How To Get From Athens to Corfu

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Written By: Pavlos Inglesis

athens to corfu
Corfu is very well connected to Athens by ferry (from Igoumenitsa town) and by plane (direct flight), but if you want to take the ferry the problem is that you have to get to Igoumenitsa town first…

You basically have two ways to get from Athens to Corfu: drive to Igoumenitsa (or take the KTEL bus) and then the ferry or just fly. It comes down to how much money and time you have for this trip.

I honestly believe that the absolute Best Way to get from Athens to Corfu is by taking the 1-hour direct flight.

To be fair, if you are flying from anywhere within Europe to Greece chances are there might be a direct flight from a major European city to Corfu as there are hundreds of direct flights to Corfu from all over Europe every year. This applies basically to every Ionian island.

This could be a much better option than flying to Athens first and then looking to get the bus/ferry, so I highly recommend you check that first!

But if you have to go through Athens then here are the 2 options you have:

How Long It TakesCost*
Bus to Igoumenitsa & Ferry
(bus/drive to Igoumenitsa port and then ferry)
6 hours
(it’s 4.5 hours drive & the ferry from Igoumenitsa is 1.5 hours)
44 euros bus to Igoumenitsa and 6 euros for the ferry
Flight
(from Athens Intl. Airport)
1 hour100 to 200 euros
*Obviously the cost fluctuates a lot and may differ; always check Ferryhopper for ferry costs and Expedia for flights

corfu ferry port
Corfu ferry port is usually not very busy but you may see some large cruise ships in the high season

There are no direct ferries from Athens to Corfu so you have to reach the town of Igoumenitsa and then take the 1.5-hour ferry to get to Corfu. I honestly think that this is too much hassle if you only have a few days on the beautiful island of Corfu so I highly recommend you take the direct flight from Athens International Airport. However, if you do decide to get the bus to Igoumenitsa and then the quick ferry you would see 1/3 of Greece along the way.

  • Ferryhopper is the largest and most safe website in Greece to book your ferry tickets from Athens to Corfu, but you can also use it just for checking timetables and prices between Athens and all greek islands.
  • Expedia has all the available options for flights from Athens to Corfu (CFU is Corfu airport code) with all possible airlines (Aegean, Olympic, Sky Express, Ryanair)

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It’s obvious that whatever I explain in this post also applies to the return trip from Corfu to Athens.

igoumenitsa port
Igoumenitsa is a small port town on mainland Greece opposite Corfu where the large ferries from Italy also arrive and depart from

Keep reading…

ATHENS TO CORFU TIPS:

  • Best way To get From Athens to Corfu: by direct flight (1 hour) because it’s simply a lot faster; the ferry might be worth checking though if money is an issue or if you cannot find a flight ticket
  • Best Website for Ferry Prices & Timetables: Ferryhopper
  • There is no direct ferry from Athens to Corfu
  • Bus from Athens to Igoumenitsa: you have to take it from the Central KTEL Bus Station (on Google Maps) which is unfortunately one of the worst in the country and really old-fashioned and chaotic (see below how to get there)
  • Between April-October there is usually a ferry from Igoumenitsa to Corfu every hour, pretty much.
  • How long is the ferry ride from Athens to Corfu: there is no direct ferry, but you have to drive to Igoumenitsa first (4 hours) and then take the 1.5 hours ferry
  • How much does it cost to take a ferry from Athens to Corfu: there is no direct ferry from Athens but the ferry from Igoumenitsa costs around 6 euros but then you also have to pay the bus to get from Athens to Igoumenitsa which is usually around 45 to 50 euros
  • Best Way to Get From Athens Airport to KTEL Kifissou Bus Station is by taking the Express Bus X93 (see its route here)
  • Where to Book the Bus from Athens to Igoumenitsa: you have 2 options: from KTEL Kerkyras (select Kerkyra as your destination) or KTEL Thesprotias (select Igoumenitsa as your destination)
  • You must book your ferry online and you can then enter the ferry with the barcode that will be on the email that will be sent to you. This will be clearly written on the email you will receive from Ferryhopper and it is now the system that most ferry companies use BUT some smaller companies may ask you to get a printout from a kiosk that is outside of the ferry and it is this print out that will allow you to enter the ferry. As a rule of thumb, if your ticket you got through email from Ferryhopper has a barcode then you can enter the ferry directly.
  • How long is the flight from Athens to Corfu: the flight is 1 hour long, and checking in is usually quick but you have to be 2 hours in advance at the airport, as with any flight in the world.
  • Direct International Flights to Corfu: there are many international flights to Corfu from all over Europe and if you have no interest on visiting Athens, I highly recommend you fly directly to Corfu from a European city. in fact, if you are flying from the US or Canada, I recommend you fly to a European city first and then take a direct flight to Corfu. Going through Athens might be too much of a hassle.
  • Strikes in Greece: strikes can happen anytime in Greece and for any means of public transportation within short notice; usually, they may happen on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays; yes, they may mess up your trip but they are necessary for the hard-working people of Greece so that they can have decent salaries and benefits for their lives. So, get over it and try to find some alternatives for your trip (a taxi is usually the best option).
  • Strong Winds – Ferries Cancellations: in case there are strong winds (which can be pretty common in August in Greece), then the Greek Port Authorities may stop all ferries from departing, so bear in mind this is also a possibility that can mess up your trip; as an average there might be 4-5 days during the summer months that this can happen so get prepared
  • Punctuality of ferries in Greece: in general, all ferries in Greece depart on time with no delays, and they won’t wait for you if you are late; however, they don’t always arrive on time as there are weather or other conditions that may affect their route to the islands along the way
  • Business Seats on Ferries in Greece: in my opinion, they are not worth the extra money as you only get a bit more space and a slightly quiet area to sit but even the standard seats are very spacious
  • The Ferry Schedule for all greek islands is announced only 2-3 months before the actual trips, so if you cannot find any scheduled ferries for your trip 3 years from now, please check again 2 months before your actual trip.

Ok, so let’s see all the available options from Athens to Corfu (that also apply to the return trip from Corfu to Athens):

Athens to Corfu Ferry Schedule

corfu ferries
Kerkyra Lines is one of the ferry lines that connect Corfu to Igoumenitsa with many ferries per day

Let me be clear first: there is no direct ferry from Athens to Corfu nor from Corfu to Athens.

These ferries only connect Corfu to Igoumenitsa, so you have to go to Igoumenitsa first!

There are many ferries per day, though, from Igoumenitsa port.

Here is an example of a Ferry Schedule from Igoumenitsa to Corfu in September from Ferryhopper:

igoumenitsa to corfu ferry
This is a typical Ferry Schedule from Igoumenitsa to Corfu in the summer months (May, June, July, August, and September); note there is a ferry every hour pretty much

This is just an example of a ferry schedule, though!

For the latest Ferry schedule, always check on Ferryhopper.

The winter ferry schedule is less frequent, with probably fewer ferries a day.

ferry ticket greek islands blue star ferry highspeed
If you book your ticket through Ferryhopper you are going to get a link through email where you can download the tickets with the barcode that looks like this (it will open up in your browser, and you can just screenshot it); this ticket will have your seat number as well, and it is individual for every passenger, so kids and vehicles will have their own barcodes and separate tickets
corfu ferries
Kerkyra Seaways is the second ferry company that connects Igoumenitsa to Corfu
corfu ferries
There is plenty of space inside the Kerkyra Seaways ferries to have a coffee during the 1.5 hour ride to Corfu

BUS FROM ATHENS TO CORFU

ktel bus corfu kerkyra
There is a KTEL bus from Athens to Corfu that can actually take you straight to Corfu (“Kerkyra” in greek) but it’s just a ride to Igoumenitsa port and then the ferry; you can take them from the KTEL Central Bus Station in the Kifissos area in Athens

The Corfu Local Bus company (called Green Buses) operates a route from Athens to Corfu, which is basically a bus that will take you from Athens Central Bus station in Kifissos and then to Igoumenitsa to take the ferry.

corfu kerkyra athens bus ktel timetables
There are usually three buses a day from Athens to Kerkyra (it’s to Igoumenitsa port), and the ticket does not include the ferry price, which you will need to pay once in Igoumenitsa port.

