Greece is a beautiful country with a rich history, culture, and natural beauty. It is also a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year. Whether you want to explore the ancient ruins of Athens, the stunning islands of the Aegean Sea, or the charming villages of the mainland, you will need to know how to get around in Greece.
Fortunately, Greece has a variety of transportation options that can suit different budgets, preferences, and destinations. You can choose from domestic flights, ferries, buses, trains, cars, or taxis to travel within the country. Each mode of transport has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on factors such as speed, comfort, availability, and cost.
In this blog post, we will give you an overview of the best ways to get around in Greece by plane, ferry, bus, train, car, or taxi and how much they cost. We will also provide some tips and recommendations to help you plan your trip and enjoy your stay in this amazing country.
The plane is the fastest and most convenient way to travel between the mainland and the islands of Greece. It is also the most expensive option, especially during peak season. However, if you book in advance or look for special offers and discounts, you can find some affordable flights.
Greece has many airports that serve domestic and international flights. The main airport is Athens International Airport (AIA), which is located about 30 km from the city center. From there, you can fly to most of the islands and some major cities on the mainland. Some popular islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, and Corfu also have international airports that receive direct flights from abroad.
The main airlines that operate domestic flights in Greece are Aegean Airlines (including Olympic Air), Sky Express, Astra Airlines, Ellinair, and Volotea. You can check their websites for schedules and prices. The average flight time from Athens to the islands is about 45 minutes to an hour. The average cost of a one-way ticket is about 50-100 euros.
The ferry is the most popular and scenic way to travel between the islands of Greece. It is also a cheaper option than flying, especially if you don’t mind spending more time on the sea. You can enjoy the views of the blue water and the white-washed houses as you hop from one island to another.
Greece has a vast network of ferries that connect the mainland and the islands. The main ports are Piraeus (near Athens), Rafina (east of Athens), Lavrion (south of Athens), Patras (west of Athens), Igoumenitsa (northwest of Greece), Thessaloniki (north of Greece), and Volos (central Greece). From these ports, you can find ferries to most of the islands in the Aegean Sea and the Ionian Sea.
The main ferry companies that operate in Greece are Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways (including Fast Ferries), SeaJets, Golden Star Ferries, Minoan Lines (including Grimaldi Lines), ANEK Lines (including Superfast Ferries), Anek-Superfast (joint venture), Ionian Group (including Levante Ferries and Kefalonian Lines), Dodekanisos Seaways (including SAOS Ferries), Cyclades Fast Ferries (including Zante Ferries), Small Cyclades Lines (including Express Skopelitis), ANES Ferries (including Dromologia Agona), Aegeon Pelagos (subsidiary of Blue Star Ferries), Nel Lines (including Agoudimos Lines), Lane Lines (including Ventouris Ferries), Erturk Lines (including Bodrum Express Lines), Meander Travel (including Meander Express Lines), and Goutos Lines.
You can check their websites for schedules and prices. You can also use online platforms such as Ferryhopper or Greeka to compare and book your ferry tickets. The average ferry time from Piraeus to the islands is about 3-8 hours. The average cost of a one-way ticket is about 20-60 euros.
The bus is the cheapest and most reliable way to travel around the mainland of Greece. It is also a good option for some short-distance trips between some islands. You can find buses that cover most routes on the mainland and connect with ferries at the ports.
The buses in Greece are operated by a syndicate of private companies called KTEL (Kratikó Tamío Ellinikón Leoforíon). They are modern, comfortable, and air-conditioned. They have olive green colors and a TAXI sign on top. They also have luggage compartments underneath and free Wi-Fi on board.
You can check their website for schedules and prices. You can also buy your tickets online or at the bus stations before departure. The average bus time from Athens to Thessaloniki is about 6 hours. The average cost of a one-way ticket is about 10-40 euros.
The train is another way to travel around the mainland of Greece. It is faster than the bus, but less frequent and more expensive. It is also more limited in terms of destinations and routes.
The trains in Greece are operated by a state-owned company called Trainose (Τραινοσέ). They are modern, comfortable, and air-conditioned. They have different types of services, such as Intercity (IC), Intercity Express (ICE), Proastiakos (suburban), and Metro (urban).
You can check their website for schedules and prices. You can also buy your tickets online or at the train stations before departure. The average train time from Athens to Thessaloniki is about 4 hours. The average cost of a one-way ticket is about 20-50 euros.
The car is the most flexible and independent way to travel around Greece. It gives you the freedom to explore the country at your own pace and discover some hidden gems that are not accessible by public transport. It is also a good option for families or groups of friends who want to share the costs and the fun.
You can rent a car from many agencies in Greece, either online or on the spot. The main car rental companies are Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt, Enterprise, Alamo, National, Thrifty, Dollar, and Auto Europe. You can also find some local or regional companies that offer competitive prices and services.
You will need a valid driver’s license, a credit card, and an international driving permit (IDP) if your license is not in English or Greek. You will also need to be at least 21 years old and have at least one year of driving experience. The average cost of renting a car in Greece is about 30-60 euros per day.
Driving in Greece can be challenging, especially on the mainland. The roads are often narrow, winding, and poorly maintained. The traffic can be heavy and chaotic, especially in big cities like Athens. The drivers can be aggressive and impatient, often ignoring the rules and signs. The parking can be scarce and expensive, especially in tourist areas.
Therefore, you should drive with caution and respect. You should also familiarize yourself with the road signs and regulations in Greece. You should always wear your seat belt, avoid using your phone while driving, and never drink and drive. You should also have some cash for tolls and gas stations.
The taxi is another way to get around in Greece, especially for short distances or when you don’t have other options. It is easy to find a taxi in most places, either at designated ranks or by hailing one on the street. It is also possible to book a taxi online or by phone.
The taxis in Greece are usually yellow with a TAXI sign on top. They are metered and regulated by the government. They have different rates depending on the time of day, the distance, and the location. They also charge extra for luggage, airport transfers, tolls, and waiting time.
You can check the fare on the meter or ask the driver before you get in. You should also ask for a receipt at the end of your ride. The average cost of a taxi ride in Greece is about 1-2 euros per kilometer.
Greece is a wonderful country to visit and explore. It has many transportation options that can suit different needs and preferences. You can choose from plane, ferry, bus, train, car, or taxi to travel within the country.
Each mode of transport has its own pros and cons, depending on factors such as speed, comfort, availability, and cost. You should consider these factors when planning your trip and booking your tickets. You should also do some research and compare different options before you make your final decision.
We hope this blog post has given you some useful information and tips on how to get around in Greece by plane, ferry, bus, train, car, or taxi and how