Choose the Best way to get from Athens to Mykonos

Elevated view of Mykonos port with boats and ships on the water

Mykonos is one of the most popular Greek islands to include in an island-hopping tour of Greece. Are you starting your trip by travelling from Athens to Mykonos? Or heading to this popular destination after exploring the mainland?

Then you have a few options for getting to Mykonos from Athens, read on to discover them.

Plus I have all the information about how to get to Athens airport, Rafina and Piraeus Port.

What’s The Best Way To Get From Athens To Mykonos?

Well, it depends. Mykonos is well connected to Athens in the peak season. But the best way for YOU to get from Athens to Mykonos will depend on which season you’re travelling.

AND whether you want:

  • the fastest way to Mykonos
  • the greenest choice from Athens
  • the cheapest mode of transport to get you to Mykonos
  • the most authentically Greek option or
  • the most VIP, private and luxe route

So let me take you through the different options and you can choose your best way to get from Athens to Mykonos.

VIP Helicopter Transfer For A Luxe Transfer

Yes, I’m starting with flying from Athens on a helicopter with this because we ARE talking about Mykonos.

(And don’t dismiss the option of flying Athens to Mykonos just yet, because there’s a way it might feasibly be within your budget if this isn’t the norm for you!)

The most luxe and fuss-free way to arrive in Mykonos from Athens is by private helicopter transfer.

For this, you can expect to pay upwards of 3400 euros for the journey with a flight time of approximately 35 – 45 minutes. Viator lets you book directly through their site

Empty Legs / Empty Seats

Now, that’s not in everyone’s budget but a seat on an empty leg might be. What’s an empty leg? It’s when a helicopter is booked for a transfer from Mykonos to Athens. It has to go back to base in Mykonos but the client only travelled one way.

So, in an attempt not to waste that leg flying from Athens and be a bit greener, the seats are sold at a reduced rate. A seat on an empty leg could be around 250 euros. It’s not cheap but it’s considerably less than the first option.

If you’re celebrating a special occasion it might be an option you’d like to look into. Greek Airtaxi Network will show you details of any empty seats/empty legs they have available on upcoming transfers.

Of course, you can still book a full-price transfer for your specific needs, too.

Direct Flights From Athens International Airport For Speed

Ok let’s stick with the flying theme. The quickest way to get from Athens to Mykonos is to fly directly from Athens Airport to Mykonos International Airport. If time is of the essence then forgo relaxing into your trip on a boat and head straight to the airport.

In the summer season, there are a number of daily flights to Mykonos Airport from Athens. It’s about a half hours flight over the Aegean Sea and at first glance, it can also look like the cheapest option.

However, the lowest listed prices for economy class fares for a flight to Mykonos from Athens generally only include a (very) small piece of hand luggage, like a normal-sized day backpack. And what you might think of as normal carry-on luggage will be oversized.

If you book an Olympic Air / Aegean Airlines flight or one with Sky Express for your Athens to Mykonos leg you’ll probably have checked baggage included in your ticket.

If your Mykonos flight is with Volotea, Hahn Air or another company check carefully the cost of adding your luggage.

Connecting Through Athens to Mykonos

Be aware that if you’re flying to Athens from elsewhere, you can’t transfer straight through from Athens to Mykonos.

You’ll need to collect your luggage at International Arrivals and then leave the airport. Then you have to come back in through the Departures door and go through another security check.

Leave yourself plenty of time – at least three hours – between your scheduled arrival time into Athens, and the departure time for your flight to Mykonos.

You might not need all that time. But it’s better to be that way round than to start your trip to Mykonos stressing about making alternative arrangements.

Getting To Athens Airport

Transfer

A popular way of getting to Athens Airport is to take advantage of any transfer service offered by your hotel. Many run airport transfers for guests at an additional cost.

If yours doesn’t, I’ve used and can recommend Welcome Pick-Ups. A transfer or booking a taxi through your hotel is probably the best choice for going door to door with the least amount of stress.

Metro From Athens

But if you’re happy to get public transport to Athens Airport then the Metro is a fairly straightforward alternative. From Athen’s city centre you can get the Metro Blue line 3 all the way to the airport.

It runs through the centre with interchanges at Monastiraki and Syntagma Square so you can join the line there if needed.

