How to get around Greece. Greece is one of the most popular touristic hotspots in the world. Millions of travelers visit this majestic piece of land for summer vacations for its islands. Others wish to explore the ancient historical and cultural sites, and some visitors just combine everything to better explore Greece. It is easy to get around in Greece by various methods, whether you’re visiting Greece for a week or a month. You can use airplanes, boats, buses, trains, cars, and motorbikes, so the options are extensive.
Flying to and Around Greece
There are plenty of direct flights to Greece from Europe and Asia, especially in the summer, when many charter flights start operating. Your first stop will probably be the capital of Athens, Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, where you can take your time to explore the ancient city and experience the unique Greek vibes before heading to the islands.
You will easily find many domestic flights from Athens to famous islands such as Santorini, Corfu, Thessaloniki, etc. Just like in many airports in the world, in Athens too, getting there two hours before your flight is sufficient to check your suitcases in and board your flight.
Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air, the county’s national carriers, are the most popular ones in Greece for both international and domestic flights. Of course, another option to choose to get to the islands is by seaplane, which we will discuss later in this article.
Greece by Boat
Greece is a country blessed with around 3,000 islands and more than 8,500 miles of coastline. For that reason, boats are one of the most popular ways to get around in the country.
There is a large number of ferries in Greece sailing back and forth the various islands and archipelagos. Moreover, you can use the opportunity and take a ferry to neighboring countries such as Italy or Turkey. The ferries from Greece sailing to Italy mainly stop at ports in Ancona, Bari, Venice.
Many travelers plan their summer itineraries to visit Greece and Turkey combined. It is quite easy to get to many Turkish ports from Greece too. The main port in Athens is Piraeus, where you can choose regular routes to the main Greek islands such as Crete, the Dodecanese islands, the Cyclades, and more.
Apart from Piraeus, there is also a smaller port in Athens called Rafina with fewer routes, of course. It is good to get boat tickets in advance, since they may get sold out very quickly. Make sure to get to the port at least an hour before your departure. Sometimes the schedules change, and some delays occur due to weather conditions. So, one way or another, it is safer to be at the port on time.
All the ferry companies have local offices on most of the major islands, so it is always easy to get return tickets or change them. Some of the most famous Greek ferry companies are Aegean Flying Dolphins, Blue Star Ferries, and Hellenic Seaways. You can choose one of those depending on how fast you want to get to the desired islands.
Getting around in Greece by Bus and Train
Greece has an extensive and efficient network of buses and trains not only in the capital of Athens and other metropolitan cities but also in connecting ones from one town to another.
The prices for buses and trains are not sky high, and those are quite comfortable and clean. It is worth mentioning that the bus network in Greece operates so much faster and there are far more routes than with trains. It is possible to get to the islands of Corfu, Kefallonia, and Zakynthos from Athens by bus.
It is worth mentioning that the big cities in Greece, such as Athens, Heraklion, Patra, and Thessaloniki, have more than one bus station. Make sure to find the correct station for your destination and get to the right bus station at least 20 minutes before departure.
The leading company for buses is KTEL, and you can purchase bus tickets directly from the website. These buses are safe, air-conditioned, and modern to have comfortable journeys.
It is also possible to use the train to get from Athens to the major Greek cities such as Thessaloniki, Patras, and Volos. OSE operates trains in Greece with a limited railway network compared to buses.
One of the best ways to explore Greece is also by car. Renting a car is a great way to reveal remote towns and villages that are hard to get to by public transportation in the country.
You will only need an International Driving Permit along with a valid driver’s license from your country to be able to rent a car in Greece. A great thing about ferries in Greece is that you can easily take your car to the islands with you and then back to Athens if the arrangement is to drop it off where you rented it from.
Make sure to rent your preferred car before you travel to Greece to make sure you get the one you want since the rental cars sell out fast, especially in the summer.
Getting around in Greece is quite easy and comfortable. There are so many transportation options in the country you can choose from to get to the desired cities and islands fast and safe. The bus and railway systems are developed in the country, allowing travelers to visit major tourist cities and towns.
Since there are so many islands travelers rush to every summer, Greeks have also extended the boat and ferry systems on all the major island destinations. If you have seasick, perhaps you can go for a slower ferry, which will take a little longer for you to get to your destination.
Another standard option to get around in Greece is, of course, by car, which is quite easy to rent either before your trip to Greece or once you’re there. It is also effortless to take it with you to the islands by ferry.
You are welcome to choose any of these transportation methods to navigate Greece, fully enjoy your vacations, and explore all the stunning sites this country offers.
See also our web destinations for Greece
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