Greece travel guide




Athens Travel Guide

Getting around Greece

Greece is an comfortable place to getting around, it is because Greece has a huge system of local transport consisting of ferries, air travel, buses and trains for travel between towns and more local transport choices within a town or an island. You can travel to almost any location via public transport.

Buses are the support of land transport, with a network that reaches out to the smallest villages. The trains are a good option which are available. To most tourists, though, travelling in Greece means island-hopping on the multitude of ferries that crisscross the Adriatic and the Aegean. If you're in a hurry, Greece also has an extensive domestic air network.

Greece By Air

A number of islands have airports together with Crete, Rhodes, Samos, Kos, Thira and Mykonos, among others. From the 16 international airports of Greece only Athens and Thessaloniki receive regular flights from abroad. There isn't much in the way of island to island flights. During summer there are generally several flights a day from Athens to each of the major islands. These flights generally take an hour or less. The Greek carrier Olympic Airways and its subsidiaries offer the majority of flights within Greece. Two or three other companies have come into existence over the past few years, offering additional flights around Greece.

Greece By Ferry

The most pleasant way to go, if getting around is part of the fun of your trip. Taking a ferry might also be the only way to get to some islands. Also, the expeditionary way in which the Greeks tend to approach even a short hop is a nice introduction to local custom. There are extensive connections from Athens and in-between islands for "hopping." Ferries are about the one thing in Greece that leave on time so be prompt. In August, ferries fill up due to the National Holiday (Aug 15) so plan ahead. New "fast ferries" are cutting distance times in half but prices are slightly more expensive. The simple solution to questions about ferries is: don't worry about it. Show up at any harbour and you will be able to find out all you need to know in about 10 minutes.

It is something of a myth that Greek ferries are unpredictable. But keep in mind that this is sea travel. Do not plan a tight schedule around boats. Nothing short of a force 9 storm will stop the large car ferries, but ferries can arrive late at a final destination even when the weather is good. The further they are from their point of departure, and the more stops on the route, the later they'll be. Treat the timetables as useful guidelines only. The most trustworthy information is what you get on the day of departure.

Greece By Car

Getting around the Greece by automobile can be an extremely satisfying experience, allowing you to explore the incredibly scenic and varied terrain of the country's coastlines, interior, and islands, at your convenience. However, Greece does have a relatively high road fatality rate, among the highest in the European Union. Many Greek drivers tend to drive violently, and the nation's topographic reality poses challenges by forcing many narrow roads in mountainous regions to take several twists and turns. On the plus side, the road fatality rate has been steadily declining as a result of government campaigns, tougher policing, and lawmaking. Roads are usually well-marked and well-maintained, and billions of euros are being poured into expanding the nation's network of multilane freeways. Because of the rapid growth and development of the nation's road system, it is advised to have the most updated road maps possible. Many of the newer motorways are toll roads, and fees can be expensive.

Renting a car in Greece is simple and cheap. You can pay anywhere from $150-$200 per week for an "economy" car that would allow you the freedom to travel anywhere you want. "Mini" cars can be rented for as little as $100-$150per week. Make sure that the price you are quoted includes all taxes, insurance, and fees (such as airport fee). Drivers who do not keep an EU driver's certificate must take a international driver's license obtained in their home country. This may not be required when renting a car, but will certainly be required if involved in an accident or pulled over by the police for a traffic citation. Insurance policies may be void if the driver is a non-EU driver without an international license.

Greece By Bus

Believe it or not, there are buses in Greece. Intercity buses are a very popular option for domestic travel. KTEL is the national government-subsidized network of independent businesses which cooperate together to form a dense route system serving almost the entire country. The system is efficient, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. It serves both long and short distances, including routes from major cities to islands near the mainland, such as Corfu and Cephalonia (in such cases, the ferry crossing is included in the price of the bus ticket). The frequency of buses, as with ferries, varies with the season. Some services, such as special routes out to beaches, will for obvious reasons be cancelled in the off-season.

Greece By Train

Trains are cheap means to get around, but the national rail system is enormously limited. This is due to disregard after the arrival of large scale automobile use and air travel, and also due to past technological difficulties in surmounting the country's difficult terrain. The importance of rail travel is now being rediscovered, and the national rail network is currently under major renovation. The project's completion is still a long way off, but tourists can already benefit from the first sections of the modernized rail system that have been inaugurated. An entirely new suburban/regional rail system, the Proastiakos, has been opened in 2004 for Attica and adjacent regions and is under further expansion. There has also been extensive (and continuing) modernization of the Athens-Thessalon ki corridor, with travel times being slashed.

Greece By Donkeys

Donkeys are used on several islands for rides but mostly to take visitors around for a stroll. In Santorini for occasion you can climb up to the city from the harbor either on a donkey, or a cable cart. On several small islands the locals still use donkeys for transportation since they are very capable on steep narrow streets.

Driving schools

Driving schools in Greece

Driving schools teach driving, and road safety. In the driving schools directory you will find information about road safety, driving knowledge, vechicles and equipment. A driver training course, or hight-school driver education program approved by the provincial government can teach you the skills, and attitudes you need to be a safe, and responsible driver.

Traffic schools

Traffic schools in Greece

Improve your driving skills and possibly get a ticket dismissed or your insurance premium reduced. Taking a traffic schools course can also earn you a discount on your car insurance premiums. And, of course, if your driving skills just need a tune up, you can sign up to improve your driving techniques.

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