The airport Metros have lots of luggage racks and the lines are easy to navigate. You can buy metro tickets from machines at the stations with cash or card.

Bus From Athens

There’s also a public bus from central Athens. The X95 bus goes from Syntagma to the airport and takes around 60 minutes at minimal cost.

Arriving Late

If you arrive on a late flight you could also choose to stay at the Sofitel Hotel at the airport itself. It’s nothing special but it’s very convenient.

Taking The Cost-Effective Ferry From Athens To Mykonos

The Greekest and greenest and cheapest way of starting your holiday/vacation to Mykonos from Athens is by taking a ferry.

Blue Star Ferries are amongst the ships that run regularly between Mykonos, Athens and other Greek islands

Having said it’s the cheapest way to get there bear in mind that Mykonos is one of the most popular Greek islands for tourists.

As such, I’ve noticed that ferries to Mykonos (from pretty much anywhere not just the Athens Mykonos route) are always more expensive than most of the other islands.

The ferry from Rafina Port is a regular ferry connection to Mykonos throughout the year.

In the summer months, the Athens to Mykonos ferry timetables increases along this route as well as having daily services to and from the port of Piraeus.

  • the first ferry from Athens leaves around 7am
  • some days the last ferry leaves as late as 8pm and
  • around the 15th August holiday, you’ll find the ferry schedules include extra services running even later.
Thunder is one of the ships that runs on the Athens to Mykonos ferry routes

The journey time of your ferry to Mykonos varies depending on the type of ship you get. The fast ferry to Mykonos is about two hours and twenty minutes. The Piraeus to Mykonos route normally takes a little longer than from Rafina to Mykonos.

Cheapest Tickets from Athens to Mykonos

For the cheapest ticket prices, you’ll need to get one of the ferries with the longest travel time. That’s usually about four hours and they are normally either an early ferry or the latest one.

Blue Star Myconos at Piraeus port leaving Athens for Mykonos

The ferry port you choose to leave from can also influence the price you pay for ferries from Athens. As a rule, the ferry ticket prices from Rafina port are a bit cheaper than the Piraeus to Mykonos departures.

But it’s worth bearing in mind that Piraeus is closer to Athens city centre and Rafina is nearer to the airport. Factor in transfer costs to Rafina Port if you’re coming from the centre and cost is a factor.

How To Book Ferry Tickets From Athens To Mykonos

My favourite site for booking ferry tickets around the Greek Islands is Ferryhopper.com. You choose your ferry routes, eg Athens to Mykonos or the particular port you want to leave from and it will show you all the ferries running on a particular date.

It clearly shows the ferry prices and the name of each vessel so you can avoid the fast ferry options if you want to. (That’s small F, not the company which has both conventional and smaller ferries that go from Athens to Mykonos.)

Book your tickets for travel from Athens via the Ferryhopper site with Blue Star, Golden Star Ferries, Seajets etc

Choose the best ferry from Athens to Mykonos based on when and where you want to leave.

Then just follow the booking process. You can choose to add trip insurance at an extra cost. It could be a good option so check the details when you book.

Check You’re Heading to the Right Port

Remember that Rafina is a lot closer to Athens airport so it’s much easier to get there than to Piraeus Port.

If you’re spending a day or two in central Athens before heading to Mykonos by ferry then instead of looking at all the ferries between Athens and Mykonos you could specifically select Piraeus Port in Ferryhopper.

Santorini Palace at Piraeus ferry port which runs often between Athens and Mykonos

However you decide to do it, just double-check your ferry tickets the night before and make sure you’re set to go to the right port!

If you’ve booked in advance and made set plans there might not be any confusion. But if anything was booked on the hop or last minute then take the time to check.

Getting Your Ferry Tickets

Once you’ve booked your ferry to Mykonos you’ll get all the details emailed to you.

Check-in opens 48 hours before you sail. From that time you can check in online from your Ferryhopper email. The ferry company will give you the option of how to access your e-tickets.

Sometimes the link to check in takes you directly to a PDF sheet of tickets. Keep this on your phone so that it can be scanned when you get on the ferry. (I usually take a photo of it so I can find it easily when I need it.)

Blue Star Paros in Athens before departing to Mykonos

Alternatively, you’ll get the option to have the ticket sent to you by email or text. Then you get the link to a PDF, same as above.

