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Last updated : Nov 2009
Greece Getting Around - Internal Travel
Greece Internal Travel - Getting Around Greece - TravelPuppy.com
Air

The national airline, Olympic Airlines, flies from:

• Athens to Alexandroupolis, Astypalaia, Chania (Crete), Chios, Heraklion, Ikaria, Ioannina, Karpathos, Kithira, Kos, Kozani, Kassos, Kastellorizo, Kastoria, Kavala, Kefaloniá, Kerkira (Corfu), Lemnos, Leros, Milos, Mykonos, Mytilini, Paros, Preveza, Rhodes, Sitia, Skiathos, Skiros, Samos, Santorini (Thira), Siros, Thessaloniki and Zakinthos

• Rhodes to Heraklion, Kassos, Kastellorizo, Kos, Karpathos, Mykonos, and Santorini (Thira)

• Chios to Samos, Mykonos and Thessaloniki; from Heraklion to Santorini (Thira), Mykonos and Paros

• Karpathos to Sitia and Kassos

• Kefaloniá to Zakinthos

• Kos to Samos and Leros

• Mykonos to Mytilini

• Thessaloniki to Chania, Kavala Kerkira, Kos, Heraklion, Ioannina, Larissa, Lemnos, Mykonos, Mytilini, Rhodes, Samos and Santorini.

There are also services to the Greek Aegean Islands (including Cyclades, Dodecanissa, North Aegean Sea and the Sporades).

Departure tax

€8,51.

Sea

It is both inexpensive and easy to travel around the islands. There are ferry services on numerous routes, with sailings most frequent during the summer. The main ports are Attica, Rafina and Piraeus, although there are regular sailings to the islands from the smaller ports of Alexandroupolis, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Kavala, Kyllini, Thessaloniki and Volos.

Tickets can be bought from the shipping lines’ offices located around the quaysides. In major ports the larger lines have offices in the city centre. There are two classes of ticket Economy Class and First Class) which offer varying degrees of comfort; couchette cabins can be booked for the longer voyages or those wishing to avoid the sun. Nearly all ships have restaurant facilities. During high season it is wise to buy tickets well before hand, as inter-island travel is very popular.

Routes from Piraeus: There are regular sailings to the following ports: Dodecanese: Astipalaia, Chalki, Karpathos, Kassos,Kalymnos, Kastelorizo, Kos, Leros, Lipsi, Nissiros, Patmos, Rhodes, Symi and Tilos. Cyclades: Aegiali and Katapola (both on Amorgos), Anafi, Donoussa, Folegandros, Heraklia, Ios, Kimolos, Koufonissia, Kythnos, Paros, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos,Santorini, Schinoussa, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Siros and Tinos. Peloponnese: Kithira, Gytheion, Hermioni, Methana, Monemvassia and Porto Heli. Saronic Gulf Islands: Aegina, Hydra, Poros and Spetses. Crete: Heraklion, Kastelli, Agios Nikolaos, Chania,Rethymnon and Sitia. Samos: Karlovassi and Vathi. North Eastern Aegean Islands: Chios, Evdilos (Ikaria), Limnos,Agios Kirykos (Ikaria), Mitilini (Lesvos) and Psara. Northern Greece: Kavala and Thessaloniki.

Confirm sailing times either with individual lines, the Greek/Hellenic National Tourist Organisation, or in Piraeus upon arrival in Greece.

Routes from Rafina: There are local services from Rafina (near Athens) to: Amorgos, Andros, Agios Efstratios, Chalkida (summer only), Chios, Donoussa, Kavala, Koufonissi, Karistos (Evia), Kythnos, Limnos, Marmari (Evia), Milos, Mykonos, Heraklia, Naxos, Schinoussa, Serifos, Sifnos, Syros, Thessaloniki and Tinos.

Other routes: These include Agia Marina–Nea Styra; Aedipsos–Arkitsa; Perama–Salamis; Rio–Antirio; Eretria– Oropos; Glifa–Agiokambos; Patras–Ithaca; Patras–Kefalonia (Sami); Patras–Corfu; Patras–Paxi; Preveza–Aktion; Igoumenitsa–Corfu; Corfu–Paxi; Kyllini–Zante; Kyllini– Cephalonia (Poros); Kavala– Thassos (Prinos); Kavala–Thassos (Limenas);Keramoti–Thassos; Alexandroupolis– Samothrace and Lavrion–Kea.

Hydrofoil

A hydrofoil service (also called the Flying Dolphins) offers a speedy and efficient service from Piraeus, travelling to many of the nearby islands. Though this is somewhat more costly than travelling by ferry, journey times are cut drastically. There are also fast hydrofoil services from Agios, Gytheion, Kimi (Evia), Konstandinos, Lavrion, Thessaloniki, Volos and Zea Marina (Piraeus).

For further information on various ferry and hydrofoil timetables, visit www.gtp.gr.

Yachts

Many types of yachts and sailing vessels can be chartered or hired with or without crews. ‘Flotilla holidays’ are popular, and the Greek/Hellenic National Tourism Organisation (see Contact Addresses section) has a full list of companies running these types of holidays.

Rail

The two main railway stations in Athens are Peloponnissos (with trains to the Peloponnese)and Larissa (with trains to northern Greece, Evia and Europe).

Information and tickets are available from the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) in Athens (tel: (210) 529 7313 or 529 7777) or in Thessaloniki (tel: (310) 599 143).

Travelling north, there are regular daily trains from Athens to Thessaloniki, Livadia, Edessa, Florina, Seres, Drama,Paleofarsala, Larissa, Plati, Komotini and Alexandroupolis (connections from Thessaloniki and Larissa).