You can book the ticket for the Corfu to Athens Bus here

The bus ride takes about 4.5 hours and then 1.5 hours on the ferry to Corfu. Once you reach the ferry port of Corfu there is a small ride to the central bus station of Corfu, so basically it will drop you to the center of Corfu town.

The ticket for this bus DOES NOT include the ferry ticket, which you must pay once you arrive in Igoumenitsa.

Alternatively, you can take a KTEL Bus that will take you to Igoumenitsa port only and then you have to take the ferry by yourself (it’s literally the same thing…).

BUS FROM ATHENS TO IGOUMENITSA

ktel bus igoumenitsa corfu kifissos bus station athens
The buses from Athens to Igoumenitsa will take you to the Igoumenitsa port and from there you take the ferry to Corfu

The other thing you can actually do to reach Corfu (“Kerkyra” in greek) is just to take a direct KTEL Bus from Athens to Igoumenitsa.

These buses are operated by “KTEL Thesprotias” (different bus company than the Corfu bus) but they also depart from the Central Bus Station in Athens (Kifissos).

You can book the ticket for the KTEL Bus from Athens to Igoumenitsa here.

ktel bus athens igoumenitsa corfu
As you can see, there are 3 buses per day that will take you from Athens to Igoumenitsa (only) and the trip take about 4.5 hours

Obviously, when you arrive at Igoumenitsa you then have to hop on to the ferry (there is one ferry every hour) and they never sell out but it’s a good idea to book it in advance online through Ferryhopper.

ATHENS BUS STATION (KIFISSOS)

ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
Athens Bus Station in Kifissos is a very old building that’s pretty much the same since the 50’s but…it does the job, I guess; there are several bus bays for each prefecture in Greece

Athens Bus Station is located in Kifissos area and it’s probably the worst in the country with very old facilities and amenities, that is also pretty difficult to reach as it’s not close to anything.

Here is Kifissos Bus Station on Google Maps.

ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
There are lots of KTEL Buses that depart from Kifissos central bus station in Athens but there is also another smaller KTEL Bus Station in Athens called Liossion Bus Station where some other buses depart (mainly for Volos, Larisa, Karditsa, Trikala towns in northern Greece).
ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
The ticket area of Kifissos Bus Station with kiosks for every destination (there is no central office you can go to, you have to find the one that operates your destination)
ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
The ticket area of Kifissos Bus Station can become very busy a few minutes before departure so make sure you arrive well in advance as you need the printout ticket to enter the bus (not in every bus, though as some of them accept the electronic ticket)
ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
Don’t expect any luxuries in Kifissos Bus Station, and apart from a coffee shop that sells greek pasties, you won’t find much food
ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
The coffee shop area in Kifissos has a few tables where you can sit and have something to eat or drink
ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
Every bus bay has a sign on top for the destination/perfecture that it actually serves; you have to find yours and wait there to enter the bus as there are no announcements or electronic tables to show departures.
ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
There are lots of buses that go to almost everywhere in Greece in the Kifissos Bus Station
ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
There are Athens Local Buses that will drop people literally in the Kifissos bus station
ktel bus kifissos bus station athens
The interior of the KTEL Buses is pretty standard and most of the buses are quite new actually.

HOW TO GET TO KIFISSOS BUS STATION

There are only Athens buses that serve Kifissos Bus Terminal in Athens and there is no metro connection.

So here are the possible ways you can reach the station:

x93 bus athens kifissos airport
This is the route of the express bus X93 from Athens Airport to Kifissos Bus Station (it’s a 45 minutes ride and the ticket costs 6 euros)

You can also see the details of X93 Route and timetables on the official website of Athens Buses.

