafina to Evia: Evia is a truly undiscovered island that is only one hour from Athens and is not particularly well known to foreign tourists. To move around and take in the unspoiled splendor, you’ll need a car. You may anticipate meandering roads, a lot of gorgeous, green beaches, protected bays on the island’s west coast, and undeveloped, open beaches on its eastern coast. Although a bridge technically connects to Evia, taking a boat there is faster.
The following is a short list of what to bring with you when island-hopping in Athens. Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a daypack, wet bag, a waterproof camera (not required, although Athens has some stunning, crystal-clear water that you may love to take pictures of), a small padlock (Athens is notorious for pickpocketing), sandals, water shoes, hiking shoes, and lastly, a coverup or scarf. Also, planning and adhering to a budget is crucial while visiting the Athen islands. The budget should include the cost of meals (both eating out and buying groceries), travel, and excursions.
To summarize all that has been said in this blog post, Rafina Port in Athens is the second biggest of the three ports in Athens and this port handles over 2 million passengers annually, is also the second busiest port in Attica. We also discussed the different ways one can use in order to get to Rafina Port, how to get there as well as the transportation options and prices.
We moved on to talk about the main attractions of the Rafina Port and things to do there; furthermore, we talked about the islands that can be reached from Rafina Port and finally how to plan your island hopping trip and what to expect. You should note that the Rafina port is extremely popular on the weekends and in the summer. It is advisable that you consider the possibility of a traffic jam if you are traveling by car or better still take public transport, the price for their fares have already been stated in the blog post.
Try to stay hydrated when island-hopping in Athens, so bring a reusable water bottle. This concludes our discussion on the ultimate guide to Rafina port in Athens. Have you been to this city? Post your stories and advice in the comments section below!