Travelling south, there are regular daily trains from Athens to Kiato, Xylokastra, Diakofto, Tripoli, Patras, Olympia, Argos, Megalopolis and Kalamata.

Cheap fares

Current promotional offers include:

Inter Rail Cards are open to all European residents for unlimited rail travel in 2nd class in numerous European countries. Passes are valid for 16 or 22 days or 1 month.

Euro Domino Cards are open to passengers of all ages and offer rail travel in either 1st or 2nd class travel in one or more European countries. Passes are valid for 3 - 8 days and do not have to be taken consecutively.

Vergina Flexipass offers unlimited rail travel in Greece for 3, 5 or 10 days within 1 or 2 months in either first or second class, depending on the choice of ticket.

Greek Flexipass offers unlimited rail travel in Greece for 3 or 5 days within 1 month in first class.Students may be entitled to a 25 % reduction in the price of domestic rail fares. Travel is limited to certain routes and times. For more information on the above schemes, contact the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE).

Road

Greece has a fine quality road network on the whole, totalling approximately 116,150km (72,174 miles), mostly paved. Traffic drives on the right.

Examples of some distances from Athens: to Corinth, 85km (53 miles); to Igoumenitsa, 587km (365 miles); to Thessaloniki, 511km (318 miles); and to Delphi, 165km (103 miles).

Bus

Buses link Athens and all main towns in northern Greece, Attica and the Peloponnese. Service on the islands depends on the demand, and timetables should be checked carefully. Some islands do not allow any kind of motorised transport, in which case islanders use boats, or carts and donkeys to travel around. Fares are low. The Greek/Hellenic Railways Organisation Ltd (OSE) runs bus services to northern Greece from the Karolou Street terminus and to the Peloponnese from the Sina Street station.

Bus information: There are two long-distance bus terminals in Athens-Terminal A and Terminal B. For detailed information on long-distance buses, run by KTEL, from Athens to the provinces, enquire at Terminal A, 100 Kifissou Street, Athens (tel: (210) 512 4910) or Terminal B, 260 Liossion Street, Athens. Additional information can be obtained from KTEL offices.

Taxi

Rates are per km and are very reasonable, with additional charge for fares to/from stations, ports and airports. Taxis run on a share basis, so do not be surprised if the taxi picks up other passengers for the journey.

There is an additional charge from 0100-0600, with double fare from 0200-0400.

Car hire

Most car hire firms operate throughout Greece. For details, contact the Greek/Hellenic National Tourism Organisation (see Contact Addresses section). Reservations can be made either in writing or by telephoning the car hire agency direct.



Regulations

Minimum age for driving is l8. Children under 10 must sit in the back seat. Seat belts must be worn at all times. There are fines for breaking traffic rules and regulations.

The maximum speed limit is 120kph (70mph) on motorways, 110kph (60mph) outside built-up areas and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas. There are different speed limits for motorbikes. It is against the law to carry spare petrol in the vehicle. EU nationals may import a foreign-registered car, motorcycle, caravan, boat or trailer for a maximum of six months. This period can be extended to 15 months for a fee and further paperwork.

Documentation

A national driving licence is adequate for EU nationals. EU nationals that are taking their own cars to Greece are advised to obtain a Green Card, to top up the insurance cover to that provided by the car owner’s domestic policy. It is no longer a requirement by law for visits of less than 3 months, but without it insurance cover is limited to the minimum legal cover in Greece. The car registration documents must be carried at all times. Nationals of non-EU countries may need an International Driving Permit and must contact ELPA (Automobile and Touring Club of Greece).

Road assistance

A breakdown service is available on main roads, conditions of which have improved. For details, contact ELPA, Athens Tower, Messogion 2-4, 115 27 Athens (tel: (210) 779 1615; fax: (210) 778 6642; e-mail: elpa@techlink.gr). Emergency breakdown services can be contacted toll-free-dial 104. There are good repair shops in big towns and petrol is easily obtainable.

Urban

Buses

There are numerous services around Athens and Attica. The terminal at Mauromateon Street, Areos Park, Athens has regular services to Amfiaraio, Nea Makri, Porto Rafti, Marathonas, Ramnous and Sounio. Trolley buses ILPAP) and regular buses (ETHEL) have frequent links to tourist sights and places of interest. Tickets for buses and trolley buses can be bought from the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) at various booths and kiosks situated around the city. For more information contact OASA at 15 Metsovou Street, 106 82 Athens (tel: (210) 883 6076; fax: (210) 821 2219; e-mail: oasa@oasa.gr).

Metro

Athens has a consistent underground system (ISAP) that consists of three major lines. The old line runs north–south between Athens (suburb of Kifissia) and Piraeus daily 0500-0015. There are also two new lines: Line 2 runs between Aghios Antonios and Aghios Dimitrios and line 3 runs between Monastiraki and the airport. Tickets can be bought at every Metro and ISAP station. Information on timetables and schedules are available from Athens Metro or OASA (see address details above).

Tram

A new tram system in Athens cuts through the city from Syntagma Square right through to the coast and runs a pleasurable route from Peace and Friendship Stadium all the way to the most southern point of Glyfada. Tickets can be booked at all stations and trams connect with the Metro at Neos Kosmos and Neo Faliro (website: ww.tramsa.gr).

Travel times

The following chart gives approximate travel times (in hours and minutes) from Athens to other major cities/islands in Greece.
  Air Road Sea
Corfu
050 11.00* -
Crete
0.50 - 6-12.00
Mykonos
0.45 - 3.45-5.00
Rhodes
0.55 - 14.00
Thessaloniki
0.50 8.00 14.00
Thira
0.40 - 4.30-8.00
 
Note

*The travel time by road to Corfu includes a sea crossing from Patras.