If you use Apple Wallet some tickets give you a link to add your ticket to your wallet. Blue Star Ferries for example are good for that.

I find that way easier than having to go and collect paper tickets and there’s no extra cost, either. If you end up booking a very last minute ferry trip to Mykonos for any reason, you may need to collect paper tickets at the port.

Check when you book. Some ferry companies won’t let you do an online check in with less than 2 hours to go.

Worldchampion Jet is a typical way to get to Mykonos by ferry. Here it’s in the ferry port at Piraeus

I’d go ahead and book your ferry as soon as you have your hotel booked (assuming the ferry schedules are out. If it’s too early, then just keep checking back.

Ferry Companies And Ferry Types

Golden Star Ferries runs its Mykonos ferries out of Rafina and Minoan just from Piraeus. But the other ferry companies:

  • Seajets
  • Fast Ferries
  • Blue Star Ferries

operate from both. You’ll find a mixture of different types of ferries from each port.

Athens to Mykonos ferry at Mykonos ferry port

Smaller, High-Speed Ferries

But basically, the high-speed ferry will get you there faster than the more conventional-style ferries. Sounds good, right?

Yes, but be aware that on the smallest of them you can’t leave your seat and wander around the boat. You can get up to the loo or go to the bar but the rest of the journey is in your set. That’s not too bad if you’re only going to be there for just over a couple of hours.

The main consideration people have around the fast ferries or the slower ones is how well they cope with motion sickness.

The fast, hydrofoil ferries get to Mykonos faster because they bob along the surface of the water. If the sea’s rough then it can make the journey less pleasant than on the bigger ferries.

And yes, the water can be rough with bad weather even in the summer. The Meltemi wind is a welcome, cool, northerly wind that helps keep the islands at a bearable temperature in the summer.

But it can affect the ferries in the peak months. If that’s a worry for you then avoid the fast ferry and go for the conventional large ferries. (Or at least, avoid the smallest hydrofoil/catamaran-style ferries, the ones that don’t take vehicles.

High speed ferry names are things like:

  • Thunder
  • anything with Jet in the title
  • Santorini Palace
  • Flying cats

With these ones the seating is allocated and airline style. They usually have a business class option and sometimes an additional VIP level.

I like to book the business class because often it’s quieter (don’t expect that in high season) with a little more leg room. But the steps up a level can be steep (more so than in the picture above) and any movement of the boat will be exacerbated up there.

Larger, Conventional Ferries

The bigger conventional ferries with less movement in the water are ones like:

  • Ekaterina. P
  • Theologos.P
  • Superferry
  • Superstar
  • All the Blue Star Ferry options to Mykonos except for the FlyingCats

With these ones, you can sit outside on the deck, inside in various seating areas including restaurant areas, numbered airlines seats, the business lounge and you can also book a cabin.

Piraeus to Mykonos – Getting to Piraeus Port

Metro – take the Blue Line 3 from Athens city center all the way to the Metro station at Piraeus Ferry Port. It takes about 20 minutes from Syntagma and the trains run every 15 minutes. You can also take the Green Line 1 but the Blue line Track and station are newer and slightly faster.

The station is close to where the Blue Star Ferries depart for the Cyclades.

Piraeus 3 Metro Station – Ferries from Athens to Mykonos Often Leave from Gate E7 in the background

Bus – Athens public bus is a popular option for getting to the port because it’s cheap but it takes about 90 minutes from Athens city centre. There are a few options from different parts of the city but you can get the number 40 from Syntagma or the number 49 from Omonoia.

Taxi or transfer from your hotel – Your hotel can usually arrange a paid transfer or a taxi to the port of Pireaus for you. The journey is about 35 minutes without traffic.

Rafina to Mykonos – Getting To The Port Of Rafina

From Athens city centre you can:

  • take a taxi (it takes quite a long time by car, about 1 hour and costs about 55 – 65 euro)
  • KTEL bus leaves from Chalandri, outside Nomismatokopio metro station on line 3
Rafina Port

From Athens Airport

  • taxi – it’s about 20-40 minutes in a taxi from the airport to Rafina depending on the traffic. Fares are about 35 – 50 euro depending on traffic and time of day
  • bus – get the bus from outside the Sofitel hotel at the airport. They run approximately hourly and the journey to Rafina is about 30 minutes

Arriving At Mykonos Port

Regardless of which port in Athens you departed from your ferry will arrive at Mykonos New Port.

