The only way to get from Athens to Kea is to take the ferry. Fortunately, ferries run frequently during the summer months and it takes just a couple of hours to get to this beautiful Cycladic island from the Greek capital.
How to Get from Athens to Kea
If you are planning to take the ferry to Kea from Athens, it is important to note that there are three ferry ports in the Greek capital. Namely, they are Piraeus, Lavrio, and Rafina.
However, most ferries from Athens to Kea depart from Lavrio port. Some services from Piraeus to Kea do run occasionally but they are far less frequent and run on a limited schedule.
Check the latest Athens to Kea schedules using Ferryscanner but be prepared that you may have to travel south to the port at Lavrion. Although Lavrio may feel like more of a trek out of the city, it is served by excellent Greek public transport links.
How to Get to Lavrion Port from Athens
It takes just over an hour to get to the port at Lavrion from Athens. In terms of getting there, there are a few options available to you.
The best one depends on your personal preference. Arguably, the easiest option (assuming you do not have your own car/transportation) is to take a BEAT cab.
KTEL Bus to Lavrion Port
Buses run between Athens and Lavrio every hour. However, the bus does not go all the way to Lavrion port.
So, you need to disembark at Lavrio and then take a cab for the remainder of the journey. The bus journey takes an hour and 45 minutes and departs from Mavromateon street outside Pedion tou Areos park.
This is just past the National Archaeological Museum and Exarchia neighbourhood. Keep in mind that the schedule may be subject to changes and the journey may take longer if you are travelling at peak times due to traffic. You can check the timetable via the KTEL Attiki website here.
Reach Lavrion Port by BEAT Taxi
Arguably the most convenient way to reach Lavrion port is to do so by cab. You will find registered yellow cabs in abundance all over Athens.
If you hail a cab on the street in Greece, you should always insist that the meter is turned on. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on an offline map on your phone so that you have an idea of where you should be going and you can see the route that is being followed.
To avoid any risk of being potentially ripped off or tricked, download the BEAT taxi app. This is essentially our answer to Uber although all the cabs that you will find on the app are licensed yellow taxis.
BEAT tells you the price of the journey before you get in the car. It will cost around €45-50 to get from Athens to Lavrio by cab. This may be worth it for the sheer fact that it takes a lot of the hassle out of getting to Pedion tou Areos, getting the bus halfway, and then trying to find a taxi, etc.
Driving to Lavrion
Renting a car in Greece is not as daunting as it may sound. It can actually offer you a lot more flexibility during your Greece itinerary – particularly if you are planning on embarking on an adventure across the mainland.
Driving in Athens is generally not a good idea. It is congested, getting around is a nightmare and finding parking is nothing short of an impossibility. However, if you do have a vehicle and want to drive to Lavrio, the route is relatively straightforward.
Instead of following the coastal road close to Glyfada and Vouliagmeni, follow the A6 as if you were headed towards Athens airport. From the airport, take Leof. Lavriou towards Lavrion.
There are tolls along this route and they are cash only so keep a few euros in change. You can opt to leave your vehicle in the parking lot at Lavrion port if you wish or alternatively, take it onboard a car ferry to make getting around Kea easier.
If you opt for the latter, try and ensure that you have a full tank of gas before you leave the mainland. Fuel is slightly more expensive on the islands.
In and Around Lavrion
Historically, Lavrio was famous for its silver mines. Today, this is not a holiday destination per se.
However, the colourful port town has its charm. Specifically, that charm can be found in sitting in old kafenions sipping a steaming hot cup of Ellinikos Kafes while old pappous play backgammon. Or in sinking your teeth into perfectly cooked giouvetsi and other Greek food treats at a waterfront taverna.
Several offbeat Athens beaches can be found in the area and are perfect spots for escaping the heat (and crowds) during the hot, humid Greek summer months. Lavrio is just 9km away from Cape Sounion and the spectacular Temple of Poseidon.
A bus runs between Lavrio and Sounion every four hours and the journey takes just 20 minutes. The spectacular sunbleached remnants of the Temple of Poseidon dates back to 444 BC – the same year as the Acropolis’ Parthenon.
Athens to Kea Ferry Services
Two companies service the ferry route from Athens to Kea: Hellenic Seaways and Sea Jets. The journey takes between 45 minutes and an hour and ten minutes depending on the specific ferry you choose and the weather conditions at the time of sailing.
Kea is one of the closest islands to Athens. It is the perfect getaway destination if you are short on time and you just want to do a day trip from Athens or spend a couple of days somewhere where you feel a million miles away from the chaos of modern civilization.
Tickets to Kea cost approximately €12.50 per foot passenger. Check Ferryscanner for the latest timetables and fares. Greek ferry routes are often subject to last-minute amendments.
Arriving in Kea
When your ferry pulls into Kea, you will be greeted with the little whitewashed Cycladic houses of Korissia village. Korissia sits within a natural bay and boasts a long sandy beach, along with a plethora of tavernas and stores.
Ioulida, Kea’s capital, is just 6km away from Korissia. Buses and cabs connect the two settlements. From there, Ioulida boasts excellent transport links with the rest of the island.
Kea Island Highlights
Kea is a nature lover’s paradise. This underrated island is largely overshadowed by some of its more popular Cycladic neighbours such as Santorini and Mykonos.
However, Kea retains its authentic, sleepy island charm. Some of the best hiking trails in Greece can be found here.
Kea’s trails weave through breathtaking natural scenery – leading you past verdant olive groves, ruined temples, secluded coves, and picture-perfect villages. One route in particular that you can consider is the 1.5 hour trail to the ancient city of Karthea.
Ioulida makes a central and convenient base. Ioulis, Vourkari and Gialiskari also boast excellent tavernas, bars and nightlife options for when the sun goes down.
The trail is relatively simple and is suitable for hikers of all ages and abilities. If you are hoping to enjoy lovely Kea as part of a wider Greek island hopping trip, you will be pleased to note that the island offers direct links to some of its neighbour islands.Folegandros, Ios, Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Naxos, Paros, Sikinos and Syros can all be reached directly from Kea.
Do you have any additional questions or queries about how to get from Athens to Kea? Please don’t hesitate to reach out and I’ll do my best to get back to you as quickly as I can.
I’ve been living in Athens since 2017. Wishing you safe travels, always! Melissa xo