Transport in Greece
Piraeus, the port of Attica19-09-2012 16:05Kantharos, Porto Leone, Porto Draco, Aslan Port, Piraeus which ever name you use, it is the busiest port in Europe and one of the largest ones worldwide. It has a long history dating from the ancient times, always connected with the port and the sea.
Piraeus is a natural harbour and one of the main reasons of the Athenian acme of naval forces and prosperity in ancient times.
Fortified with the impressive Long Walls by Themistocles in the 5th century BC, which surrounded the entire port and the city of Athens, Piraeus port accommodated the Athenian fleet. Themistocles’ innovative interpretation of the Delphic oracle “wooden walls will save the city” before the Persian invasion led to the victorious Battle of Salamis.
Undergone several invasions, the port was destructed and almost abandoned its past glory after the 4th century AD to revive only in modern times after the creation of the state of Greece in 1832. The gradual industrial development and then the arrival of the refugees from Asia Minor in the 20’s transformed the identity of the city. Seedy and colourful with a culture shaped mainly of the working class that lived there, Piraeus has played a major role in sports with one of the most famous football teams in Greece, Olympiakos.
Once again, in the 60’s, Piraeus defines Greece’s picture abroad, as Hatzidakis’ song for the movie “Never on Sunday” wins the Academy Award for Best Song and makes the world sing along with the actress Melina Merkouri about the port of Piraeus.
Apart from being Athens’ gateway to the beautiful Greek islands, Piraeus is a lively city with many must-see places. The commercial centre of Piraeus lies on Sotiros Dios and Vasileos Georghiou streets close to the lovely building of Municipal Theatre of Pireaus, while a famous flea market takes place every Sunday morning on Alipedou street right next to the metro line, with antiques and goods in low prices.
Mikrolimano or formerly known as Tourkolimano, is a picturesque small port with many restaurants literally hanging on the seafront while the specialties served is fresh fish and sea food. At the edge of the port there is the Yachting Club, a place famous in yacht owners but also a venue for young people who want to take courses in sailing or just want to sip on a cup of coffee.
The atmospheric hill of Kastella rises behind the port of Mikrolimano, a neighbourhood worth visiting for its architecture of Neoclassical buildings and the restaurants with stunning view to the sea and the rest of the city. On the top of the hill there is the Church of Profitis Ilias and a bowling centre with panoramic view. On the hill there is also Veakio Theatre, an open air theatre where you can enjoy a play or a dance performance during summer.
Zea Marina or formerly known as Pasalimani is the port for yachts with plenty cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy either relaxing and enjoying food or drink while staring at the yachts coming in and out of the port. Pasalimani is the ideal place for having a walk along the waterfront and the yachts. A bit further the Hellenic Maritime Museum is and gives you the chance to get to know the long naval tradition in Greece with exhibits like flags and documents. Archaeological findings you can admire in the Archaeological Museum of Pireaus where there are some of the most recently discovered and perfectly preserved statues.
Piraeus is 12 km southwest from Athens
It is connected with Athens with Metro Line 1 (ISAP)
Ship Schedules: Tel. 14541 or Tel. 171
The most common and easy way to get to the port is by the Metro Line 1 to the terminal station Pireaus. Right outside the station there is the pedestrians’ bridge to get you across the street in safety on Gate E6 from where the ships to Cyclades leave. It is strongly advised that you check the Gate of Departure mentioned on your ticket in order to be on time to the right gate. The Port of Piraeus in order to serve the passengers has a Bus service operating in the port area starting from Gate E5 to all the other gates.
Ε2 Crete, Chios, Mytilene, Ikaria, Samos Islands
Ε3 Crete, Kythira vehicles entrance
Ε4 Kythira vehicles exit
Ε5 Port Buses Terminal – pedestrians entrance
Ε6 Cyclades, Rethymno – Crete
Ε7 Cyclades, Rethymno – Crete
Ε8 Argosaronic Guld Islands
Ε9 Cyclades, Ikaria, Samos
Ε10 Cyclades, Ikaria, Samos – vehicles exit only
Ε11 Passengers Station A
Ε12 Passengers Station A
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