How do we get to Kythnos? Is it straightforward?
Yes and no. You need to get to Athens first, and it’s probably best to try Easy Jet first for flights. If the times and prices don’t suit you, then try the various comparison websites e.g. Skyscanner.
You either need to book your flights around the ferries or choose your ferries around your flights. Either way it is unlikely you will make it to Kythnos from the UK in the same day and vice versa.
What that means is you will need to stay overnight, possibly in both directions. There are usually boats every day to Kythnos all the year round, but some go from Piraeus and some from Lavrio. You can find out the times and the ports they leave from very easily the Greek Travel Pages.
Meanwhile for bus times between Athens airport and Piraeus and Lavrio and central Athens, simply Google ‘Buses from Athens Airport’ and you should have no problems. The bus fares in all cases are just a few euros.
Leaving from Piraeus
There are advantages to leaving from both ports.
Piraeus, some people like, because of its size and bustle; it is a virtual city in its own right.
We can recommend the Piraeus Dream City Hotel for an overnight stay; probably somewhere around the €55 mark for a room without breakfast (www.piraeusdream.gr ). You take the shuttle bus from the airport to Piraeus, get off at the terminus and walk the short distance. During the day this is fine, but late at night it can be a bit difficult to find and you might need to ask directions from a cafe.
Also during the day you could try a clutch of hotels in the streets opposite Piraeus Port Gates E7,8,9 etc. with names like Hotel Delfini. They will probably all charge about €55 a night, but outside of July and August, Easter and Christmas, they all should have rooms available.
Leaving from Lavrio
If you decide to go in either direction by Lavrio, it can be easier in some respects but harder in others. The buses between Piraeus and the airports seem reliable and stick to straightforward schedules. In June 2013 however I took a bus from Lavrio to the airport and had to change once without notice and then wait an interminable time while the driver had at least two fag breaks.
Luckily I had allowed myself plenty of time, and in any case a taxi from Lavrio to the airport wouldn’t have broken the bank.
Once you’ve reached Lavrio either from the airport or Kythnos, you then take a 6 euro taxi ride to the posh resort of nearby Sounio. There is the excellent Hotel Saron which offers single rooms with breakfast at a bargain around €55 or €65 for a double. It has a superb swimming pool and is an ideal place to relax whether entering or leaving Greece.
By the way, for some reason Lavrio often gets a bad press as somewhere dull and boring, which is definitely not the case. It is a lively and friendly place and a good bit easier to deal with than the amiable craziness of downtown Piraeus. Look out for live Greek music in some of the Lavrio bars and especially at weekends. It is up to you to make your choice.
Important information about your ferry tickets
Coming from Athens you buy your tickets down by the Piraeus or Lavrio harbours.
There are dozens of agencies, and if they don’t sell tickets for Kythnos they will point you to one who does. Unless it’s a special holiday or festival time you needn’t book ahead, just turn up and buy them.
The Piraeus trip is about three to three and a half hours, the Lavrio journey only two hours. Note that the ferry cafeterias aren’t particularly cheap, and if you are on a budget you might well want to bring your own supplies.