If you are looking at how to get from Athens to Chios island in Greece… then look no further!
Good, you discovered Chios, the well kept secret of Greeks. A hidden gem within numerous more popular Greek islands. Now, you need to know how to get from Athens to Chios island in Greece, right? Even if it is by plane or by ferry from Piraeus to Chios port.
I’ll make it easy for you with this short guide I wrote to help you out.
- You have 2 options to get from Athens to Chios: By Ferry or By Plane
- Best Way To get From Athens to Chios: By Plane (25-30 mins)
- Greek ferry companies that go to Chios: Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways
- Best Website to check ferry prices and Timetables: Ferryhopper
- Ferry to Chios Port: Approximately 6.30 hours (price about 45 euros per person) – Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways
- Ferry to Mesta: 5 hours (price about 35-40 euros)
- You can book your ferry online but you always have to get the ticket printout from the ferry kiosk in Piraeus port (Athens port) or any other Greek travel agency (it’s the Greek law) – AKTINA TRAVEL AGENCY is in Athens Airport which helps a lot.
- Best Way to go from Athens Airport to Athens main port (Piraeus) to take the ferry is by taking the Athens Airport Bus X96 (X96 Bus Route – X96 Bus runs every 20-30 mins) – X96 Bus ticket costs 6 euros (adult) and 3 euros (kids).
- Direct Flights from Athens to Chios: 25-30 mins long
- Chios’ Airport Code: JKH
- Direct flights to Chios from outside Greece: only a few charter flights from specific European cities (not many options really)
- Cheapest flights from Athens to Chios: unfortunately, there is an oligopoly (a bit more than monopoly…). Aegean Air has the biggest market share, but also Astra Airlines fly to Chios. (Expedia lists all the flights options)
RECOMMENDED WEBSITES FOR CHIOS:
Booking.com is the website with the most available rooms and Private Villas in Chios (more than Airbnb!)
Ferryhopper is the best website to book your ferry tickets or check the timetables for Chios
Get Your Guide has the best and largest variety of Tours in Chios and the greek islands
Rentalcars is the easiest way to rent a car or a quad for Chios with thousands of available options
Expedia has all the available flights to and from Chios
Okay… Let’s get started with all the travel options from Athens to Chios.
You really have 2 options to go from Athens to Chios:
But which one is really the Best Option?
My suggestion: go to Chios by plane.
Why: because it’s much faster (30-45 mins) than taking the ferry to Chios (6-7 hours).
However, you can also take the ferry, which is a very interesting alternative option for several reasons. I do prefer it when I take a car with me or when I feel like enjoying the sea view of the Aegean and the few islands you pass along. But mind you, most ferry trips are in the evening so you don’t get to see a lot (see below Option 2).
OPTION 1: From Athens to Chios by Plane (Expedia is excellent if you connect from abroad)
That’s obviously the quickest and most expensive option.
It takes about 30-45 minutes by plane from Athens to be at Chios’ small airport. Why the difference of 15 minutess? Because there are smaller planes flying from Athens too. But, honestly my flight time has never been longer than 35 mins. from Athens. And you know what airlines do, they schedule a later arrival to be sure they are still on time in case of a delay.
Chios’ Airport ‘Omiros’ website
Chios’ Airport entrance (screenshot from Google maps. I’ll go and take a picture soon guys. The building is slightly smaller than JFK or Heathrow.
The best and cheapest website to book or search for flights from Athens to Chios is: Expedia
Athens Airport Code is : ATH (Athens)
Chios’ Airport Code is: JKH (Just type ‘Chios’ and it will come up first)
There are many flights per day, especially during the high season (May-Sep).
Usually, the following companies will operate Direct Flights from Athens to Chios:
2. Sky Express
The exact times of the flights change and they are not the same throughout the year so make sure you get the right times from Expedia as it will give you all the available flights immediately.
But as a rule of thumb:
Basically almost every plane that lands in Chios, takes off within an hour to fly back to Athens.
If you book your tickets well in advance (2+ months) you could probably find some very good deals with return tickets. I have flown to Chios with just 28 euros (return!) in June, so it’s definitely affordable and worth looking into it!
But you have to book it well in advance, otherwise you may have to pay up to 150 euros or more since the competition between companies is quite low.
Chios is not the extremely popular destination, but it is a big island and there used to be many citizens before. Those people who in the majority now live in Athens or in the US (oh yes!) always visit in the summer. So, try to book well in advance.
The questions: Is a flight actually the best option to go from Athens to Chios?
Pros (of going from Athens to Chios by Plane):
- So much faster than the ferry (30-45 mins on air). This way, you can save a whole day and spend it in Chios instead.
- If you have just landed at the Athens airport you can get your connection flight to Chios without leaving. Comfort!
