Greece Travel information

In this section, we provide all the information you could need to be prepared for an upcoming travel to Greece.
In brief, the best way to travel to Greece is by plane. The most popular international airports are located in Athens, Thessaloniki, Santorini, Mykonos and Heraklion.
To move around, you can use domestic flights, a ferry, a bus, or a train.

Table of contents:

 

HOW TO TRAVEL THERE

Flights in Greece
Local flights from Athens Airport

Getting to Greece is something you should not worry about, as the country is a very easy-to-reach destination. You can travel there by:

Plane

The fastest and easiest way to get there is by plane, especially if you live in Europe or the US.
Many international airline companies have regular flights to Athens and, during the tourist season, numerous direct flights to some islands of Greece where an international airport lies(Santorini, Mykonos and more) are available.
Some areas have a national airport and only receive flights from Athens.
An alternative (and cheaper) way to reach your destination is by ferry from Athens ports (Piraeus, Rafina & Lavrio).
The best way to travel to a Greek island that does not have an airport is to find the closest international airport. For example, if travelers want to go to the island of Amorgos, they can reach the International Airport of Santorini and then travel from Santorini to Amorgos by ferry.

Ferry

Ferry routes between Italy and Greece are operating all year round. More particularly, there are ferries from Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi in Italy to Patra, Igoumenitsa and Corfu in Greece, facilitating European visitors who want to take their car or campervan with them.
You can book your Ferry Tickets with Greeka or FerriesinGreece.

 

WHERE TO TRAVEL

Santorini
Santorini, the most famous Greek island

In a few words, if you are a first-timer, the most popular destinations to travel to are:

Famous Greek islands

The most popular ones are situated in the Cyclades (Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos), Crete, the Dodecanese (Rhodes, Kos), the Sporades (Skiathos) and the Ionian (Corfu & Zakynthos).
They can be reached by plane or by ferry. Some international flights are also available.

Ancient Sites and Mainland

The most famous ancient sites to visit on the mainland, apart from Athens, are Delphi, Epidaurus, Olympia and Mycenae.
Another amazing place on the mainland is Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with impressive monasteries built atop huge rock formations.
The best way to visit these sites is with an organized tour or with a private transfer.

Cities

The most famous city is Athens, the capital. The second largest city is Thessaloniki, which is quite popular among tourists coming from other Balkan countries.

You can also get inspired by the several articles on our travel blog.

Discover 90 Destinations

 

HOW TO MOVE AROUND

Ferry to the islands
Traveling to the islands by ferry

Transportation and the means you can use to travel around depend on the location you are visiting.
Overall, keep in mind that means of public transport are available in the big cities, while buses, trains and airplanes connect long-distance destinations on the mainland.
Many are also connected to the mainland via airplanes, although ferry connections are far more popular. On the large ones, buses are available for local transportation.
Some popular routes are Athens to Santorini, Athens to Mykonos and Mykonos to Santorini.

• Domestic Flights

For many foreign visitors, traveling by plane is the best option when visiting different areas of the country. Although the airplane is the most costly means of traveling compared to the ferry, bus, or train, it is the way to go if you are looking for the least time-consuming mode of transport (as far as an airport is available in the location you are interested in visiting).
There are numerous airports all around the country and the islands, although most of them only serve domestic flights. This means that you will have to board a connective flight from the International Airport of Athens to reach your destination.

• Ferries

When traveling to the islands, different options may be available, although the most popular one is the ferry. All islands are connected to at least one port of the mainland and getting there by ferry is cheaper compared to flights.
Note that many islands are connected to each other by ferry, especially in the Cyclades, making island hopping a popular summer holiday plan.

• Buses

Regarding transportation on the mainland, KTEL buses are the most popular way of traveling between cities, towns and villages.
KTEL buses also operate on almost all large islands and are considered a reliable mode of transport, especially during summer.
The bus network allows you to reach distant destinations, including slightly remote areas, or to travel locally, in the case of the islands.

