Taxi Queries and tight schedule

Old Jan 24th, 2018, 10:28 PM
  #1  
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Taxi Queries and tight schedule

Good morning,

My husband and I are hoping to return to Greece to visit his family, however, since we have been there before, we would like for it to be a short trip and include a few other counties (we are coming aaallll the way from South Africa!)

We are thinking of staying in Athens for 2 nights, and Paros for 3 nights (family in both places). However, I can't quite remember how it worked last time. I know we used Blue Star ferries. What other ferries come highly recommended? We would like it to be cost-effective but of course, very safe (paranoid husband). We are a group of 4, possibly 6. All adults.

Another question: I have seen a flight I would like to book which leaves Athens at 06:00am, what's the best way to get to the airport by about 04:00am? Only a taxi? How much would it cost? And would I have to book this beforehand, or are taxis easily available at that time?

I have heard of a 24h bus service to the airport, can anyone send me a timetable or link to more info?

We are hoping to travel in July, which I believe is peak season.

Thanks in advance
AATOlive is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2018, 12:49 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,965
The Athens downtown to Athens airport bus is X95. It leaves from the Syntagma square.

You can easily google the schedule. I took the bus to the airport last year.
Bus X95 - From Athens Center (Syntagma) to Athens Airport
O.A.S.A. - Tools

Here is the bus stop:
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.9749...2!8i6656?hl=en
At that time, there is no traffic delay.
greg is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2018, 01:26 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by greg View Post
The Athens downtown to Athens airport bus is X95. It leaves from the Syntagma square.

You can easily google the schedule. I took the bus to the airport last year.
Bus X95 - From Athens Center (Syntagma) to Athens Airport
O.A.S.A. - Tools

Here is the bus stop:
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.9749...2!8i6656?hl=en
At that time, there is no traffic delay.
Ah yes, wonderful. Thanks!!
AATOlive is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2018, 01:56 AM
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Regarding ferries, look no further than Blue Star, as it is the cheapest and most comfortable ferry from Piraeus to Paros. There are two sailings every day, one at 07:25 and another a 17:30. The other ferries are high speed catamarans, which are twice the price and save only an hour of sailing time. If you are coming directly from Athens Airport there are also ferries from Rafina, which is closer than Piraeus, but these are mostly the more expensive high speeds. If staying the night before in central Athens, Piraeus is the easier port to reach of the two.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2018, 08:05 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 254
Blue Star is very good.

As far as transportation at that time of the morning you have two options: Bus & Taxi. The Metro doesn't start until 5:30 in the morning which would have been your best option. The bus is very inexpensive but it all depends on where you are staying. The bus stops at Syntagma Square, so if you are staying there it would be very convenient. If you are staying further away it means walking to it with luggage and other bags in very early morning and hope you find the spot and you or the bus are on time.

The taxi would be your most convenient but is very expensive at the time of morning, somewhere in the 55 euros range, but it may be more cost effective for two. You can have your accommodations arrange for a taxi in the morning.
crazyh is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2018, 08:15 AM
  #6  
 
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If I had a 6 am flight from Athens airport, I'd stay at the Sofitel that is right there are the airport rather than leaving in the middle of the night by an expensive taxi. It's a lovely hotel and had a decent restaurant, then you just have to cross the street and walk straight into the airport. The one thing the Athens airport has going for it is relatively small size. You don't have to arrive hours early for a flight. Two is definitely enough, and to be honest, 90 minutes is probably enough time, particularly for an intra-Europe flight.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2018, 01:30 PM
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While I can understand having accommodations near the airport for easy access to a 6 a.m. flight you will miss the opportunity of experiencing Athens. From what I can gather from the OP they want to experience Athens and that won't be possible if you are staying at a hotel near the Airport without a major effort of getting to Athens proper.

We have taken the 6 a.m. flight twice and have stayed in Athens. We wanted to be near everything one goes to Athens for. We ended up biting the bullet and spending the 55 euros for a taxi for an early morning ride to the airport.

If one wants to take a bus to get to the airport for a 6 a.m. flight means getting there by 4 a.m. That means getting up at 2 or 2:30 in the morning, walking to the bus stop at Syntagma Square for the 3 a.m. bus which takes about 1 hour to get to the airport. Hopefully you find the bus stop and you and/or the bus is on time.

We felt spending the 55 euros for the taxi was the best option, even though it pained us to pay that amount it was a fraction of the cost for our Greece trip.

We have now decided on never taking a 6 a.m. return flight back home. It really hampers what you can do the night before, what you are eating, drinking, how late you are staying out to ensure we get to bed early enough for an early return to the airport.

This October we are taking a 11:50 a.m. return flight back to the US which means we will get back home maybe around midnight or 1 a.m. However, we'd rather have a wonderful last night in Athens, eat, drink, dance to our heart's content rather than getting to bed no later than 9 p.m. for a 3 a.m. wake up call.

