Car Rental in Athens Airport

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: August 2, 2018

  • is the best site for booking rental cars in advance for the Athens airport.
  • is the best site for booking ferry tickets in advance for the Greek islands.

Athens Airport Car Rental

Car Hire Companies at the Athens International Airport

Picking up a rental car at the Athens airport is easy and hassle free as long as you book in advance. – the best way to rent a car at the Athens International Airport. Car pickup is steps from the arrivals terminal. If you’re going to rent a car for Athens and mainland Greece it’s much easier to get the car at the airport than in the city center.

The rental car companies in the Arrivals Hall of the Athens Airport.

The rental car companies at the Athens International Airport are on the main Arrivals level. Book in advance on and then pickup from these kiosks.

Athens Airport Car Rental

The parking lot at the Athens Airport is easy to find and not terribly busy.

Rental Car Pickup in Athens Airport.

Where to pickup rental cars at Athens Airport? The parking lot of the car rental companies is out the doors from Arrivals and turn right. It’s a short walk to the rental cars – or there’s a free shuttle if you have lots of luggage.

Central Athens.

Driving and parking in Central Athens. The city center is busy but traffic moves slowly and it never feels overwhelming.

Route from Athens Airport to Athens City Centre.

The highway to and from the Athens Airport is a modern freeway that is usually light on traffic. Getting into the city takes about 30 minutes and isn’t usually busy or stressful (though traffic increases the closer you get to the city center).

Taxi queue at Athens Airport.

The taxi queue is on Arrivals level and to the left. There’s a flat rate of 38€ into central Athens. (50€ from midnight to 5am.)

Athens Airport Travel Agencies

The Aktina travel agency is located on the arrivals floor of the Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”.

Travel Agency for Ferry and Flight bookings in Athens Airport

You can book all Greek ferry tickets here including high-speed Hellenic Seaways, SeaJet, and Blue Star Ferries. You can book ferries from island to island as well (not only ferries that originate in Piraeus or Rafina – the two ferry ports near Athens). You can also book flights on Olympic and Aegean airlines to all Greek islands that have an airport: Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Naxos, Paros, Milos, Syros, Skiathos, Chios, Lesvos, Samos, Corfu, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos.

I believe the travel agency is open 24 hours a day but I would not be surprised if it had reduced hours during the low season.

The Aktina website is here – and like many Greek websites it is completely useless.

Aktina phone: +30 210 35 30 160
Aktina email: [email protected]

Booking Ferry Tickets in Advance – the best way to book ferry tickets for the Greek islands. But you won’t pickup tickets at the airport. You’ll get them from the ticket kiosks in Piraeus (or Rafina) 30 minutes to an hour before your ferry departure. It might sound a little risky and uncertain but ticket pickup is easy and there’s rarely any problem. Also, some ferries have e-tickets (it will say as you purchase on Ferryhopper) and these do not require you to pickup tickets.

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40 Questions and Comments

  1. Book Athens Rental Car In Advance or At Airport?

    I want to rent a car for Athens, Delphi, and the Peloponnese. Do you recommend booking in advance or going to one of the booths at the airport and getting a car there?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      I would book in advance for pickup at the airport. I know some people have gotten terrible (expensive) deals when walking up to the counter and booking on the spot. Much better to reserve cars in advance.

  2. Athens and Greek Islands in October

    Hi Dave

    Is October a good time for traveling at islands? And do the ferries work normal or with reduced services?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      Ferry schedules are reduced in October (compared to July and August) but it’s still possible to get almost everywhere you’re going. Early October still has good beach weather. By late October the hot days are usually gone but the weather is still great for sightseeing.

  3. Car Hire Athens Airport

    Do you recommend renting a car at the Athens airport or at a different location in or near Athens?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      Renting from the Athens airport is easiest, offers the largest choice of cars, and often has the best rates.

  4. Passport Visa for Greece

    Hi Dave,
    Do we (Americans) need a visa for Greece, any part?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      No, Americans do not need a visa for Greece.

  5. Luggage Fees for Athens to Greek Islands

    Are there additional fees for luggage from Athens to Mykonos?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      If taking the ferry, no luggage fees. If flying, it would depend on the airline and the type of ticket, but my general answer is yes, most airlines on the domestic routes charge baggage fees.

