Hotels in Piraeus
Piraeus is Athens' main port, and is considered the main Greece's port. It is known from the ancient years, as it was ancient Athens' port. In medieval times, Piraeus was known as Porto Leone, since there was an enormous stone lion in the port's entrance.
Nowadays Piraeus is consisted of 3 ports. The central harbour is the one where big merchant ships dock and leave to the Greek islands. It is always busy, even during the night and the winter months. The other two harbours are smaller and are called Zea (or Passalimani) and Mikrolimano respectively. In both Zea and Mikrolimano there are yachts docking. They are more tourist areas than the central port and much more interesting as visitors can find cafes, restaurants and bars.
As far as travellers are concerned, the access to the port is easy, especially for those who use the Subway (or Metro) (green line-line 1). The first itinerary is at 05:30am while the last one is at 00:30am. However there are also buses and trolley buses from Athens centre and other areas. Taxis are easily found in the area as well as in other areas with destination to the Piraeus. Even at night, when there is no subway or buses, there is a taxi rank outside the port to carry travellers wherever they wish.
The passengers' ships are within a short walking distance from the Subway station. For ships in more distant gates, such ships to Crete or the Dodecanese, there are port buses to carry passengers there. As far as the bus stations are concerned, these are close to the port entrances and some of them inside the port.
Piraeus is not only the port with ships and yachts. It is a city full of life and surprises for the visitors. Following are the main regions-neighbourhoods of Piraeus, with their unique characteristics.
Freatida & Hatzikyriakio
Themistokleous str, is a wonderful avenue along the sea which starts from Zea's port and ends at Palaska Bay and the Royal Navy Academy of Piraeus. It is the perfect place for a walk by the sea or a place to relax in one of the many cafes and bars, with view to the Saronic Gulf waters. There are also excellent fish taverns where visitors can taste fresh fish.
Kastella is considered to be one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods of Piraeus. It is located close to Mikrolimano and is a real town to escape from the craziness around. As it is built on a hill it is interesting to walk in the narrow streets with the picturesque houses towards the top of the hill. The view from there to the neoclassical buildings of Kastella, hanging over the sea, the central harbour, the harbours of Zea and Mikrolimano as well as the whole Saronic Gulf is really breathtaking. It was not a coincidence that the ancient Athenian general Themistoklis chose this hill to built the Piraeus Acropolis.
Mikrolimano is located 1km from Piraeus centre but there is a wonderful costal pedestrian which connects it with Zea's port (Pasalimani). It is a little harbour full of fishing boats and yachts. During the ancient times, Mikrolimano was protected by the goddess Mounichia Artemis, whose sanctuary lies nowadays in the Naval Yacht Club and was named after her. During the ottoman rule its name changed into Tourkolimano, which is used up to date. It the area, visitors will easily find fish taverns which serve fresh fish and other seafood. Mikrolimano is a famous destination among Greeks too, as there are also many nice cafes and bars by the sea.
Zea's Port (Passalimani)
Walking to the south from the central port visitors will reach one of the most beautiful and picturesque neighbourhoods of Piraeus, Passalimani. During ottoman time, Zea's Port or Passalimani, was known as Pasha's Port and it was used by the main ships float. Passalimani or Zea's Port is a natural marina, one of the largest in the Mediterranean Sea. Nowadays there are impressive yachts and cruisers docking in the Port. Passalimani is full of life all day long, as there are many taverns, restaurants and bars in the area.
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