However, I realize sometimes you don't have a choice on flights but if it all possible try to get a later departure to enjoy your last night in Athens.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 10:05 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Heimdall View Post
Regarding ferries, look no further than Blue Star, as it is the cheapest and most comfortable ferry from Piraeus to Paros. There are two sailings every day, one at 07:25 and another a 17:30. The other ferries are high speed catamarans, which are twice the price and save only an hour of sailing time. If you are coming directly from Athens Airport there are also ferries from Rafina, which is closer than Piraeus, but these are mostly the more expensive high speeds. If staying the night before in central Athens, Piraeus is the easier port to reach of the two.
Originally Posted by crazyh View Post
Blue Star is very good.

As far as transportation at that time of the morning you have two options: Bus & Taxi. The Metro doesn't start until 5:30 in the morning which would have been your best option. The bus is very inexpensive but it all depends on where you are staying. The bus stops at Syntagma Square, so if you are staying there it would be very convenient. If you are staying further away it means walking to it with luggage and other bags in very early morning and hope you find the spot and you or the bus are on time.

The taxi would be your most convenient but is very expensive at the time of morning, somewhere in the 55 euros range, but it may be more cost effective for two. You can have your accommodations arrange for a taxi in the morning.
Thank you both, looks like we will stick with Blue Star then!

Originally Posted by doug_stallings View Post
If I had a 6 am flight from Athens airport, I'd stay at the Sofitel that is right there are the airport rather than leaving in the middle of the night by an expensive taxi. It's a lovely hotel and had a decent restaurant, then you just have to cross the street and walk straight into the airport. The one thing the Athens airport has going for it is relatively small size. You don't have to arrive hours early for a flight. Two is definitely enough, and to be honest, 90 minutes is probably enough time, particularly for an intra-Europe flight.
Originally Posted by crazyh View Post
While I can understand having accommodations near the airport for easy access to a 6 a.m. flight you will miss the opportunity of experiencing Athens. From what I can gather from the OP they want to experience Athens and that won't be possible if you are staying at a hotel near the Airport without a major effort of getting to Athens proper.

We have taken the 6 a.m. flight twice and have stayed in Athens. We wanted to be near everything one goes to Athens for. We ended up biting the bullet and spending the 55 euros for a taxi for an early morning ride to the airport.

If one wants to take a bus to get to the airport for a 6 a.m. flight means getting there by 4 a.m. That means getting up at 2 or 2:30 in the morning, walking to the bus stop at Syntagma Square for the 3 a.m. bus which takes about 1 hour to get to the airport. Hopefully you find the bus stop and you and/or the bus is on time.

We felt spending the 55 euros for the taxi was the best option, even though it pained us to pay that amount it was a fraction of the cost for our Greece trip.

We have now decided on never taking a 6 a.m. return flight back home. It really hampers what you can do the night before, what you are eating, drinking, how late you are staying out to ensure we get to bed early enough for an early return to the airport.

This October we are taking a 11:50 a.m. return flight back to the US which means we will get back home maybe around midnight or 1 a.m. However, we'd rather have a wonderful last night in Athens, eat, drink, dance to our heart's content rather than getting to bed no later than 9 p.m. for a 3 a.m. wake up call.

However, I realize sometimes you don't have a choice on flights but if it all possible try to get a later departure to enjoy your last night in Athens.
I think we will just make space in the budget for a taxi, it is expensive, but it's a once off with lots less stress it seems. I haven't booked yet, so will see if I can move flights around, but wanted to see what the options were should I book that flight. It's not the worst thing, I suppose.

As mentioned, I am yet to book. So I will run the idea of the airport hotel past my husband. We could maybe sleep there for only that one night. I will have to look at the pre-lim schedule. Once we start booking, things will be a little clearer.

Thank you all for your answers!!
AATOlive is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2018, 02:53 AM
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It's not clear to me whether you are trying to decide between a 6:00 AM flight or a ferry to Paros, or if these are two separate trips. Will you be in Athens for 2 nights before going to Paros?

If it's a decision between the two, and you want to spend the last night in Athens I would opt for the 7:25 AM Blue Star. It's quicker to get to Piraeus than to the airport from central Athens, and there are no check-in or security procedures to go through for the ferry. That means you could stay in bed longer and get to Piraeus by taxi in about 20 minutes. You can buy your ferry tickets from a Blue Star agent in central Athens the day before, and be at the Blue Star docks about 30 minutes before sailing. The ferry takes 4 hours, so you will be on Paros before lunchtime.

I certainly agree with doug_stallings that the best place to stay before a 6:00 AM flight is the airport Sofitel. It's less than 5 minutes walking time from the hotel reception desk to the airline check-in counters, and Sofitel has the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in in Greece. The drawback, of course, is that Sofitel is more expensive. If you could rearrange for a later flight you could stay in central Athens at a less expensive hotel, and not have to get up at 2:00 AM.

How are you going from/to SA and Greece? Emirates via Dubai? I flew from London to Cape Town with BA last October, and will be going from London to Joburg (again with BA) in April. I will probably be going to SA once or twice a year in future, and have looked at the options of Emirates via Dubai, or KLM via Amsterdam.

Last edited by Heimdall; Jan 26th, 2018 at 02:58 AM.
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