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Getting to Naxos

Ferries to Naxos

Blue Star ferry arriving in Naxos, GreeceFerries from Pireaus to Naxos are frequent, as many as half a dozen a day during the summer but generally two or more. The cost is about  Euro to travel deck passage and the length of the trip does not require a cabin. The ferry takes about 6 hours and the high-speed takes half that time and costs twice as much. Usually there are several departures at 7:30am every day and then a high-speed and ferry at around 5pm and in the summer a ferry that leaves Pireaus at around 10pm. The Hellas Flying Dolphin High-speeds are catamarans and take about 4 hours to get to Naxos from Pireaus. The NEL High-speeds: Aeolis Express is also a high-speed and takes about the same time. It continues on to Ikaria and Samos. The Blue Star ships are modern ferries, not as fast as the high-speeds but faster than the conventional ferries like Express Santorini, Express Aphrodite, Express Olympia which are only called Express to make them seem faster. Most ferries and high-speeds that visit Naxos do this route: Paros-Naxos-Santorini and sometimes Ios. This means that if you are island hopping these will be the easiest islands to get to.

Ferry Schedules for Naxos

Finding reliable ferry info on the net and booking tickets is not easy. The best thing is to use a travel agency in Athens to book your hotels and let them work out the ferry details. It will save you time money and aggravation and they will be able to deal with any problems (like if you miss the ferry). They can also arrange for someone from the hotel to meet you at the ferry.

There are daily connections to Paros, Santorini, Mykonos, Ios, Crete and Tinos during the summer by ferry or high-speed. There are also connections to the minor islands of the Cyclades, Schinoussa, Donousa, Koufonissi and Iraklia for those who require a little more solitude than what they can find on Naxos. There are less frequent connections to Rhodes, the Dodecanese, Skaithos in the Sporades and Thessaloniki. There are also daily excursion boats to Santorini, Mykonos and Delos which you can find out about from Despina at the Naxos Tourist Information Center.

There is an airport in Naxos which can be reached by local bus or taxi. If you are booking a hotel in advance you can request to be met at the airport. Keep in mind that travel agents in Greece don't make money on ferry and airline tickets so contacting one for this purpose may not bring results. They do book tickets for their customers who book hotels and their rates should be comparable or better than those offered by the hotel. Plus they can answer questions and offer assistance as well as provide you with an objective opinion on a particular hotel or itinerary.

We came to Naxos from Sifnos the long way. The small boat between Sifnos and Paros was cancelled because of wind and rather than wait several more days we took the high-speed out to Santorini and then back in to Paros. When we got to Paros at 10:30pm we had to run to the ticket office because our ferry to Naxos was arriving in 15 minutes. We got our tickets and made it to the boat. We got off the boat in Naxos and were thankful to see the bus for our hotel waiting for us. If you are traveling in Greece for the first time you will be very thankful for this service I know, because I travel to Greece often and I am thankful when someone is waiting for me at the ferry.

Ferries from Naxos to Pireaus

Leaving Naxos by ferryAs for leaving Naxos, if your travel agent has not provided return tickets there are many ticket agencies in town and in the port. Be sure to get to the port at least 20 minutes before your ferry and it is a good idea to book your tickets at least a day before you go. If you are leaving Naxos on a Sunday or after the 15th of August or the last few days of July or after Easter Sunday buy your tickets well in advance or you may have to spend a few extra days on the island which is fine as long as you don't have a flight to catch. I recommend spending your last night in Athens. Don't book a ferry to Pireaus that arrives a few hours before your flight leaves because if the boat is delayed you may not make it. If you have a late evening flight and there is a morning boat then you can take the chance. Keep in mind that ferries can be delayed by weather. Should this happen and you miss your flight you will be happy if you have been working with a Greek travel agency who will try to get you on the next flight and let you know when to go to the airport. If you have booked everything on your own you will need to call the airline and be prepared to spend some time at the airport. Don't worry. You will get home eventually.

Returning from Naxos to Pireaus or Rafina there is usually a large number of people and only two or three taxis waiting and most of these have been pre-arranged transfers. If you want to eliminate the hassle of getting to your hotel or the airport you can arrange this through your travel agent or through George the Famous Taxi Driver at www.greecetravel.com/taxi He will come any time of day or night and will wait until your ferry comes in even if it is delayed. If you are traveling with your family or tend to get stressed out in chaotic situations (like getting off a boat with hundreds of other anxious people) then I highly recommend this.

One of the best ways to see Naxos and explore its beaches and coastline as well as the small nearby islands of Schinoussa, Dounoussa Koufounisi and the other Greek Islands is by sailboat. See www.greecetravel.com/sailing

For booking ferries, flights, hotels or island hopping itineraries that include Naxos see www.fantasytravelofgreece.com

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