• Trains

In addition to buses, trains operate in the northern part of Greece and also connect Athens to Thessaloniki.
However, they are not quite preferred and the train network is somewhat outdated.

• Taxis

Taxis are not a good choice for long-distance traveling on the mainland, as they can get very expensive. For this reason, they are only used in cases of emergency.
On the other hand, taxis are used more frequently on the islands, especially when no buses are available or their schedules are not practical for vacationers.

• Car rentals

A way better alternative to taxis is rental cars; with special arrangements between you and the agency, you will be able to use the car to reach out-of-town destinations with no issues.
The number-one advantage of car rentals is flexibility, as they make it possible to travel around as much as you want without relying on buses.

• Private transfers

Private transfers by car or minivan are available on both the mainland and the islands and can be booked in advance.
They are much more reliable than taxis and are usually used for short-distance traveling, like to/from your hotel, the port, or the airport.

Minivan transfers are particularly popular for private tours on the mainland, reaching ancient sites and towns such as Epidaurus, Olympia, Nafplion, Delphi and more.

• City transportation

For visitors or locals who do not have a private vehicle, transportation in the big cities is achieved via the means of public transport:

- Athens: There is a variety of means of public transport in Athens, including buses and trolleybuses, subway lines, electric railway, trams and electric scooters.
For suburban destination outside the city , suburban KTEL buses and the Suburban Railway serve the connections.

- Thessaloniki: For public transportation in Thessaloniki, the second largest town in Greece, public buses are the cheapest option.
Taxis and private transfers are also available, while sea bus routes are offered during the summer, connecting the port of Thessaloniki to a few other locations.

Discover more about transports

 

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS & FORMALITIES

Find out the necessities you need to have before traveling to Greece
Don't miss our list of 101 things to know before organizing your holiday.

• Documents

Below, you will find information about the documents needed to enter the country.

- Passports
For EU citizens, a passport is not required - an identity card with Latin characters is enough.
For non-EU citizens, a valid passport is necessary to enter the country.
In case you lose your passport in Greece, the local police and the embassy of your home country must be contacted. It is recommended to have a photocopy of your passport in order to get the process of replacement quicker.

- Visas
When arriving by plane to the airports of Greece (on the mainland or the islands), all citizens of foreign countries - except for the countries of the European Union, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some more*- need a visa to enter the country. For more information, contact the Greek National Tourist Offices or go to your country's embassy in Greece.

- IDs
A passport can serve as an ID. Apart from the official identity card of your country, another form of identification is the driving license.

- Animals' documents
Animals (pets) require a valid health certificate to enter the country.

• FORMALITIES

This section provides information about formalities for EU Citizens, Non-EU Citizens, and animals.

- For EU Citizens
For the citizens of the European Union, no passport is required. A valid ID with Latin characters is enough. There are no customs formalities and vaccines required.

- For Non-EU Citizens
For the citizens of non-EU European counties and other countries of the world, a valid passport is required. Citizens of some countries also need a visa to enter the country. There are exceptions for citizens of the USA, Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries that do not need a visa, but for the majority of countries, it is obligatory. To learn if you need a visa to enter the country, you should contact the Greek Embassy in your country.

- For animals
Animals and pets need a health certificate to enter the country. Kindly contact your vet and the Greek Embassy in your country to get informed on the certificates needed for an animal.

(*) According to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, visitors from the following non-European countries can enter Greece without a visa:
Antigua and Barbuda - Argentina - Bahames - Barbados - Brazil - Brunei - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Dominica - El Salvador - Grenadines Islands - Guatemala - Hondura - Israel - Japan - Kiribati - Malaysia - Marshall Islands - Mauritius - Mexico - Micronesia - Nicaragua - Palau - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Samoa - Seychelles - Singapore - South Korea - Timor-Leste - Tonga - Trinidad and Tobago - Tuvalu - United Arab Emirates - Uruguay - Venezuela
In any case, travelers are advised to contact the Greek embassy or consulate in their country before traveling.