Cons (of going from Athens to Chios by Plane):
- In July and August it can be much more expensive.
- The flight times to Chios are not always convenient especially for incoming passengers from long-haul flights (to Athens) and you might have to spend a few hours of boredom at the Athens airport.
- If you are scared of flying then you definitely need to close your eyes when landing on that short runway of Chios Airport. Seen the video above?
Direct flights to Chios (from other European cities):
There are no scheduled direct flights from USA or European capitals to Chios in 2019 (and I don’t think there will be any in the future if they don’t expand that runway, but I have a feeling that the locals don’t really want this despite their great hospitality).
However, there are some charter flights from June to August and the Greek Ministry of Transport has promised to send us the list when they are available.
Mind you, there will not be much, so your best option will be to book a flight to Athens and then from Athens to Chios.
If you plan in advance and you book your flight tickets to Chios (through Athens) early, then that’s the best option. However, getting the ferry can also prove an interesting interesting experience (see below).
OPTION 2: From Athens to Chios by ferry
All ferry schedules to Chios for the summer are usually confirmed within April of the same year.
Going to Chios by ferry is your alternative option but it can be a very nice experience.
However, we do have a very important tip/secret for you: There are a few day routes (travelling during the day) that you can book if you want to see a couple of other islands before you reach your destination.
I took this photo a couple of summers ago at Oinousses, a beautiful island next to Chios. By the way, this is the entrance of the port. Oinousses is not that tiny; people live there all year round.
Unlike other islands that you might see those High-Speed boats, in Chios there are only big boats taking the trip from Pireaus. And they actually slow down when they reach Chios so as not to destroy the fishing farms along the coastline. Respect (well, it’s the law, but you know already laws get trespassed in Greece).
I mentioned Pireaus or Pireas (sounds like Peereas if you need to say it to a taxi driver or elsewhere). So, before taking the ferry you will have to go to the Athens ferry port which is called Piraeus. It can be really busy at times. Expect delays on the last weekend of August. It can be hectic and you will need to be patient.
How do you go from Athens Airport to the Athens Ferry Port (called Piraeus or Pireus) ?
The easiest and cheapest option is by taking the X96 bus that stops just outside of the Athens airport:
It takes between 50 to 80 mins depending on traffic. The X96 bus route from the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport to Piraeus ferry port is the following:
Chios Ferries depart (99% of the times) from Port Gate E11 so there is a bit of a walk (10 mins) from the bus stop STATION ISAP * (which is also a metro station). Most times there is also a free shuttle bus inside the port to take you. Use that. But remember, get inside the port and walk around it. It will save you time!
* In Greek: ΣΤΑΘΜΟΣ ΗΣΑΠ
But in reality you will find some brand new GPS screens showing you where you actually are:
The X96 bus runs 24/7 and there is a bus approximately every 30 minutes.
Remember, in Greece we take our… time a bit, so don’t get that for granted. Relax and get used to it…
But there is a X96 bus every 20-30 minutes, so there will be one for you too!
To get on the X96 bus, you will have to buy tickets from a kiosk just next to the bus stop and also just outside the airport. Follow the “Bus” signs in the airport. I know you’re a traveller, but somebody else might not be. Just saying…
This is actually how to get to those bus ticket kiosks outside of the airport. Isn’t it great people actually record those things to help others?
For adults the Athens bus ticket (called “ATH.ENA) costs 6 euros and for kids (under 6) it costs 3 euros.
This is where you need to go to get the ferry that goes to Chios:
This is the Piraeus Port Gate E2 for the ferries that go to Chios:
You can also take a taxi from the Athens airport (they’re all yellow) to the Piraeus Ferry Port which costs between 50-60 euros but it’s really not recommended because it doesn’t worth it in our opinion. If you use UBER, then you will still get picked by a yellow taxi. Don’t be surprised.
Sometimes the Athens Airport Buses say: “AEROLIMENAS – PEIRAIAS”
Don’t get confused. This is a… Greeklish version of saying: “Airport – Pireaus” so it’s the same thing. You’re not going back home yet… relax!
How to go from Athens airport to Central Athens?
That’s pretty easy too.
First of all you have to go from the Athens Airport to Syntagma Square (the most central point in Athens) either by taking the metro from the airport (it’s actually overground for some stations and then it goes underground) or the bus X95 which will take you to Syntagma Square within 30-40 mins.
This is Bus X95’s route (from Athens airport to Syntagma square – central Athens):
You can take the X95 Bus just outside from the airport.
If you want, you can also take the metro (blue line or line 3 to Aghia Marina):
Athens Metro Map (click to enlarge)
Where can I check the Athens metro last trains and schedules?
Click here to check the timetables for Athens metro and see if you can catch the last one if your flight arrives too late!
