Piraeus port today
Piraeus’s port history was directly related with that of Athens, even until today. Ancient Athens’ port was at Faliron, but during classical development of the city, Themistocles decided to transfer all facilities at Piraeus, where it was much safer.
Undoubtedly the port is one of the largest port of Mediterranean today, and is connected with Athens airport. There is where you have to go in order to get the ship to visit Saronikos islands, some of the Aegean islands, since there are also ferries from Rafina and Lavrio ports, located at East Attica that take you there or Crete. Moreover, there is another port at Perama, that takes you to Salamina.
Actually it includes 3 natural harbours, the main and so-called Piraeus
, Zea and Mikrolimano. Piraeus today hosts all passengers’ ships that connect Greece with its islands. Piraeus Archaeological museum is located in Zea (Marina tis Zeas). In Mikrolimano there are many fish taverns, with splendid seafood options. Today the locals think that their city is different than that of Athens 🙂
There are two sailing clubs located at Mikrolimano as well, and there is kept the Royal boat that won the Olympic medal of the ex King of Greece.
History of Piraeus
Athens’ classical hegemony was based on two main things: production of olive oil and transport from Piraeus to the rest of Mediterranean and Black sea. So, during antiquity Piraeus was called “Kantharos” after an ancient type of ceramic vase. Long Walls were built to protect the city from the Spartan danger, and they were torn down after Athens’ defeat in Peloponnesian war at 404 BC.
The port was the main way to access Athens for centuries, so that its name was directly related to that of Athens. Nowadays it serves as the main gate to the Aegean islands.