USEFUL LINKS

THE BEST PERIOD TO TRAVEL THERE

August in Santorini
August in Santorini

Tourist season is officially April through October, with July and August being the two high-season months.
The popular islands receive most of their visitors during these two hot months, but the more secluded ones keep their calm atmosphere.
If you are looking for privacy, relaxation and less crowded places, then the period between April and June is recommended. During this season, it will be easier to find budget accommodation and book cheaper airline tickets.

Although Greece is mostly popular for summer vacations, you should also know that the mainland constitutes a wonderful travel destination for winter city breaks and ski holidays.
Athens is so enjoyable off-season when the ancient sites are not packed with tourists and the weather is not so hot!
The most popular ski centers are Arachova and Kalavryta, while many other centers lie in the northern part of the country.

Best time to visit

 

WHO GOES TO GREECE?

The country attracts 20-30 million tourists every year, while in record years this number may reach 35 million.
Visitors appertain to all categories and ages - families with children searching for a relaxing beach destination, couples or honeymooners on romantic holidays, teenagers and youth looking for long party nights and history lovers on archaeological tours.
In every case, a trip to Greece is a dream for everyone!
The natural beauty, the reviving sunlight and the rich culture open an entirely new world to visitors.
Even celebrities get there in the summertime, while many of them have holiday homes on the islands. To name a few, Tom Hanks owns a house in Antiparos, Julia Roberts has bought a property in Patmos while one of the houses in Spetses belongs to Nicole Kidman!

 

HOW CAN WE HELP?

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HEALTH INFORMATION AND PROTECTIONS

No special vaccination is required.
If you are under special medical treatment, you are advised to take your medicines with you, as it is a high possibility that you may not find the exact same medicines in Greek pharmacies.
In this section, we have compiled tourist information about health in Greece.

• European Health Insurance Card - Free health treatment for Europeans

The citizens of the European Union are eligible for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC - formerly known as the E111 form) which offers access to free health treatment in public hospitals in Greece.
Greek public hospitals are well-equipped, at least in the major cities, but often overcrowded.
The conditions and infrastructure of private hospitals are better but quite expensive.
On many small islands and towns, only medical and health centers are available.

• Food & Water

Greek products are famous all around the world for their excellent quality.
As for the water, in Athens and other large towns, tap water is drinkable.
However, in most islands and some mainland towns, bottled water is recommended to avoid health issues during your trip.
Most islands do not have their own water, but water is brought by water tanks from the mainland, therefore it is used only for showering and house cleaning.

• Summer heat

Serious health problems might come from the summer heat, especially in July and August which are the hottest months of the year.
Heat may severely affect people with heart and lung problems and sensitive skin as well, especially considering that in summer the temperature may rise to 40oC.
To avoid health problems in case of extreme heat, drink a lot of water, shower often, avoid physical activities, like walking, biking, or climbing during the deay, wear light clothing and a hat, avoid alcohol, wear sunglasses and sunscreen.
Overall, avoid direct contact with the sun between 12:00 and 17:00.

WHY VISIT GREECE

Visit
Sunset in Santorini

Check the following links:

Whatever type of traveler you are, you will not be disappointed in your trip to Greece.
Whether you like beaches or mountains, winter or summer, relaxing or partying, Greece will be among the best choices for your holidays.
With an easy connection to Athens or even direct flights from European and Mediterranean countries, the islands are the perfect places to gather precious holiday memories.
Some of the most popular destinations are Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, and Zakynthos. Lovely places for authentic holidays are also Paros, Naxos, Milos and more.

Loved by people, this country is so rich in culture and beauty that it never seems to be fully explored, no matter how many times you visit it for holidays.
This is, after all, one of the reasons that constantly bring it to the lists of the best tourist destinations in the world.
Apart from its highly cosmopolitan side and the upscale levels of tourism, Greece has a more substantial way to charm you.

