Travelling to Greece
By plane, ship, train or car, or even a combination of transportation means, traveling to Greece is relatively simple and quick, even though it is situated at the southernmost corner of Europe and the Balkan Peninsula. Apart from the large airports in Athens in Thessaloniki, there are also smaller airports that service trips to and from the other large cities and the more famous islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas. The railway and road networks link Greece with the rest of Europe via the neighboring Balkan countries, while the large ports of Piraeus and Igoumenitsa handle the arrival of coastal ships via mainly Italy.
The most important entry point by air in Greece is “Eleftherios Venizelos” International Airport in Athens. From the first day it began operations in March 2001 has won international awards and distinctions, but more significantly, it has won the hearts of the visitors who consider it to be one of the most functional and comfortable airports in Europe. It is situated 33 km southeast of Athens and there is rapid access to the airport via the Attiki Odos, a central road artery connecting Athens with the Mesogeia (Mediterranean) region, as well as through dense scheduling of the Metro and Proastiako Suburban Systems.
More info about El. Venizelos Airport. www.aia.gr
However, other airports also handle direct flights from certain foreign countries, by regular and special airlines (especially during the summer months), as well as from charter flights, such as the Thessaloniki “Macedonia” State Airport, the Heraklion “Nikos Kazantazkis” International Airport, the Alexandroupolis “Dimokritos” International Airport and the Corfu “Ioannis Kapodistrias” Airport, as well as some smaller islands.
Click here for more detailed information on Greek airports.
The main volume of European tourists travelling to Greece by car uses ferries that have been built recently, sailing between Greek ports and ports in neighboring Italy. There are daily routes from Patras and Igoumenitsa to Italy, from the ports of Ancona, Bari, Brindizi, Venice and Trieste.
It acts as a “bridge”over which several million people pass. These routes are serviced with new ships that offer all modern comforts and speeds, while proper scheduling to and from Italy provide as many departures and arrivals as possible, thus giving tourists a wide selection to chose from. In order to better cover the ever increasing demand for mobile home transportation, shipping companies have scheduled ships with specially configurated areas for campers and caravans (towed and automotive).
Travelling with these ships in a comfortable and sophisticated environment and experiencing their hospitality and modern services provides relaxation and pleasure at very reasonable prices. These ships offer various categories of cabins -from outside cabins with WC and shower to more economical inside cabins- but in every instance your overnight stay is comfortable. They usually include air-conditioning, bar, restaurants and clothing stores, as well as satellite communications (telex and fax), video games and gambling (slot machines, casino, card rooms), pools, self-service facilities, disco, cinema, children’s playroom, escalators, camping on board, etc.Other than facilities for daily departures -which are mainly late at night- and the option to buy return tickets, passengers are assured that they will arrive at their destination on time, while at the same time providing them with an extra vacation day.
Passenger Passport Control
With the application of the terms of the Schengen Agreement in our country, all passenger ships/ferries sailing regular routes from Patras and Igoumenitsa to Italy and back (without visiting any non-Schenken third-country ports) are included in the category of ships executing domestic routes.As a result, passengers travelling in these ships, whose only destinantion is to those ports situated on the sovereign land of the Schenken countries, do not have to undergo passport control.
Patras Port authority Tel: +30 2610 341002, 341024 ,361470
Igoumenitsa port authority Tel: +30 26650 99400, 26650 99460
Greece’s railway network is approximately 2,500 km long, covering the greater part of the mainland and linking the country to Central Europe and Turkey. The transportation of passengers, luggage and driver-accompanied vehicles is carried out through regularly scheduled routes that are amended every year. The routes are carried out by high-quality Intercity-type trains (express and regular) and by regular trains (high-speed), etc). When traveling by train, it is worth looking at the architecture of the old stations along the line, most of which had been built at the end of the 19th C. and are of unique workmanship and symbols of early industrial architecture.
*For more information on time-tables, ticket prices and special O.S.E. services, contact:
Hellenic Railways Organization (O.S.E.):
Call 1440 for pre-recorded information giving train departures (domestic and Athens-Thessaloniki)
Call 1110 for telephone reservations for passengers from Attica to Thessaloniki
O.S.E. Central Information 1-3 Karolou St, Athens, Tel: +30 210 5297777
Thessaloniki Railway Station. +30 2310 517517 - 8,
Off: Íï 4 Trips, 18 Aristotelous St, Tel: +30 2310 598120
Patras: Railway Station. +30 2610 639108 - 9
Larisa Railway Station. +30 2410 236250
Off: Íï 3 Trips, 37 Papakyriazi St, Tel: +30 2410 590239
Volos Railway Station. +30 24210 24056
Off: Íï 8 Trips, 17 Iasonas St, Tel: +30 24210 28555
For special information and assistance for persons with special needs (ÁÌÅÁ), call: +30 210 5298838 (for Athens) and +30 2410 590263 (for Larisa). There are competent O.S.E. staff at the Athens and Larisa Railway Stations to assist persons with special needs who are traveling by train.
For information on foreign bus routes, call: +30 210 5298739 - 40, +30 210 5135768 - 9
Greece 's road network covers 117,000 kilometres. Following the modernization of the two large national highways, the construction of a major section of the Egnatia Road, etc., driving along most of the national highway network is now easier and without problems. There are numerous gas stations, restaurants and parking areas sited along the length of the road network, allowing drivers and passengers to stop and rest briefly.
The border crossing points for entering Greece by road from the neighboring Balkan countries are Exochi Drama for Bulgaria, Evzones Kilkis for FYROM, Kakavia in the Ioannina Prefecture for Albania and Kipoi Evrou for Turkey.
The main road axes in Greece are listed below, followed by the European road number :
Athens- Thessaloniki (E 75 )
Athens- Corinth (E 94 )
Corinth- Patras (E 65 )
Corinth-Tripoli- Kalamata (E 65 )
Patras-Pyrgos-Oly mpia (E 55 )
Thessaloniki-Kavala- Alexandroupoli (E 90 )
Igoumenitsa-Alexandroupoli (Egnatia Odos Motorway)
Chania-Agios Nikolaos ( Crete E 75)
E.U. Member-State citizens may use their own national driving license, while citizens of other countries must have an international driving license together with their own valid national driving license.