Greece Transportation
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There are many ways of traveling to Greece, but air travel by far, is the most popular and convenient. The new Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Spata, (approx. 20 km from Athens) has been in operation since March 2001, and is much better suited to the large numbers of visitors coming to Greece.

Air Travel:
The Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport handles the majority of international flights to Greece, as well as domestic flights to mainland Greece and the Greek islands. During its first year in operation, it catered for over 12 million arrivals in Greece. The airport also rose to 5th position in the Global Ranking of International Airports, and maintains 2nd position in European airports.

The domestic flight is to Thessaloniki, in the north of Greece is the busiest of domestic flights in Greece. There are also flights leaving Athens for over 20 of the Greek islands. The national carrier Olympic Airways operates the largest portion of domestic flights in Greece, although over the past few years, they have faced competition from other domestic and international airlines such as Cronus Airlines,Hellas Jet, Air Greece and A egean Air.

Rail Travel:
In Greece, the Greek Railways Organization, known in Greece by the initials OSE, operates the rail network. Though travelling by train in Greece is probably the cheapest form of transportation, it is also one of the slowest (apart from attempting to drive in Athens during the rush hour!!), if you travel by the trains that stop at all stations. There is a faster and more modern intercity train service that connects the major cities in Greece, and this is the service that is most recommended if you do decide to travel with this form of transportation.

Situated within about 1km of each other in Athens near to the center around Omonias Square, you will find the 2 train stations, " Peloponnese " station and "Larisis" station. As is obvious from their names, the "Peloponnese" station is for trains to and from the Peloponnese only. At the "Larisis" station, you will find trains for northern Greece, and stops in between. It is also here that you will find the international services, as well as the domestic ones.

Departing from "Larisis" station, you will find a daily train to Istanbul in Turkey, which travels via Thessaloniko and Alexandroupolis. Also traveling via Thessaloniki is a daily train to Sofia, Bulgaria. At Thessaloniki you will be able to take a train for your journey to Skopia.

Bus Travel:
As with the railway stations, Athens has 2 main bus stations for intercity travel, both located near the center of Athens. Terminal A, which is located at 100 Kifissou is where you would depart or arrive from the Peloponnese, western Greece and the Ionian Islands. Terminal B, located on Liossion is where you would arrive or depart for central and northern Greece. The national bus service is run by KTEL, and they provide routes for all over Greece. For more detailed information about where exactly these coaches travel to and the times of their arrival and departure, it is best to either contact the National Tourist Organization, or even head to the bus terminals themselves and find out the information there.

Sea Travel:
Even though it is the largest port in Greece, Piraeus does not operate a direct route to Italy. The ports that do service routes to and from Italy are those of Patra, situated in the Peloponnese, and Igoumenitsa, in the northwest of Greece.

Patra though, is the more popular of the two and its service to and from Brindisi is probably the most widely used. As well as Brindisi, there are also departures from Patra to Ancona, Trieste, Venice and Bari. For traveling to and from the Greek islands, Piraeus, in Athens, is by far the main port. Apart from the Sporades and Ionian Islands, Piraeus caters for a large percentage of most of the other Greek islands.

Tickets can usually be purchased before departure for most routes, but in busy seasons and for ferries to the larger and more popular islands, it is recommended to buy your tickets in advance. Though the routes to the islands are the same, there are usually several different vessels that make the journey, and these can be quite different in terms of the facilities that they offer. Prices however, should remain the same as they are set by the government.

As well as conventional ferries, you can also make the journey to some islands with a "Flying Dolphin". These are hydrofoil services that are operated by the shipping company Minoan Lines. Again, though you may be able to find tickets before departure, it is best to try to purchase them in advance of your journey.


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