  6. Buying Blue Star Ferry Tickets in Advance

    Hi Dave,

    I’m looking to book ferry tickets for early May 2018. I’m going from Athens to Naxos on a Monday and then to Santorini on a Wednesday. According to Danae Travel, tickets are available for Blue Star Ferries for the dates I’m looking at, but Blue Star Ferries’ website still says there’s “No sailing on this day.” I’m assuming they just haven’t posted their tickets on the site yet (although Danae has posted tickets on their boats for those days…). Should I wait and book directly through Blue Star? Do you know if Danae is legit, and should I just book through them and pick up at the airport (they say they have a partnership with Aktina Travel).


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      Danae is legit and it would be fine to book through them. But personally, I’d wait and book when those tickets are available on the Blue Star website (which should be soon). There’s almost no way that a May Blue Star ferry will sell out, so you’ll be fine waiting for a few months.

  7. Cash or Credit Card for Ferry Tickets

    Do you know if we can pay for the ferry ticket by credit card or is cash only?
    Thank you !

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      Credit card and cash are both accepted.

  8. Best Island for Good Base for Day Trips

    Dave – we’re planning to visit the islands next summer and our thought was to use a single island as a home base and take day trips from there or possibly overnight stays before returning. But it looks like the ferries don’t run as often as I thought they would. For example, a ferry from Thira to Heraklio only leaves in the evening and only returns in the morning.

    Is there a particular island that makes the most sense if this how we’re planning the trip? Or is this just a bad strategy because we’ll always be scheduling around ferry times?
    Alex Fax

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      Naxos and Paros are the best for base-islands to see other islands. That said, I recommend trying to stay on an island rather than a short day visit as you just get more of the full experience.

  9. Picking Up Ferry Tickets

    Dear Dave,

    We have made reservations for island-hopping in Greece this summer with Blue star ferries. We arrive at Athens the evening before early departure (7.25 am) to Santorini from Pireaus. Should we pick up our tickets that evening or is it possible to pick them up in the morning at the port? Will the office be open?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      Yes, pick up at Piraeus ferry port. There’s a large Blue Star ticket kiosk to the left as you enter the port – very easy to find. Get there by 6:45 (to get tickets) for the 7:25 ferry. The kiosk is always open before ferry departures.

  10. Booking Blue Star Ferry for Summer

    Hi Dave

    We are travelling in July. When do the Blue Star Ferries open up those dates for booking? We want to book the ferry to Santorini.

    Awesome site.

    Mark Linehan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      Schedules have been very slow to come out lately so it’s anyones guess – but I would expect them by January.

  11. Picking Up Ferry Tickets in Athens

    Your website is so helpful…thank you!

    We booked our ferry tickets from Athens to Mykonos directly through Blue Star, as you suggest. When we finished they offer different agencies where you can pick up your tickets.

    We arrive in Athens at 2pm, and are on the 7:30am Ferry. I don’t like the idea of having to rush to an agency before they close…what if we are delayed, etc? Is there a place in the airport that is associated with Blue Star? Do we have other options? Are there any agencies in Athens that are open later where we could pick-up?



    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      I recommend picking up the tickets at the Blue Star ticket booth in Piraeus (the ferry port). It’s right beside the Blue Star ferries (to the left as you’re looking from the metro station towards the water). You can’t miss it. Arrive at the port 45 to 60 minutes before departure and you won’t have any trouble.

  12. Where To Pickup SeaJet Tickets

    Hi Dave,

    We purchase our SeaJet ferry tickets online. Can we pick them up at the travel agency at the airport or do we have to pick them up at the SeaJet kiosk at the port?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      Only at the port.

  13. Buying Ferry Tickets in Advance for Santorini to Athens

    Hi Dave,
    First of all, thank you very much for all the information provided by you on web for Santorini travel. it really helped us a lot in planning our Santorini trip this May. We are traveling to Athens on 11th May afternoon and we will catch the flight to Santorini. We are planning returning to Athens by Blue Star ferry in Business Class on 14th May (afternoon ferry at 15:30 from Thira to Piraeus) .

    My question is do we need to buy the ferry ticket online in advance (on 8 or 9 May) before reaching to Athens or we can buy the ticket from Athens airport (from Aktina travel agency) on 11th May? If this ferry tickets are easily available at Aktina travel agency on Athens airport, is there any price difference online tickets on Blue Star website?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      No need to buy in advance for travel in May. You can easily wait until getting to Santorini to buy them. Buying at Aktina will be slightly more expensive than buying from Blue Star (small service fee).

