Sailboats moored at the Piraeus harbour.

©Panagiotis Vgenopoulos/EyeEm/Getty Images


Ten kilometres southwest of central Athens, Piraeus is dazzling in its scale, its seemingly endless quays filled with ferries, ships and hydrofoils. It's the biggest port in the Mediterranean (more than 20 million passengers pass through annually), the hub of the Aegean ferry network, the centre of Greece’s maritime trade and the base for its large merchant navy. While technically its own city, it melds into the Athens sprawl, with close to half a million people living in the greater area.


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