The best way to get from Athens to Mykonos is taking the ferry. There are flights, but most people choose to go by ferry, which can take between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the service and route. The flight time from Athens to Mykonos is 35 minutes, but don't forget that flying requires airport transportation, check-in, and security checks.
The first ferry usually departs from Athens at 7:30am, and the service is more frequent between April and September (usually four or more per day). The companies that operate ferries between Athens and Mykonos are Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, and Seajets. Tickets can be booked in advance, but you still have to pick them up at an agency representing the ferry company at the port.
Athens Airport to the Ferry Port
To go from Athens Airport to the main ferries port (Piraeus), you can take bus X96. It has space for luggage, runs 24 hours a day, every 30 minutes, and the journey takes between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on traffic. Taxis are just 5 to 10 minutes faster, and much more expensive, costing as much as €60.
The bus stop at the airport is found right outside the arrivals hall (pictured above), you just need to follow the signs. You buy your ticket at the booth next to the bus, not onboard.
When it arrives at the port, it stops by gate E7, from where many of the ferries to Mykonos depart.
If you're going to central Athens first, you take bus X95 instead, which terminates at one of the main squares, Syntagma.
Better yet, take the airport's metro (pictured above). Trains depart every 30 minutes from 5:30am to midnight, and take about 45 minutes to reach central Athens. Most tourists exit at Monastiraki or Syntagma, as that's where most hotels are located. You buy your tickets from the ticket booths or from machines.
Ferries from Athens Piraeus Port to Mykonos
The largest port in Athens is Piraeus, about 10km from the center of the city. It can take around 30 minutes to reach by taxi, which, depending on traffic, can cost between 20 and 30 euros. You can also go by Metro (pictured above), taking the green line that starts in Kifissia and ends in Piraeus, with stops at the busiest squares in the center of town, like Omonia and Monastiraki. Most tourists depart from Monastiraki, which is the closest station to the tourist center, and reach Piraeus in 20 minutes. As you exit the station in Piraeus, cross the road and you’re right at the entrance gate to the port. Once there, make sure you check which gate your ferry departs from, as there are several at this large port. To Mykonos, they almost always depart from gates E6 and E7, which are found directly across the street from the Piraeus metro station.
Ferries from Rafina Port to Mykonos
Rafina is the second largest port in Athens, although it’s actually around 30km outside the city in a small town. It is, however, just 10km from the airport. If you’re flying to Athens and heading directly to Mykonos on a ferry, the port of Rafina is a better option than the port of Piraeus. By taxi from the airport, it’s just 20 minutes away, and the fare is between 35 and 50 euros, depending on the time of day and traffic. There’s also a bus at the airport that takes you to Rafina in 30 minutes. It departs from just opposite the Sofitel Hotel, not from the regular airport bus stop. You buy the ticket onboard.
From the center of Athens you can go by taxi, but it can be expensive (between 50 and 70 euros), as it’s a journey that takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Your best option is a bus, which leaves around every hour from Pedion Aeros, in the center of Athens, and takes about one hour and 15 minutes to reach Rafina. Pedion Aeros can be reached on the green line of the Metro, exiting at Victoria station, then walking up Heiden Street towards Aeros park.
What is the best ferry to go from Athens to Mykonos?
The earliest ferry of the day is that of Blue Star Ferries (pictured above), leaving Piraeus at 7:30am, so if you want to be in Mykonos by lunch time, this is your best option. Blue Star ferries have a deck where you can freely enjoy the views and the open air, while those of Hellenic Seaways and SeaJets do not have open-air decks. Hellenic and SeaJets ferries also offer assigned airplane-style seats with less space, and are bumpier on rough seas, but they do get you to Mykonos much faster (in around 3 instead of over 5 hours). If you usually get seasick, your only option is the big, slower Blue Star ferry.
On Blue Star Ferries you can get economy or deck class tickets with no assigned seats, so you can freely sit anywhere inside or outside on the deck. However, that means that you may have to go around for some time looking for a seat. For about 5 euros extra you can reserve a seat, and can still move to one of the free unassigned seats. On Business Class you have access to the lounge and its comfortable sofas, and you can also splurge on a cabin, which comes with a bed and with window or no window.
On Hellenic Seaways and SeaJets there isn’t much difference between the classes, except that in economy you’ll be sitting in the back, and in business you’ll be in the front with better views.
All ferries have lounges or bars where you can buy food (mostly sandwiches and pastries) and drinks.
How Much is a Ferry from Athens to Mykonos?
Tickets can NOT be bought onboard. Buy them online (see company websites below) or at the ticket offices at the port (example pictured above).
Depending on whether it's economy or business class (or even a cabin in the case of Blue Star Ferries), your ferry ticket will cost you anywhere between 35 and 70 euros. Prices also differ depending on the day of the week, being 10% more expensive if you depart from Piraeus on Fridays and Saturdays, or arrive on a Sunday or Monday.
Economy class on a Blue Star ferry is the cheapest option.
There are no return tickets. To go to Mykonos and return to Athens, you must buy two 1-way tickets.
Ferries Schedules and Tickets
NOTE: Since early 2020 and just like elsewhere in the world, all transportation to and around Greece has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The ferry company websites listed below have the current travel information. You must also fill out a health questionnaire before you take a ferry within Greece. You can find it here: Greece Ferry Health Questionnaire
Arriving in Mykonos
The ferries don't stay at the port for long, so as soon as you hear the announcement that the ferry is approaching Mykonos, grab your luggage and head towards the exit.
There are buses at the port (pictured above) that go to Mykonos Town, but most hotels offer transfers.
Where to Stay by the Port in Athens to Catch the Ferry
If you’re leaving Athens on a ferry early in the morning (the first one is usually at 7:30am), you might want to sleep by a Metro station that takes you to the port in 20-25 minutes, starting at 5:30am. You should stay by Monastiraki station in central Athens, where many hotels offer Acropolis views. These are the most recommended options:
360 Degrees Hotel
Just steps from Monastiraki station, you can be on the train to the port or airport in just minutes after waking up. The name describes the view from the rooftop bar, as many of the rooms don’t have a view.
A for Athens Hotel
Wake up with views of the Acropolis and cross the street to Monastiraki station for the train that takes you to the port of Piraeus or the airport. Breakfast is served on a panoramic terrace and there is also a rooftop bar for cocktails.
Monastiraki station is just down the street, taking you to the port. The Acropolis can be seen from some of the rooms and from the rooftop bar.