Ferry from Piraeus to Milos
A completely different way of getting to Milos is via ferry from Piraeus. From a factual point of view, the arguments for the flight outweigh the arguments for the ferry: Much faster, no transfer from the airport to the ferry port, less hassle with luggage and no significant price difference. But when it comes to emotions, the ferry comes into play! The transfer takes several hours, and the journey is also the destination. You leave the pulsating metropolis of Athens behind, slowly immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the Aegean Sea and approach the eagerly awaited Greek islands. This effect is particularly impressive if you have first spent a few nights in Athens. A stay in the city puts you in the holiday mood, but not quite at rest. And it shouldn't, because Athens is a pulsating city that never really sleeps, full of sensory impressions, crowds and traffic. This hustle and bustle reaches its peak at the port of Piraeus. Everything gets even more crowded here, travellers swarm out of the metro station, a yellow train of taxis meanders through the port area, people and vehicles wait and finally push their way onto the ferries. And the whole process also in opposite direction, of course.
Ferry tickets can be bought at a travel agency or directly from the respective ferry company; there should be no price difference. If you buy the tickets online, you can collect them with the proof of purchase from a sales office of the ferry company or from the respective ticket kiosk at the port. Each company operates such a ticket office in the port area, usually near their ferries' docking point.
Pirounakis Travel Office in Milos provides an up-to-date overview of ferry connections to and from Milos on its website. If you take the ferry from Milos, you can also conveniently buy your tickets directly there. Pirounakis is located right at the port in Adamas.
Port codes: TZE (Piraeus) - ADA (Adamas, Milos)
Orientation in the port of Piraeus
You can't really get lost in the ferry port area. However, as the area is very large, it makes sense to get an overview before arriving in Piraeus. Especially of the location of the various gates, the entrances to the otherwise fenced-in port area. Depending on the ferries’ destinations, they have specific docking points on the quay. For example, most Cyclades ferries depart from gates E6 and E7. If you make sure which gate you need to go to when you book your tickets, you may save yourself a long walk around the harbour basin.
Hotel in Piraeus
If you need to stay overnight in Piraeus because the ferry doesn't leave until the next day, I can recommend the Phidias Piraeus Hotel. It is strategically located. For one thing, the gates to the Cyclades are so close that the hotel's free shuttle service doesn't run the slightest risk of getting stuck in traffic. So, you do not have to allow too much time between leaving the hotel and the departure of the ferry. And then, Pasalimani (officially: Bay of Zea) is only one block away. While the area around the ferry port offers very few nice evening activities, the opposite is the case here. There are many good restaurants, tavernas and cafés around Pasalimani. And an evening stroll along the marina is also a pleasant experience.
I know the Phidias Hotel Piraeus from the time before its renovation a few years ago, when I would not have recommended it. But now it boasts a completely new look, very contemporary, with some extremely spacious rooms. And all that at comparatively reasonable prices. However, be careful not to confuse the hotel with the Phidias Hotel Athens in Thissio, which has almost the same name.
The trip along the Western Cyclades
Ferries between Piraeus and Milos travel along the so-called Western Cyclades route. Possible stopovers are the islands of Serifos, Sifnos and Kimolos. Of course, such a stopover is time consuming, but it is simply part of the experience to watch the hustle and bustle from the deck. The loading ramp has barely touched down on the pier after the sometimes-tricky mooring manoeuvre when cars and pedestrians stream out of the ferry’s belly. At the same time, the port police and ferry staff direct all those whose journey on the ferry begins at this point. While you are still busy watching the traffic winding its way through the harbour town, the ramp lifts again and the journey continues. The striking, distinctive scent of the Greek islands is already wafting from the deck as you approach one of the other islands. The same scent that awaits you in Milos. Now, you have almost reached your destination.
Travel time by ferry
A fast ferry like the Speedrunner 3 from Aegean Speed Lines takes about 4 to 4.5 hours to cover the distance between Piraeus and Milos, with stops in between. On the rarer occasions, when it travels non-stop, it can complete the distance in just 3.5 hours. The classic ferries such as Adamantios Korais or Dionysios Solomos take much longer anyway and, as far as I know, always make two or three stops. Then the journey takes 6.5 to 7 hours.