How to Get from Athens to Spetses: Your 2021 Travel Guide

It is relatively easy to get from Athens to Spetses. This gorgeous leafy green island is a popular weekend getaway destination for many Athenians. Best of all, it can be reached in less than two hours from the mainland. 

Spetses Island  

Spetses island is known for its seemingly endless expanse of pristine nature. The main town of Spetses has a population of approximately 4,000 people. 

Head away from Spetses town though, and the island is essentially one big national park laden with hidden beaches and secluded coves. Nature lovers will be in their element with all of the hiking trails, and quaint woodland churches. 

Spetses is the southernmost island in the Saronic Gulf. Like nearby Hydra, the island does not permit cars and vehicles. 

Most people get around on mopeds and ATVs. The terrain here is mostly flat and the roads are well-built and asphalted. As a tourist, your best way of getting around is to rent an ATV, a scooter or a bicycle. 

Spetses Highlights 

Athens to Spetses

Spetses makes a great stopping point on a Greek island hopping itinerary. However, if you simply plan on visiting the island for a day or two from Athens, it is best to stay overnight or spend a couple of nights here on account of the distance. 

There is plenty to do in Spetses to keep you occupied for a couple of days. Some of the island’s highlights are discussed below. 

  • Sample sumptuous traditional Greek food at the various seafront tavernas

  • Take a stroll along the coast to the old harbour of Balitza

  • Visit the Spetses history museum and learn the history of the island through the ages

  • Hike through the pine forests to the Cave of Bekiris

  • Enjoy island panoramas from the Monastery of Agioi Pantes

  • Trek along woodland trails, discovering hidden churches and shrines as you go

  • Rent an ATV and zip around the circumference of the island

  • Swim, snorkel, and relax on one of the island’s many beaches and hidden coves 

How to Get from Athens to Spetses 

There is no airport on Spetses island. The only way to get here is by boat. If you are considering renting a car in Greece, it should be noted that there are no car ferries to Skopelos as vehicles are not permitted on the island. 

Taking the Ferry from Piraeus Port 

There are several ports scattered around the vicinity of Athens. However, the only one that services the route to Spetses is Piraeus port. 

Fortunately, this is the easiest and most convenient one to access. You can reach Piraeus by boarding the X96 bus from Syntagma Square, Athens airport, or other various stops around the city. Alternatively, you can board the green line metro and ride it all the way to its final stop (Piraeus). 

Buying Your Athens to Spetses Ferry Ticket 

There are a number of ferry companies that operate throughout Greece. Different companies service different island regions. The only one that services Spetses and the Saronic region is Hellenic seaways. 

Tickets can be purchased online in advance, or in person at the ferry port in Piraeus. You will also find some touristic kiosks throughout the city that sell ferry tickets.

However, keep in mind that they are likely to charge a commission. It is usually not necessary to book your tickets a long time in advance unless you are travelling in the peak summer months (July/August), or there is a very specific boat that you need to catch.

A one-way ticket costs €38.50 per person. You can check the latest prices and schedules on Ferryscanner.

Taking the Athens to Spetses Ferry

Ferries from Athens to Spetses depart from gate E12. This is very clearly marked and would be difficult to miss. That said, if there is any confusion about your departure gate or which boat is yours, there are always plenty of friendly, English-speaking staff on hand at the port. 

There are two main boat types available. Namely, the Flying Cat 6 high-speed catamaran and the Flying Dolphin “fast boat”.

The speed varies slightly between the two boats. The Flying Cat 6 has a max speed of 28 knots and the Flying Dolphin has a max speed of 35 knots.

If you get seasick, you may prefer to take the Flying Cat 6. This is also better from a services perspective as the boat boasts a bar that serves coffees and a range of beverages and refreshments. 

There is no food service onboard the Flying Dolphin. Both boats have bathrooms available for use. 

Luggage Storage at Piraeus Port 

If you arrive early at the port and want to spend a little time exploring the area or people-watching with a strong Greek coffee, it is possible to leave your luggage at the port while you do so. The staff in the main port ticket office are usually happy for you to leave your luggage there. 

There are also longer-term luggage storage facilities available at the port. Similarly, if you are staying at a hotel in Piraeus prior to taking the Athens to Spetses ferry, most hotels have a storage room and will be happy to let you leave your luggage there until your return. 

How to Get from Athens to Spetses 

There is a small Hellenic Seaways office to the left of the port area in Spetses. It is possible to purchase your Athens to Spetses ferry ticket here or online. 

The Spetses office usually operates from 8am until 8pm. It closes for siesta for a few hours during the afternoon. If you are not island hopping and are simply going from Athens to Spetses, and vice versa, it may be easier to buy a return ticket in the first instance. 

Parting Words 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out via the comment box below if you have any questions about getting from Athens to Hydra. I’ve lived in Greece since 2017. I’m always happy to assist with any queries. 

Safe travels! Geia sou! Melissa xo 

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

3 thoughts on “How to Get from Athens to Spetses: Your 2021 Travel Guide”

  1. Hi Melissa! Thank you so much for your up to date info on how to get to Spetses, that’s our plan for Friday. I am still trying to find one thing out: E12 is at the very end of the Port, does the bus go all the way down there or do we have to walk? Thanks!

  2. Spetses is my favorite island, met my husband there in 1977. And lived there a few years, too. We visit every September except during covid times. Do you have an Instagram page?

  3. Hi

    Are the beaches on Spetses turquoise?

    The main reason I’m considering this island is for a tranquil place with gorgeous beaches where I can snorkel from the doorstep of a villa & see fish etc.

    Would you recommend the month of September? I’m after warm weather (70’s) but not too hot.

    Lastly are the animals treated ok on this island – bring an animal lover I hate to see stray cats or overworked donkeys when I go on holiday.



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