Planning a trip to the authentic Greek seaside town of Pylos? I don’t blame you. Pylos is a picturesque pocket of charming untouched Greece. Here you’ll find tasty tavernas and a tumble of whitewashed cottages, set in a stunning horseshoe bay. Far from the much-trodden tourist trails of the Cyclades, this charming harbour town is located on the mainland. This may leave you wondering about the best way to get from Athens to Pylos, how long it takes, and how much it’s going to cost.
Here, we explore four different ways to get from Athens to Pylos, complete with up-to-date pricing and timetables. We’ll also look at getting from Kalamata to Pylos, which you may find more convenient. Kalamata is around an hour’s drive from Pylos, and has a well-served international airport with bus links to other areas of Greece.
Finally, we’ll recommend the best boutique hotel to stay at during your time in Pylos, with a detailed review and pictures of our stay there.
How to get from Athens to Pylos
There are four different ways to get from Athens to Pylos:
It takes approximately 30hrs 20mins to drive from Athens to Pylos, without a stop. You can easily rent a car from Athens Airport, for anywhere between €40 to €140 per day depending on the type of car and the date you book. Book in advance for the best rates. Don’t forget to factor in parking, fuel and insurance costs, which are usually on top of the base hire rate. There is free parking available at the Pylos hotel recommended later in this guide.
Driving is the best option if you plan to travel around a little bit after you arrive in Pylos or visit other destinations in mainland Greece. The town of Pylos itself is very small and easily walkable.
The bus from Athens to Pylos takes about 5 hours so is best recommended if you’re on a tight budget or have plenty of time to travel slowly.
The bus stops in Kalamata en route, and a one-way ticket costs around €27.30. You can search for tickets and book on the KTEL Messinias website, or purchase them at the bus station on the day of travel. Booking in advance is usually only necessary on public holidays. The KTEL bus station at Athens Aiport is located between exits 2 and 3 (Arrivals), opposite the Sofitel airport hotel.
You can also catch a bus and change at Corinth, which takes longer (6hrs 25mins) but generally offers a cheaper fare.
Athens to Pylos Bus Timetable (direct)
Athens to Pylos
Monday to Saturday: 09:00am, 11:00am, 15:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am, 15:00pm
Pylos to Athens
Monday to Friday: 06:45am, 08:30am, 11:00am, 14:00pm, 15:30pm
Saturday: 08:30am, 12:30pm, 15:30pm
Sunday: 08:30am, 15:30pm
Taxi or Transfer
This is the most expensive option but possibly the most convenient if budget is not a concern. A private transfer from Athens to Pylos costs around €430 (one-way) for a standard vehicle with four passenger seats. You will pay more for a larger minibus or more luggage storage. The drive time is around 3hrs 20mins. I would strongly recommend booking a taxi in advance rather than attempting to hail one at the airport.
During the high season, (June-September) Aegean Airlines runs daily direct flights between Athens and Kalamata Airport, with a flight travel time of around 55 minutes. This might be a good option if the flight times line up nicely with international flights in and out of Athens. The cost is anywhere between €50 and €140 for a one-way flight depending on how far in advance you book. Return flights can cost as much as €280.
The daily flight from Athens to Kalamata takes off at 11:35am and lands at 12:30pm. On the return, it takes off from Kalamata at 12:50pm and lands in Athens at 13:40pm.
How to get from Kalamata to Pylos
From Kalamata, it’s a 1-hour drive, taxi, or bus to Pylos. You can rent a car at Kalamata Airport, book an organized transfer, or hop in a taxi, which will cost about €60. The KTEL Messinias bus service also runs a regular service from Kalamata to Pylos and back again, costing around €8-10 for a one-way ticket. There are between 4 and 6 buses a day, with less on weekends.
Kalamata to Pylos Bus Timetable
Kalamata Airport to Pylos
Monday to Friday: 05:00am, 06:40am, 09:30am, 13:00pm, 15:00pm, 19:15pm
Saturday and Sunday: 05:30am, 13:00pm, 15:00pm, 19:15pm
Pylos to Kalamata Airport
Monday to Friday: 06:45am, 08:30am, 11:00am, 14:00pm, 15:30pm, 21:45pm
Saturday: 08:30am, 12:30pm, 15:30pm, 21:45pm
Sunday: 08:30am, 15:30pm 21:45pm
Best Way to get from Athens to Pylos?
The best way to get from Athens to Pylos depends on your circumstances. The cheapest way is by bus (€27 one-way), but this also takes the longest (5 hours or more). Renting a car is preferable if you plan to explore more of the local area in Pylos, while flying may be an option if the daily return flight lines up with your other travel plans. A private transfer is the most expensive option (€430 one-way) but also the quickest and most convenient.
Now you know how to get there, read on to discover the best hotel to book for your stay!
What is the Best Hotel in Pylos?
The best hotel in Pylos is Karalis Beach Hotel, a beautiful boutique property perched over the ocean south of the harbour. It is only a few minutes’ walk to the town centre, but still has a secluded feel, with a private beach terrace where you can step straight into the turquoise Ionian.
This is where we stayed, and I can thoroughly recommend it! Below you will find a detailed review of the facilities, accommodation, location, food and service.
Karalis Beach Hotel Pylos, Review
As small boutique hotels go, Karalis Beach is a gem. With just 14 newly renovated rooms, most have breathtaking views of the Bay of Navarino. The rooftop bar and restaurant have a friendly and intimate feel with a shady patio area at the rear.
The jewel in the hotel’s crown, however, is the beach club-style terrace over the ocean, which boasts three cabanas and sun loungers on multiple levels. There is a cute little beach bar which is manned for drinks served to your bed. When you fancy a dip there are several bathing platforms with steps offering easy access to the inviting Bay of Navarino – the biggest natural swimming pool you will ever experience.
The sea view rooms offer a balcony that feels suspended in the sky, almost as if you could dive straight off your balcony into the gorgeous blue waters beneath. Other rooms have a view of the enigmatic castle ruins to the rear of the hotel. Families are well catered for with several rooms available. All rooms are well appointed including a safe and air conditioning and are immaculately clean. I would have liked to have seen bathrobes in the rooms, but apart from that they were perfect!
The breakfast is served in the rooftop restaurant, with a self-service buffet for cereals and continental breakfast. A cooked breakfast is also available with freshly cooked eggs and omelettes made to your specifications.
Karalis Beach is a family-run hotel and definitely has a personal touch. The same person may be working on reception and serving your breakfast but as a result, the staff are knowledgeable about their hotel and understand all elements of their guests’ requirements. Service with authentic Greek hospitality is what you can expect.
This hotel has the perfect location, just far enough out of Pylos to be quiet and secluded but easily walkable to the lovely bars and restaurants around the harbour. Behind the hotel is a walking track up to the castle and the forest beyond, and of course the hotel boasts direct access to the ocean.
The hotel is an hour’s taxi drive from Kalamata International Airport, which can be reached directly from London and regional airports. Pylos itself is perfect for a peaceful Greek getaway and very close to the up-and-coming golf resort of Costa Navarino.
Other Hotels in Pylos
Karalis City: The beach hotel’s sister property, located right on the harbourfront, but lacking beachfront access.
Hotel Anezina: No frills self-catering studios with lovely sea views, located a 10-minute walk from the beach. This aparthotel gets great reviews.
W Costa Navarino: Located just a 10-minute drive from Pylos centre, the W resort offers unfettered luxury with the same beautiful views of Navarino Bay.
So there you have it! There’s everything you need to know about visiting the picturesque village of Pylos, including how to get there and where to stay. Have another question about visiting? Let me know in the comments!