How do you go from Central Athens to Piraeus ferry port ?
The easiest way is by taking the metro green line (or Line 1).
It takes about 30 mins from Monastiraki Square or Omonoia Square at central Athens to Piraeus station and the ferry port.
What are the available ferries from Athens to Chios ?
There are three companies doing this route. Two from Pireaus, Hellenic Seaways and the Blue Star Ferries. But there is also one from Lavrio that goes to Mesta (not available every year). The ferry from Lavrio to Mesta is Aqua Blue.
Let’s see them one by one, shall we?
1. Blue Star Ferries
These are the most stable, the largest and the slowest ferries to Chios.The ship name doing this route is called Patmos, but don’t get confused with the synonymous island. Patmos does not go to Patmos…
Check the timetable on Ferryhopper website.
It takes about 7 hours to arrive to Chios.
Unless it’s really windy, you won’t feel much with these ones. If you want to be sure, get in a pharmacy beforehand and grab a sickness pill called ‘Emetostop’ to help you stay cool during the bumpy ride.
From time to time, the Blue Star Ferries from Athens to Chios, stop at other islands before they arrive at Chios. This can give you a very good glimpse of a few other Greek islands, but at the same time delay you. So, check the duration of the trip. Anything more than 7.30 hours means you are having a small cruise…
The best way to check for the available Blue Star Ferry times schedule is to visit the Ferryhoppper website.
They run all 365 days per year and the timetables for 2018 summer season are (It might change though, so check which period is applicable to you).
SCHEDULES FOR BLUE STAR FERRY TO BE ANNOUNCED HERE:
Hold on, we didn’t miss this one. You can actually be notified by us the day that the timetable comes up.
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL ALWAYS CHECK THE FERRYHOPPER WEBSITE FOR THE AVAILABLE OPTIONS AND TIMES!!!
How much does a Ferry to Chios cost?
It costs around 45 euros for the Economy Ticket. Deck is 42 which means no allocated seat, but you can sit in the lounges. Not advised though, the journey is a bit long.
Sometimes, a cabin might be necessary, especially if traveling with kids and during the night. In peak seasons (late July – late August) you will need to book in advance. In most other cases you should be able to upgrade to a cabin at the ferry’s reception at the beginning of your trip.
By doing this a bit last minute you also check the weather and the winds to know if it is needed.
There is always a snack bar in every Blue Star ferry where you can buy sandwiches and even lunch.
Where can you book Blue Star ferry tickets from Athens to Chios?
You don’t really have to book the ferry tickets in advance or online. There is no need for that because they hardly ever sell out. Traveling with a car on the peak season might be a problem though.
But…you can always book them online to be sure on the Ferryhopper website (even if you don’t book it there you can always check the timetables of the ferries on the dates you want to travel)
BE CAREFUL THOUGH: According to law the tickets have to be printed out only by certified travel agencies or the Ferry companies, so even if you book it online you have to visit a travel agent or the kiosk at the ferry port to take the printouts (not a big deal, everyone is doing this anyway).
However, the last years people tend to buy ferry tickets online.
You can always do that from Ferryhopper website but as I wrote before you always have to take the ticket printout from a travel agent in Greece or the kiosk which is usually outside of the ferry that you are boarding on.
2. Hellenic Seaways
Similar to the one above. There is really not much to compare when it comes to Blue Star or Hellenic Seaways. So I would be repeating myself here and I know this post is long already (but interesting, right?).
You can check destinations and timetables on the Ferryhopper Website.
Do you have to book any ferry tickets to Chios online or in advance?
Booking in advance a ferry ticket to Chios is always good, especially during high season as ferries might become full (that’s the case in July and August).
If you leave it too late, you might not be able to get what you need for your trip ie. a VIP seat or a cabin to sleep for a while, especially if traveling with young kids.
Where can I check for the Greek ferries timetables?
Book your ticket by the time that is more comfortable for you. You might prefer to travel during the day (an see the views) or in the night and don’t lose a whole day of your holiday. It’s up to you.
Make sure you have things to do on board, especially if traveling with kids. Movies (or cartoons) downloaded on your tablet, a long book in hand or in your Kindle etc. It might also be a good idea to have some food with you, however there is food served on both Hellenic Seaways and Blue Star Ferries.
You also get to see some other Greek islands before you arrive in Chios (yes, I know, it’s just a port but another selfie never hurts right?).
For me, the best way to check timetables and even book your ferry tickets online has been Ferryhopper for the past few years.
I left a confession and a secret for the end. The port of Chios is not… magical. It’s more like a busy city’s one. What is magical is the island, so give it some time before you fall in love with it.
I promise, you will. This is why everybody returns again and again here…
READ MORE ABOUT CHIOS ISLAND: