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Transport

All tgransports in Greece: ferries, flights, bus, trains and motorways

Luckily there are many services to choose from when it comes to down to choosing how to move around Greece during the year, especially during the high season when many places are busy and there can be a lot of traffic. Even if some areas of Greece cannot be reached by busses or other vehicles most of it has local bus lines and roads in good conditions that will take from one part of the country to another.

Planes and flights in Greece

The most popular and practical way to travel around Greece is certainly by plane. The international airport of Athens, El. Venizelos, receives both national and international flights making it the easiest airport to reach from anywhere, it is especially good for tourists that are planning to land in Athens before taking a second plane or ferry to the Greek islands.

During high season even some smaller airports receive international flights but they are usually a bit more expensive and there often aren’t many flights. During high season they all have to be booked a lot in advance.

Busses and bus lines in Greece

Very common, fairly reliable and equipped with air conditioning, busses are the ideal way to move around Greece’s main cities. The KTEL busses can be recognized by their green colors and connect Athens to most Greek cities.

Usually tickets can be purchased before starting your trip as KTEL busses haven’t got an online booking system. This is the most popular way to move around continental Greece (in fact not all islands have a bus line).

Travelling by car in Greece

Besides using your own vehicle in Greece there are also many car rentals that offer cars for every price. The car will give you the chance to explore the region, city or island that you are visiting with complete independence and without having to worry about bus stops, time tables and losing your bus.

Travelling by ferry/boat in Greece

A vast network of modern ferries, hydrofoils, catamarans and cruising ships connect the mainland to the many Greek islands. During high season it is best to book with a lot of advance as tickets finish rather soon. The frequency of the boats and ferries lowers during low season and in some cases are even cancelled.

When it comes down to international journeys many ships leave from some of Italy’s most important ports (Ancona, Bari, Brindisi and Venice) and travel to the ports in western Greece (Patrasso, Corfù, Igoumenitsa). Otherwise there are also ferries that leave from the Turkish main ports and travel to the Dodecanese islands and towards the north-eastern Aegean islands.

Travelling by train in Greece

The trains are managed by the Greek Railways (OSE). Unfortunately the train line doesn’t reach all the main Greek cities and the northern lines are the most frequently used. Between Athens and Dikea (north-east)there is a line that reaches the cities of Thessaloniki and Alexandropolis.

There are also trains that travel to Florina and the Pelio peninsula. The trains in the Peloponnese only travel to Kiato, from where you can take a bus to reach the ferries that are leaving from Patrasso. After the economic crisis many services have been reduced and timetables change all the time, for this reason we recommend you check in advance the timetables.

Taxis in Greece

Taxis can be found anywhere in Greece, a part from the very small and remote islands. Taxis are usually cheaper than in most of Europe, especially if you divide the cost between 3-4 people. Recently many taxi drivers have also started using satellite navigators and GPS, for this reason they won’t have any problem finding your destination as fast as possible.

The yellow taxis that can be found in cities become twice as expensive between 00.00 and 05.00. You will also have to pay a bit more if you are travelling from or to a port, airport and train station. Taxi drivers also expect a little bit more money if you have luggage that weighs more than 10 kilograms. The grey taxis can be found in rural areas and often don’t have a fixed a price. You may want to discuss this in advance with your taxi driver in order to agree on the price.

Unfortunately some taxi drivers (this isn't very common and mainly happens in Athens) take advantage of tourists to ask for a bit more money. If you have complains about the service write down the number of the taxi you were in and go and look for the touristic police, they will be happy to help you and make sure you don’t get ripped off again.

Underground in Greece

Athens is the only Greek city that is big enough to have an underground. Many people ask if there are discounts for children and old or disabled people nut only university students are allowed a discount on the ticket. Athens’ underground has 3 lines and connects the city’s most important sites and monuments like the airport, the acropolis, Piraeus’ port, the central train station, the Olympic stadium and the city’s outskirts.

During the excavation of the underground many archeological objects have been found, some of these are now exposed in stations near where they were found. All stations have accesses for disabled people and elevators, luckily most stations also have air conditioning during the summer. These stations are open from 5:30 to 24:30 apart from Fridays and Saturdays when the line stays open until 2:30.

Although the most popular way to travel in Greece is by bus (Ktel), traveling by train can be convenient. In fact, train fares in Greece are less expensive than bus fares (about 50% less). The main train station in Athens is Larissis station , while in Thessaloniki the station is located on Monastiriou Avenue, about 15 minutes by car from Aristotle Square.

The Greek railway system is served by the OSE, the Greek railway organization . The main routes in Greece are:

  1. Athens-Thessaloniki
  2. Athens-Patra (served by Proastiakos to Kiato)
  3. Athens / Thessaloniki-Alexandroupoli (Dikaia)
  4. Athens / Thessaloniki-Florina
  5. Athens / Thessaloniki-Kalambaka

In recent years, there has been a great effort to renew the rail system and make Greece's trains faster. For information on routes and fares click here .

Some railway lines, for cultural reasons, have been redeveloped to the OSE and still work today for purely tourist reasons.

These trains are:

  1. Diakofto-Kalavryta : This route is a tourist attraction that starts from Diakofto in the northern Peloponnese, crosses the Vouraikos gorge, passes the village of Zachlorou and then arrives in Kalavryta. The route lasts 1 hour and runs all year round, on weekends and national holidays.
  2. Pelion steam train : The Pelion steam train leaves from Ano Lehonia, stops in Ano Gatzea and arrives in Milies, crossing places of wild natural beauty. The route lasts 90 minutes and runs from April to October on weekends, while from mid-July to the end of August every day.
    Return tickets cost 18 euros for adults, 10 euros for children (ages 4-12).
  3. Trains to Katakolo: to ancient Olympia. The journey from Katakolo to Ancient Olympia takes 45 minutes and serves the thousands of international tourists who arrive in Katakolon by cruise ship. Train times vary according to the month and traffic.

The bus network in Greece

As far as buses are concerned, the reference company is Ktel.

When it comes to ferries in Greece, we must emphasize the difference between the ferries that lead from Italy to Greece and the ferries to the Greek islands. Not everyone knows, for example, that the Cyclades Islands , or those of Dodecanese both in the Aegean Sea, are not directly connected from Italy by scheduled ferries: but to reach them, it is It is almost always necessary to leave from one of the port of Piraeus in Athens or other ports of the Hellenic capital.

Italian ports with ferries to Greece

The Italian ports from which ferries leave for Greece are those of the cities on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas: therefore Ancora, Venice, Bari, Brindisi. Choosing the port of departure is especially important in terms of travel time and locations reached.

From Venice and Ancora it takes up to 24 hours of crossing to reach Greece, while from the ports of Brindisi and Bari, from where the ferry takes less than ten hours to cover the route.

Ferries departing from Italy reach the Ionian islands by Corfu , Kefalonia and Zakynthos, and the mainland Greek towns of Igoumenitsa and Patras. Seasonally, weekly connections are also activated with the island of Paxos from the port of Brinidisi.

Greek Islands Ferries

There are so many Greek islands: it is no coincidence that it is always difficult to understand which one to choose. We advise you to use our search engine "Choose your corner of Greece", in order to find the right destination according to your needs.
The islands of Greece are almost all reachable from Athens by internal ferries: so if your destination is an island that is not part of the Ionian archipelago, you will have to reach the port of Piraeus, di Lavrio or Rafina, to take the ferry that will take you to your destination.

Crete, the largest island, is also connected with Athens and other surrounding islands.

Connections from Athens to the Greek islands

The islands with the most connections are the Cyclades, even during the low season: just think of Santorini and Mykonos, which can boast tourist flows for most of the year, not only in summer. The dense network of internal ferries in Greece runs 12 months a year, with more trips in the high season, but each island has a weekly connection for good or bad.

When to buy ferries to the Greek islands

Tickets are sold five or six months in advance: this depends on the routes, the well-known destination, and the type of ferry: hydrofoil or slow ferry.
The costs also vary from the request and the type of boat. In high season they are obviously higher, and hydrofoils have an increasingly higher cost than slow ferries, which are also fewer in number compared to the races.

Some of the most beautiful islands in Greece can be reached with direct flights from all over Europe and also from Italy . If your destination is Dodecanese or the Cyclades , you will find some islands that can be reached with a direct flight: on the map of airports in Greece, you can see which ones they are. There are also many solutions with low-cost flights available.

The Greek islands with international airports are many , to which are added islands with smaller national airports, or flights operating only in the summer season. However, it is not always possible to book a flight to take us to our destination. The smaller islands or outside the mass tourism circuit, cannot be reached by plane, so it is necessary to combine the transport by ferry after landing at the airport closest to our final destination.

Greek islands with airport

There are many Greek islands with airports, but not all of them have international ports . International airports are generally found in the most popular vacation spots, with some exceptions.

Naxos, for example, despite being well known and one of the most visited destinations in summer, does not have an international airport, but only a small national airport where charter flights from Athens land, many of which only operate in summer. Of all the islands of Greece, the Cyclades archipelago gathers most of the destinations of international tourism: Santorini and Mykonos.

Greek islands with international airport

Reaching a Greek island with a direct flight is certainly the best way for a holiday in Hellenic land. There are not many islands with direct flights, but they are certainly among the most famous ones: just think of Santorini, Mykonos and Crete, which alone catalyze most of the tourists in transit in Greece. But let's not forget Skiathos or Rhodes or Kos in the Dodecanese, other very popular destinations in the summer.

There is a consideration, however. These islands with international airports often correspond to the gateway to Greece and not the final destination. An example? Just think of islands like Ios or Folegandros, which do not have an airport but which are easily accessible after landing at Santorini airport. Or Patmos or Symi reachable respectively from the island of Kos and Rhodes. Therefore always consider these combinations and trips when you will choose your holiday destination in Greece . Below is the complete list of Greek islands with international airports.

Santorini, Thira
Σαντορίνη, Santoríni

JTR

LGSR

Santorini International Airport
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Σαντορίνης

Mykonos

JMK

LGMK

Mykonos International Airport
Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Μυκόνου

Lemnos
Λήμνος, Limnos

LXS

LGLM

Lemnos International Airport "Hephaestus"
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Λήμνου
«Ήφαιστος»

Lesbos
Λέσβος

MJT

LGMT

Mytilene International Airport
Odysseas Elytis
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Μυτιλήνης "Οδυσσέας Ελύτης"

Kos
Κῶς, Kos

KGS

LGKO

Kos International Airport, Hippocrates
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Κω, Ιπποκράτης

Rhodes
Ρόδος, Ròdos

RHO

LGRP

Rhodes International Airport "Diagoras"
Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Ρόδου "Διαγόρας»

Samos
Σάμος, Samos

SMI

LGSM

Samos International Airport "Aristarchos of Samos"
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Σάμου "Αρίσταρχος ο Σάμιος»

Skiathos
Σκιάθος, Skiáthos

JSI

LGSK

Skiathos International Airport "Alexandros Papadiamantis"
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Σκιάθου «Αλέξανδρος Παπαδιαμάν της »

Crete
Κρήτη, Kríti

HER

LGIR

Heraklion Airport
Heraklion Airport-Nikos Kazantzakis

 

CHQ

LGSA

Chania Airport
Chania South Airport

 

JSH

LGST

Sitia Airport
Δημοτικός Αερολιμένας Σητείας «Βιτσέντζος Κορνάρος»

Corfu

CFU

LGKR

Corfu John Koper Airport
(Ioannis Kapodistrias)

Kefalonia
Κεφαλονιά, Kefalonia

EFL

LGKF

Kefalonia Island International Airport "Anna Pollatou"
Αερολιμένας Κεφαλονιάς "Άννα Πολλάτου"

Zakynthos
Ζάκυνθος, Zakynthos

ZTH

LGZA

Zakynthos International Airport
"Dionysios Solomos"
Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Ζακύνθου
«Διονύσιος Σολωμός»


Greek islands with domestic airport

The islands often have small airports where internal flights land. The frequency of domestic flights changes according to the season: higher in the summer months, less in the winter. However, considering that all the Greek islands can be reached more or less easily by ferry, the internal airport becomes a valid alternative to speed up travel, or to reach those really distant islands. Such as Kastellorizo ​​ , reachable by a flight after the stopover in Athens or Thessaloniki, which could alternatively be reached by ferry after a landing in Rhodes. But in that case, get ready for a nice ferry trip lasting several hours.

Syros
Σύρος,

JSY

LGSO

Syros National Airport "Demetrius Vikelas"
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Σύρου "Δημήτριος Βικέλας"

** Chios
Χίος

JKH

LGHI

Chios Airport "Omiros"
Αερολιμένας Χίου «Όμηρος»

* Karpathos
Κάρπαθος, Karpathos

AOK

LGKP

Karpathos Island National Airport
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Καρπάθου

Preveza - Lefkada (Aktio)
Πρέβεζα

PVK

LGPZ

Aktion National Airport

Kithira, Kythira
Κύθηρα, Kithira

KIT

LGKC

Kythira National Airport "Alexandros Aristotelous Onassis"
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Κυθήρων "Αλέξανδρος Αριστοτέλους Ωνάσης"

Milo, Milos
Μήλος, Mìlos

MLO

LGML

Milos Island National Airport
Κρατικός Αεροδρόμιο Μήλου

Skiros
Σκύρος, Skyros

SKU

LGSO

Skyros Island National Airport
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Σκύρου
Kratikós Aeroliménas Skýrou

Astypalea / Stampalia Αστυπάλαια, Astypalea

JTY

LGPL

Astypalaia Island National Airport
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Αστυπάλαιας

Ikaria
Ικαρία, Ikaria

JIK

LGIK

Ikaria Island National Airport
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Ικαρίας

Kalymnos
Κάλυμνος, Kalymnos

JKL

LGKY

Kalymnos National Airport
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Καλύμνου

Naxos
Νάξος, Naxos

JNX

LGNX

Naxos Island National Airport
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Νάξου

Paros
Πάρος, Paros

PAS

LGPA

Paros National Airport
"Panteleou Paros Airport"
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Πάρου
"Παντελαίειο Αεροδρόμιο Πάρου"

Kasos, Case
Κάσος

KSJ

LGKS

Kasos Island Public Airport
Δημοτικός Αερολιμένας Κάσου

Kastellorizo,
Καστελλόριζο

AOK

LGKP

Kastellorizo ​​Public Airport
Δημοτικός Αερολιμένας Καστελλόριζου

Leros
Λέρος

LRS

LGLE

Leros Municipal Airport
Δημοτικός Αερολιμένας Λέρου

 

* Karpathos Airport welcomes seasonal flights from many European cities

** Chios Airport welcomes seasonal flights from Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna

There are a total of 14 airports in mainland Greece and of these, 7 international ones are fewer than the islands, but still very important as they are often the main gateway to places to spend your holidays.

Continental airports with direct flights: which islands do they connect?

The airports of Mainland Greece with direct flights , are the main hub for reaching an island . The most important airport in mainland Greece, but also in all of Greece is Athens : from here you can reach practically all the Greek islands reaching the port of Piraeus , that of Rafina or Lavrio depending on where your ferry leaves for your destination. Or with a domestic flight, if the destination is a island with airport .

Thessaloniki is the second most important airport in Greece. From the port of Thessaloniki it is not possible to reach any island, while it is an important port of call for reaching many Greek islands in the different archipelagos.

Kavala has an international airport from where some flights to the islands, while its port is the starting point for many islands, mainly those of the North-Eastern Aegean.

Landing in Kalamata you reaches the island of Elafonissos < / strong> in front of the coasts of the Peloponnese famous for its white sand beaches.

Patras which in addition to being an important port of call for ferries from Italy, is an international airport from where, once landed, you can reach the port from where ferries depart for the Ionian islands .

Preveza is an airport in mainland Greece, although for many it is the airport of Lefkada : in fact the island is connected by a bridge to the mainland, and is very close to the Preveza city airport (just under 20 km).

Volos is the main gateway of the Sporades Islands: once landed at its airport, you can reach the port of Volos itself from which you can reach Skyathos, Skopelos, Alonisos and Skyros.

The airports to reach the main destinations of Mainland Greece

The two most important tourist destinations of mainland Greece are: Halkidiki Peninsula , which can be easily reached by landing at Thessaloniki airport, and Peloponnese , which has two airports: Kalamata and Patras. In both cases, the final destinations are reachable once landed, both in bus < / a> and by car thanks to the good network of motorways built or in the process of being completed .

Other important destinations in mainland Greece can be reached by internal flights. The airports are those of Alexandroupoli, to reach Thrace, Ioannina in the inner part of Epirus, and the airports of Kastoria and Kozani in North Macedonia.

There are secondary airports or airports intended for small private planes: Megara, Messolonghi and Karditsa airports.

The Greek motorways has been restructured and modernized in the last few years but part of it is still being built. Most of it was completed at the end of 2017 so it is very new.

These are the main motorways:

A1 Motorway: Athens to Thessaloniki

This is the oldest and most important motorway in Greece, known as the Aegean motorway. It connects Greeces main cities like Athens and Thessaloniki between them and reaches also Lamia, Volos, Larissa and the northern part of Thessaloniki. The motorway runs from east to west cutting through the countries center and it is about 616 km long (14 of which are also part of the A2). The construction took a lot longer than it should have because of the financial crisis and the works on it lasted from 2008 to 2017. Thanks to this motorway Greece is now connected to the European road E75, connecting Norway to the south of Greece. If you are travelling from Athens to Thessaloniki you will have to drive for 502 km (490 of which will be on the A1) and pay a tall charge of 31,25 €. The price for the petrol to get there should be around 50 €.

A2 Motorway: from Igoumenitsa to turkish border

Officially known as Egnatia Odos, this motorway is located in the northern part of Greece and connects the port of Igoumenitsa to many other cities. It is 680 km long and part of European road E90. This motorway starts in Igoumentisa on the Turkish border and crosses the regions of Epirus, Makedonia and Thrace. The motorway was renewed in 2009 and it is now used by many tourists travelling to Thessaloniki, the second biggest city in Greece after Athens for number of people and economic importance. The toll charge for reaching Thessaloniki is about 9 € while the price for fuel should be around 30 € according to the type of car you are driving.

A3 Motorway: from Lamia to A2 Motorway

(Kentrikis Elladas) is central Greece’s motorway and is still being built in certain areas. It starts in Lamia (A1) and finishes in Grevena where the A2 motorway starts. This motorway is also part of the European road E65 and goes through the villages of Karditsa, Trikala and Kalambaka. The central section between Xyniada and Trikala was only finished and opened on the 22nd of December 2017. In October 2018 the European Union also invested money to finish the southern part of the motorway between Xyniada-Lamia. The toll charge for getting on the motorway is around 6,20 €.

A5 Motorway: from Ioannina to Patrasso

Also known as Ionian road, this motorway starts in Ioannina and finshes in Rio Antirio near Patrasso where it connects to the A8 motorway after having crossed the gulf of Corinth crossing the Rio-Antirio bridge. The road was opened on the 3rd of August 2017. This motorway crosses most of continental Greece and mostly runs by the Ionian sea (from where the road gets its name “Ionia Odos” from). It was the seconds road built to connect the Northern and southern parts of Greece after the A1. It is also part of the E55 and E951 European roads. The tolla charge on this road is about 26,20 €.

A6 Motorway: ring of Athens

Also known as Attiki Odos this motorway is part of the Motorway that run through the metropolitan area of Athens. It has a total length of 65 kilometers (40 miles) but it will be made even longer in the next6 few years reaching a length of 141 km (88 miles). Attiki Odos also has some smaller roads that are part of it like the Aigaleo Beltway (A65) and the Hymettus Beltway that reach the eastern and western parts of Athens. Then there is the A62 road that will take you directly to the international airport of Athens. It is a rather unique motorway as it was built around and partly inside a city that would otherwise have a lot more problems with the traffic coming from the airport and port nearby. The toll charge is paid as soon as you access the motorway and only changes according to the type of vehicle you have. You can pay with cash, e-pass or with credit cards. The price for accessing the motorway with a motorbike is 1,40 € while for accessing it with a car you will pay 2,80 €.

A7 Motorway: from Corinth to Kalamata

The A7 motorway called Moreas Motorway, or Eastern peloponnese road, starts in Corinth (near the junction with the A8 called Olympia Odos) and carries on to Kalamata, going through Tripoli. The A7 was recently modernized and has a length of 205 kilometers (127 miles). The toll charge costs around 8,90 € and the price of fuel for going from the start to the arrival will be around 17 €.

A8 Motorway: from Athens to Patra

Called Olympia Odos this motorway connects Athens to Patrasso in the south-western area of Greece and has a length of 215 km. It starts in Elefsina, at the juncture with the A6 (Attiki Odos), and finishes in Patrasso. The whole motorway was finished in 2017 and when it was restored many new roads, bridges and tunnels were built to reach as many areas a as possible. It still isn’t completely finished and it is considered one of Europe’s biggest projects. The price for accessing it is around 12,40 and if you decide to travel from the start to the end of it you will probably spend around 23 euros in fuel.

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