  14. Buying Ferry Tickets for Same Day Travel

    Hi Dave,
    We are arriving at Athens airport around midday on 13th July and want to catch the Blue Star ferry the same day at 1730hrs.
    Should we buy tickets online or can we wait and get them at Atkina at the airport.
    Fiona Mahony
    P.S. Fantastic website- thank you!!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      You could buy in advance, at Aktina, or at the port. It’s very unlikely (but not absolutely impossible) that that Blue Star ferry will be sold out so any option is reasonable. I would probably book in advance and pick up at the port.

  15. Athens Airport to Mykonos in the Evening

    Hi Dave!

    I’m trying to travel from Athens to Mykonos on Wednesday, March 30. My flight to Athens airport doesn’t get in until 20:25. Is there any way I could still get to Mykonos that night, either by ferry, water taxi, or the like? Thanks.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      In late March the last ferry leaves Rafina port at 5:30pm and the last flight is at 6:30pm so there’s not way to get to Mykonos that night. You’ll have to catch an early morning ferry (7:00am) or late morning flight (10:45am) the following morning.

  16. Buying Ferry Tickets in Downtown Athens

    Hi Dave

    I am planning on taking a ferry from Athen to Santorini on Wednesday 17 February , are there any booking offices near Syntagma Square and will it be too late to buy the tickets on Tuesday.

    I arrive on Monday.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      There are many places to buy ferry tickets around Syntagma. Just look for ferry ticket sandwich boards on the sidewalk. All the businesses that sell them are regulated and ticket prices are the same at all. Tuesday is fine for buying tickets for Wednesday (since it’s February).

  17. Ferry from Athens to Santorini in November

    Hi Dave.

    I’m going to Athens on November 17th and plan to go to Santorini on 19th but I can’t find the ferry schedule. All the latest schedules show until November 1st only.

    Are there any ferries to Santorini in November?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      There will be an early morning Blue Star ferry from Santorini to Athens in November. It’s easy to book after you arrive in Greece.

  18. Athens to Mykonos to Santorini

    Hi Santorini Dave,

    This is Dublin Dave!

    Your website is excellent and very helpful.

    I am flying with my girlfriend from Dublin to Athens on Thursday 9th of July 2015. We arrive around lunchtime.
    The next day Friday the 10th of July we will take a ferry to Mykonos and stay there for 5 nights.
    We will then take a ferry from Mykonos to Santorini on Wednesday 15th July and stay there for 3 nights.
    We will take a ferry from Santorini to Athens on Saturday 18th July and fly home to Dublin that night.
    My questions are:
    1. On the day we arrive in Athens should we stay overnight in Athens or Piraeus?
    2. How much extra does Aktina charge for booking ferries with them?
    3. Can we book our ferry from Mykonos to Santorini and back to Athens with them?
    4. If we do not book through Aktina can I buy the tickets on the day we arrive in Athens or Piraeus?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      1. Definitely stay in Athens. It’s fun dining out in Athens at night and easy to get to Piraeus with an early metro train.
      2. A few euros, not much.
      3. Yes.
      4. Yes, but seeing as you’re on a tight schedule I would pre-book your Athens to Mykonos ticket in advance and pickup at the port the morning of departure. The other tickets can be booked on arriving in Greece.

  19. Buying Ferry Tickets in Advance

    Is there a price difference between booking tickets for ferries online versus buying them at the Athens airport? I am flying to Athens on 28th April and would be looking to book ferry tickets which will start my journey on 30th April onwards from Athens to Santorini, Santorini to Mykonos, Mykonos to Athens on 7th of May back.

    Can I buy all these legs from the Athens airport? I reach Athens at 20:30. would the kiosk be open at this time?
    Would love to hear your suggestion on this. Your blog has been extremely helpful.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      There should not be any difference in ticket price as long as you don’t prebook through a travel agency. If it’s pre-booked from the actual ferry companies there won’t be an added charge. You can prebook through Aktina and then pickup from there (but that will have a charge). I’m 98% certain the Aktina kiosk will be open when you arrive (in October they told me the agency was open 24 hours) – but it’s still possible with this being so early in the tourist season that they’re not open. But even if that were the case the Blue Star from Athens to Santorini will not be sold out in late April – just show up at Piraeus before 7am and you’ll be fine. Then the other ferries you could buy as soon as you arrive in Santorini and they will (almost certainly) not be sold out either.

  20. Mykonos to Santorini in January

    Do you know how to get from Mykonos to Santorini in the beginning of January? Seems like no ferries are available at this time of year.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel & Travel Expert

      You’re right. There are no ferries between Mykonos and Santorini in January. You’ll have to go via Athens – either by ferry or flight.

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