Category Archives: Getting to Alonnisos from Athens

Getting to Alonnisos through Athens via air to the island of Skiathos

The reality is it’s not very easy to get to Alonnisos because there is no airport on the island. While this makes it more challenging to reach the island, it also tends to limit major tour operators’ ability to bring large groups of tourists to the island at one time. That means Alonnisos doesn’t attract anywhere near the same volume of visitors as the neighboring island of Skiathos, which actually has an airport that can accommodate Boeing 737 aircraft with 200 or more passengers per plane. This of course translates into greater opportunities for experiencing more peaceful and enjoyable holidays.

Flying to Skiathos from Athens

When you fly into Athens, there are flights available from there to Skiathos. In past years there haven’t been a lot of them, but just check one of the major travel websites (e.g., Expedia, Travelocity, etc.) to learn about specific dates and times of departures. Overall, I highly recommend booking reservations as early as the airlines will allow, as these flights tend to fill up quite rapidly since the planes used tend to be quite small.

Making a Boat Reservation from Skiathos to Alonnisos

If you do intend to reach Alonnisos by boat from Skiathos, then prior to your trip you need to reserve and pay for boat tickets in advance. The OpenSeas.gr website is easy to navigate, just be sure to choose your language of choice, then enter the departure point and dates you wish to travel, then follow the prompts. In the summer there are typically four departures per day from Skiathos to Alonnisos.

As of the summer of 2019, the old Hellenic Seaways (Flying Cats, Skiathos Express Ferry) no longer exists as it’s now part of Blue Star Ferries. When you book with Blue Star it’s best to stop by the office of the Blue Star Ferries’ representative in Skiathos (called Skiathos O.E.“) with your confirmation and they will print you actual tickets. They also may ask you for a passport for identification. The office is located directly across from where the boats arrive and depart. When you have your ticket(s), if the boat is leaving shortly I recommend you promptly proceed to the boarding area which is across the street from the travel agency.

Flying Dolphin graphic_1_16Please note that a company called Aegean Flying Dolphins also operates older boats called Flying Dolphins that are smaller, and somewhat less comfortable than the Flying Cats. They are however, a bit faster than the Cats, and the price of the tickets is somewhat less. Note that if you have any concerns about rocky seas you may want to limit yourself to only booking a berth on the Flying Cat. I recommend using the OpenSeas.gr site to learn what other boat options exist.

Getting to the Port from the Skiathos Airport

On your day of departure the flight from Athens to Skiathos will take approximately 40 – 50 minutes. After arrival and baggage pickup, proceed to the taxi line and request a ride to the port in Skiathos town (about a five minute ride), and specifically ask to be dropped off near the port agent you need to see to pick up the tickets (i.e., the one for Hellenic Seaways or the one for the Aegean Flying Dolphin). Be aware that if your travel party is just 1 or 2 people, the taxi driver will be quite insistent about taking along another 1, 2, or 3 passengers. You essentially have no choice in the matter unless you want to pay the driver double fare. It’s just one of the many novel quirks about traveling in the Greek islands!

If you have some time to wait for your boat departure (45 minutes or more), there are numerous cafes and bars on the waterfront with outdoor seating that provide Wi Fi access if you need to check email. When it comes to the boat departure, whatever you do, be certain to be ready and waiting for the boat at least 10 minutes in advance of its scheduled arrival time because Greek boat captains are not known for their patience with dawdling passengers. Once they pull up the gangplank they typically will not put it back out there for you if you happen to arrive just as they are leaving.

Staying in Skiathos

If, based on your travel schedule your arrival in Skiathos is too late to connect with a Hellenic Seaways Flying Cat, and Aegean Flying Dolphin, or a ferry to Alonnisos, you will obviously need to book hotel for that evening. To assist you in this regard here’s a link to a property I recommend called the Hotel Stellina, and a link to another recommended property called Fresh Rooms.

To contact me via email with any questions regarding this post click here.

Getting to Alonnisos via Athens through the Mainland Port of Volos

If you are unable to book a flight from Athens to the island of Skiathos as the point of departure by boat to Alonnisos, and, you also find that there is no space available on boats leaving from the port of Agios Konstantinos to the Sporades islands, you also have the option of taking a long distance bus from Athens to the mainland port of Volos (pictured to your right) as the departure point. With this option, you will need to book passage on a hydrofoil boat or ferry from Volos to Alonnisos using the OpenSeas.gr website.

To Volos via Long Distance Bus

To reach Volos by bus, from the airport you will need to take the X93 bus to the Bus Terminal B bus station in Athens (Note that bus station in Greek is “O stathmos), and to see the latest long distance bus schedule for buses departing from Bus Terminal B click here. The total time it will take you to get to Volos from the airport via bus X93 and from Bus Terminal B to Volos will be perhaps as much as 5.5 hours, but could be more based on traffic conditions.

The cost for the next segment to Volos on the KTEL Bus to Volos was €27.40 per person in 2013 so it is probably higher now. If, based on your travel schedule your arrival in Volos is too late to connect with a hydrofoil boat to Alonnisos, you will obviously need to book a hotel in Volos for that evening. To assist you in this regard please review the Category Archives on this page under “Hotel in Volos” for information regarding properties I recommend.

One other note, in addition to bus X93 from the airport, you can also reach Athens City Centre via the Metro Train line. Ask the information desk at the airport for directions to the on-site Metro station (it’s on the lower level). If you do take the Metro, you’ll also need to ask what stop to use in order to facilitate the most direct access to Bus Terminal B for your next travel segment to Volos. Please note that a one-way ticket on the Metro is approximately €6, and that travel via train gets you to the city centre in perhaps half the time.

To Bus Terminal B via Taxi

If you aren’t as much concerned about cost as you are about comfort and speed, you also have the option of taking a taxi from the Athens Airport directly to Bus Terminal B for your bus to Volos. The cost of the taxi fare to the bus terminal is approximately 50 Euros . While this is clearly more expensive than bus travel, if you’re in a hurry to meet a bus departure time or simply want more comfort, then this is a great option for you.

With respect to a recommended taxi driver, on several occasions my wife and I, as well as my in-laws and other friends with homes on Alonnisos have used the services of a  driver named Spiros Halkides. All have reported complete satisfaction with his services. Here is Spiros’ contact information: Telephone: 30-2109944771(H) & (30)-6944285686 (MOBILE) [Note that 30 is the country code for calling Greece.] To visit Spiros’ website click here. To contact Spiros via email, click here.

Making a Boat Reservation from Volos to Alonnisos using OpenSeas.gr

If you do intend to reach Alonnisos by boat from Volos, then prior to your trip you need to reserve and pay for boat tickets in advance. The OpenSeas.gr site mentioned earlier is fairly easy to navigate, just be sure to choose your language of choice and follow the prompts. In the summer there are typically two (or perhaps three in high season) departures per day from Volos to the Sporades islands (including Alonnisos). When you have completed the reservation the site will bill you for the tickets, but may not actually provide you with them. Instead, you may instead receive a confirmation email that instructs you to take your reservation confirmation to a particular travel agency at the harbor in Volos.

To contact me via email with any questions regarding this post click here.