The Greek island of Andros is just a couple of hours away from Athens on the ferry. Here's how to get to Andros Greece on the Rafina Andros ferry services.
Andros Island Greece
If you are looking to visit a Greek island close to Athens, Andros might be the right choice for you. This beautiful Greek island boasts over 170 beaches and coves, great hiking trails, lovely villages and some cool museums.
For local Greeks, it's a popular weekend break destination from Athens. For foreign visitors, it's an island that often gets overlooked in favour of ‘big name' island destinations in Greece such as Santorini or Mykonos.
Whether you want to visit for a short break, or use it as the stepping stone to go Greek island hopping in the Cyclades, you first need to get there.
How to get to Andros from Athens
Like many other Greek islands, Andros doesn’t have an airport. The only way to get from Athens to Andros is by ferry. In fact, Andros is located quite far from Piraeus, the main Athens port, and you can only get there by ferry from Rafina port.
Rafina Andros Ferry Route
If you have ever been to Piraeus port you might have been a little overwhelmed, especially if you used public transport to get there. At Rafina Port, get ready for a much simpler, nicer port experience.
Rafina port is a far smaller and friendlier port compared to Piraeus. Even if there are two or three ferries departing at roughly the same time, it is still very easy to locate your ferry.
There are several ferries departing on a daily basis from Rafina to Andros, with morning, afternoon and evening options available.
If you are pushed for time you can get the high-speed ferries, that will get you to Andros in just an hour.
We generally find the slower, conventional ferries more pleasant to travel on. The trip is about 2 hours long, so you will still barely feel it. Plus, they are slightly cheaper.
I recommend using Ferryhopper as a way to check for ferry routes and to book tickets online. It's a very simple to use website, and cuts out the ‘It's all Greek to me' problems!
Rafina to Andros on the SeaJets
For 2020, the well-known SeaJets company operate two large high-speed ferries to Andros. Both Power Jet and Paros Jet will get you to the island in just an hour.
You may have used other SeaJets ferries in the past, that only take passengers. These two SeaJets going from Rafina to Andros are large and also have vehicle capacity. Passenger ticket prices for Andros on the SeaJets start at 27.70 euro.
Going from Rafina to Andros on the Golden Star Ferries
Another company serving this route are the Golden Star Ferries. Τhe Superferry and the Superferry II go to Andros once or twice per day. The trip lasts about 2 hours.
These ferries are both large, over 120 metres long, and they also take vehicles. Ticket prices start at 21 euro for a deck seat.
Taking the Fast Ferries from Rafina to Andros
Another company serving this route is Fast Ferries. They currently have two ferries on the route, called Theologos P and Fast Ferries Andros. Both of them are about 115 metres long and take vehicles.
Ticket price are similar to the Golden Star Ferries, starting at 21 euro per person, and the trip takes about 2 hours.
My Experiences on the Rafina to Andros route
In 2019, we travelled on the Aqua Blue ferry, operated by Seajets. It was a good trip, and as we travelled at the end of August, there were very few passengers. In fact, we used the same ferry to go to Tinos, and then return to Rafina.
For 2020, this ferry no longer serves the Rafina – Andros route. However, the conventional ferries run by Golden Ferries and Fast Ferries are fairly similar.
All of our trips went very smoothly, although on one occasion, the ferry took around 45 minutes to dock in Andros port, as the winds were very strong. It was strange, because while on the boat, we had barely felt the waves!
There was plenty of seating on the ferry, both inside and outside for people who want to enjoy the views. Whilst coffee and snacks are available on the crossing from Rafina to Andros, these are sold at inflated prices. It's better to bring your own!
I've a full guide here on tips for traveling by ferry in Greece.
Taking a car on the ferry
As we have our own car in Athens, we took it over on the ferry with us. Driving up the ramp and onto the ferry is always a bit of an experience, as the boat staff are always in a rush!
For most tourists though, I would say that it makes sense to travel as foot passengers, and then hire a car in Andros on arrival. This way, you save the cost of a ticket for the car, which if memory serves me correctly, was around 40 Euro one way.
You should also note, that your insurance may not cover you on ferry crossings for cars hired in Athens. In some cases, their terms and conditions may state you can't take the car on a ferry at all.
If you plan to continue on to another island in the Cyclades, again I would suggest traveling as foot passengers and hiring another car at the next destination.
How to get to Andros from Mykonos
Andros and Mykonos are very well connected. All the ferries mentioned above continue to Mykonos. They take anywhere from 1 hour 15 minutes to 2.5 hours to reach the popular island. On the way, they first stop at Tinos, another of our favourite Greek islands.
If you have spent a few days in cosmopolitan Mykonos and want something more relaxed, definitely look into Andros. I've a guide here on the Mykonos to Andros ferry.
Getting from Andros to more Greek islands
Apart from Mykonos and Tinos, Andros has connections with several other islands. You can easily continue your Greek island-hopping adventure and go to Paros or Naxos.
Some islands aren't as well connected though. For example, getting from Santorini to Andros will probably involve swapping ferries, most likely in Mykonos.
I've a nice guide here on how to get from Athens to the Cyclades islands.
Do you have any questions about getting to Andros from Athens? Leave a comment below and I'll do my best to answer!