With numerous historical sights dating from 3,000 years ago and gorgeous natural beauty, it is no exaggeration to say that this country is a real heaven on earth and everyone should pay a visit to it atleast once!
Over the last years, Greece applies a more modern approach concerning tourism, with agrotourism investments, off-season holiday packages, more authentic contact between locals and visitors, and more.

What drives millions of visitors to travel to this little corner of Europe? Discover 12 good reasons:

01

The holiday of a lifetime

When thinking of holidays, people picture the long crystal beaches and the relaxing beach taverns. But be careful because Greece is addictive: if you experience Greek holidays once, no other place on earth will be sufficient for you!
Need to organize your holidays? We are here for you!

02

Walking on sunshine

The country is famous for its perfect climatic conditions. Not tropical and not arctic, this is a fantastic destination for every season. Did you know that most places in Greece get sunshine for 300 days per year?

03

Breathtaking landscape

You will love the virgin landscape, the exotic color of the sea and the bright light of the sun. Each place has a different authentic style.
It will take you years to explore the country, but only a glance to fall in love with it. Have a look at our beautiful photos.

04

Safety

Greece remains among the safest countries in the world. The criminality rate is very low, especially on the islands.
Feel no fear to walk late at night and have chats with the locals. This will be among the best pleasures during your Greek holidays.
Only in Athens should you have an eye open, as pick-pocketing is usually reported in large queues, for example in buses or when boarding the ferry.
But this is not the case in the islands, where you can lay back and enjoy a carefree atmosphere.

05

High level of hospitality

Hospitality is one of the main reasons to visit Greece. Feel free to mingle with the locals, have long chats with them, or stop them at the street to ask for directions. They love it!
Apart from the locals, you will also enjoy a high quality of services in the hotels and resorts.

06

A country with a past

Even in the smallest piece of land, you will find something reminiscent of the past. There are ancient sites of various historical periods under every stone: from remains of ancient Greek temples to Byzantine monasteries and Neoclassical mansions.

07

Healthy and tasty cuisine

Greece is famous for its healthy products, including virgin olive oil, vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, and wine. These products are the basis of the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in proteins and low in saturated fats. They are cooked together and create delicious results. Even in the smallest tavern, do not hesitate to taste local dishes - tey will be totally different than any other ethnic recipe you have tasted so far!

08

Easy to access

There are frequent air connections from the largest world airports to the International Airport of Athens and from Athens and daily flights to many national airports around the country.
Also, in summer, many direct charters and low-cost flights from various European airports land on the most popular islands.
As for the ferry connections, there are ferries between Greece and Italy all year round and between Greece and Turkey in summer.

09

EU Member

As a member of the EU, other EU citizens do not need a passport and visa to visit the country and stay as long as they like. Also, many citizens of foreign countries do not need to make visa arrangements for tourism, including citizens of the USA, Australia, and Canada, among others.

10

Nightlife

You are young in age or young at heart and are looking for a place with vivid nightlife? Mykonos, Paros, Ios, Skiathos, Rhodes, Corfu and Zakynthos are only a few of the places where parties start in the midday and last utnil the early hours.
Enjoy your cocktail under the hot sun and dance on the sand until your feet can hold no more!

11

English-speaking country

You will find no difficulty to communicate in English with the Greeks. Asking for directions, ordering in restaurants, shopping, or getting information in English is very easy everywhere in the country. In fact, in most tourist places, you will discover that the staff of tourist businesses may also speak French, German, Italian, or even Russian!

12

Destination of celebrities

You surely have heard that Greece is among the top summer destinations for celebrities and Hollywood stars. Many come and visit on yachts or stay in luxurious beach resorts, while others even have their holiday homes in some hidden areas.

Discover how to get to the most popular destinations.

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT GREECE