This is also applicable if you arrive by cruise as the cruise ships dock right at the cruise port at the New Port too. (Or they dock further out and tender passengers ashore here.)

The new port is quite a way from Mykonos town so you’ll need to organise some sort of transport.

Since taxis on the island are very limited I’d recommend either:

  • taking up a transfer option with your hotel or
  • getting the bus or
  • sea bus to the Mykonos Old Port or Mykonos Town

If you’re hiring a car while on Mykonos your rental company will come and meet you off the ferry.

The bus stop at Mykonos port is toward the right side of the port buildings as you stand with your back to the sea.

There’s a timetable there but the buses run about every thirty minutes. Check the destination on the front of the bus. Tickets are under 2 euro.

Ferry from Athens docked at Mykonos

The Sea bus runs from the little marina at the opposite end to the bus stop, on the way to the port exit.

With your back to the sea, walk left and as you get to the end of the port buildings you’ll see the signs for the sea bus.

It takes about 20 minutes and costs 2 euro. The first stop is the marina, the second is the old port and if you stay on until the end you’ll get to Mykonos Town.

Travelling Out Of Season Or In The Shoulder Seasons

There’s really not a lot going on in Mykonos in the off-season. Some of the beaches aren’t accessible (because they’re part of a beach club which closes its gates when the weather changes) and you can’t even do a day trip to Delos island.

So I wouldn’t recommend it in winter. In the shoulder seasons April and October you’ll find fewer flights but there’s a daily ferry from Athens (Rafina Port) if you want to go in those months.

Leaving Mykonos

At the end of your stay on the island, you might want to travel back on the same mode of transport as your outbound trip from Athens to Mykonos. However, don’t forget that you can choose another way.

If you fly from Athens you might want to take the ferry back. Or commonly, on to another island like Santorini, Crete, Naxos or Paros.

FAQs About Getting from Athens to Mykonos

What is the best way to get from Athens to Mykonos?

It depends. The flight is about 30 minutes from Athens and perhaps more straightforward for families or if you’re arriving into Athens Airport anyway. Getting the ferry to Mykonos is greener and a very Greek way to travel if you’ve been in staying in central Athens.

How long is a ferry ride from Athens to Mykonos?

To cross from Athens to Mykonos takes from around 2 hours 15 minutes to over five hours. Journey time is dependent on the ferry type, departure port, and the weather conditions.

Can you do a day trip from Athens to Mykonos?

Yes you can do a day trip to Mykonos from Athens. Flying both ways you can arrive in Mykonos from as early as 7am and leave after 11pm.

You can do the trip by ferry in peak season too. But the last ferry back from Mykonos is much earlier in the evening. (There are later services like with Blue Star Ferries but they arrive into Athens in the early hours.)

Which is closer to Athens Mykonos or Santorini?

Mykonos is closer to Athens than Santorini and much quicker on the ferry (around 2 h 15 mins versus 4h 45mins +). However, flight time to both is around 30 minutes.

How far is Mykonos from Athens by plane?

If you take a flight from Athens to Mykonos the journey time is usually shown as being 40 – 45 minutes. However, in my experience, it actually takes around 30 – 35 minutes.

Can you take a train from Athens to Mykonos?

No you cannot go to Mykonos by train. The Cyclades are accessible by ferry or flying only. The ferry is either just for foot passengers or foot passengers and vehicles.

How Much is a Ticket from Athens to Mykonos?

Prices vary depending on the season and how far in advance you book. You can get return flights from Athens from around 100 euro (day trip)in peak season if you book well in advance. But a one-way trip on another day could be over 150 euro.

A one-way ferry ticket is currently between 38 – 117 euro depending on which of the Mykonos ferries you chose, the port you leave from and the time of day. Prices and speeds vary from season to season based on things like fuel costs.

See Also:

Best Beach Clubs In Santorini For A Luxurious Day

Understanding Greek Name Days & How To Celebrate Them

How To Do A Day Trip To Cappadocia From Istanbul

Choose the Best way to get from Athens to Mykonos

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