  • From Piraeus Port to Kifissos Bus Station: you have to take the 420 Bus
420 athens bus kifissos piraeus
This is the route of the 420 Bus from Piraeus port to Kifissos Bus Station (it’s a 30 minutes ride and the ticket costs 1.60 euros)

FLIGHTS TO CORFU

The best and cheapest website to book or search for flights to Corfu is Expedia, as it has all the available options (including any available low-cost airlines like Ryanair).

corfu airport flights
Corfu’s airport is one of the most impressive in Greece with the airplanes almost taking off from the sea!

A few useful info to have in mind when booking your flight to Corfu:

  • Corfu Airport on Google Maps
  • Athens Airport Code is : ATH (Athens)
  • Corfu Airport Code is: CFU (Corfu)
  • Every plane that lands on Corfu, takes off after 1 hour to fly back to Athens.
  • The exact times of the flights change and they are not the same throughout the year, so make sure you get the right times from Expedia as it will give you all the available flights immediately.
  • There are more flights from Athens to Corfu between April – October (high season)
  • If you book your tickets well in advance (6 months) you could probably find some very good deals with return tickets.
  • The cost of the flight from Athens to Corfu may come up to 250 euros during the high season (April-October) 

The airlines that fly from Athens to Corfu (April-October) are:

corfu airport flights
Corfu Airport (CFU) is one of the best on any greek island and it serves flights from all over Europe throughout the year.

I highly recommend you fly to Corfu instead of taking the bus and ferry from Athens.

There are flights to and from to Corfu from pretty much anywhere in Europe and this is actually very convenient as it’s much better to fly directly to the island from anywhere in Europe instead of messing around with the buses and ferries that will also take ages.

corfu airport flights
Corfu airport is one of the best on any greek island with lots of modern amenities and shops
corfu airport flights
Corfu airport even has a very decent Duty Free shop for last minute shopping
corfu airport flights
Getting your baggage in Corfu Airport is a relatively quick and easy process

In my honest opinion, it’s definitely worth flying to Corfu and you should do it instead of taking the bus and the ferry from Igoumenitsa. You will be on the island within 2.5 hours in total (1 hour flight and 1.5 hours for the check-in process at the airport).

Check the latest available flights to Corfu on Expedia.

Corfu Airport is International, which means there are direct flights from: London, Milan, Rome, Amsterdam, Paris, Munich, Brussels, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Warsaw, Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and many more European destinations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long is the ferry ride from Athens to Corfu?

There is no direct ferry to Corfu from Athens, so you have to take a bus that will take you to Igoumenitsa port first, that takes 4.5 hours and then the ferry takes 1.5 hours to get to Corfu. The journey might take more than 6 hours overall and is not worth it. A direct flight to Corfu is always more convenient and faster (but more expensive).

What is the best way to travel from Athens to Corfu?

The best way to travel from Athens to Corfu is by a direct flight because it is relatively quick and easier than going through the hassle of getting the bus to Igoumenitsa and then the ferry. The flight is only 1 hour on the air and Corfu Airport is one of the most modern in Greece.

Is it better to fly or ferry to Corfu?

It is better to fly to Corfu because in order take the ferry you need to get to Igoumenitsa port first which is 4.5 hours drive or bus ride from Athens. The bus and the ferry to Corfu might be a better option if money is an issue and you are looking for the absolute cheapest way to get to the island.

CONCLUSION

You basically have 2 options to get from Athens to Corfu: by plane or by a bus and ferry. I recommend to take the flight instead of the bus and ferry because the bus and the ferry combination takes too long and it’s not that straight forward. This is valid if you are also a family with young kids.

However, if you do take the bus to Igoumenitsa and then the ferry, you will see almost 1/3 of Greece along the way with some very impressive landscapes of western Greece, which can be a nice experience too.

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AUTHOR
Pavlos Inglesis
Greek, born and raised in Athens. I have been to almost every greek island and pretty much in every region of mainland Greece. I have also been eating souvlaki and gyros since the 80s. I love being a dad to my 2 beautiful daughters and also taking great photos of the places I visit. This is my blog to help you out explore the places I have visited with my inside tips as a Greek, knowing the ins and outs of my country and culture. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section under the post you are interested in and I wIll try my best to respond asap.

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