Whether by plane, car, ferry or bus, there are many ways to get to beautiful hellas. We will show you the different ways to travel to greece, so that you can enjoy your upcoming vacation or a planned trip to greece round trip on the mainland prepare optimally.
a fast arrival means more time at the beach
first of all: as an EU-citizen you do not need an entry visa o.a. The entry is uncomplicated and possible with your identity card. A children’s passport for the little ones is necessary. On excursions to non-EU countries (u.A. Albania, Turkey), however, you need a passport. If you stay in greece for more than 6 months, you must register with the local authorities.
Arrival in greece during corona in times of corona there are some things to consider when traveling to greece. We have summarized the most important regulations for greece when entering by plane and by land in this article: corona greece
table of contents
#1 arrival by plane
Most vacationers reach greece by plane. In recent years, more and more international airlines have discovered greece as a popular vacation destination. Almost all major european charter companies now offer at least one, if not more, greek destinations in their itineraries.
By plane to greece
most direct flights from germany to greece currently depart from munich, frankfurt, dusseldorf, and berlin and stuttgart airports. In total, the five major German airports 18 greek vacation destinations to mainland and islands.
Among them are the cities of athens and thessaloniki on the mainland. Via the airports of the two cities you can reach Greece by short flight stopover to other destinations reach greece. Kavala (macedonia), volos (thessalian), patras and kalamata (both peloponnese) are also served sporadically in summer.
For many travelers, the Greek islands are particularly popular. However, you should keep in mind that of the nearly 3.000 islands, not even 150 are inhabited. And only 27 islands have an airport. The biggest greek island crete has even three airports. Here is an overview of the islands with their own airport:
These greek islands have an airport
- Astypalea, JTY
- Chios, JKH
- Ikaria, JIK
- Kalymnos, JKL
- Karpathos, AOK
- Kasos, KSJ
- Kastelorizo, KZS
- Kefalonia, EFL
- Corfu, CFU
- Kos, KGS
- Chania crete, CHQ
- Heraklion crete, HER
- Sitia crete, JSH
- Kythira, KIT
- Lefkada preveza, PVK
- Leros, LRS
- Lesbos, MJT
- Limnos, LXS
- Milos, MLO
- Mykonos, JMK
- Naxos, JNX
- Paros, PAS
- Rhodes, RHO
- Samos, SMI
- Santorini, JTR
- Skiathos, JSI
- Skyros, SKU
- Syros, JSY
- Zakynthos, ZTH
#2 direct flight from germany
The most convenient way to travel to greece is through direct flight from the respective home country. This is of course mostly in the interest of many vacationers, since one would like to travel during his summer vacation as relaxed and without time stress as possible. Here you can find all direct flights to greece:
However, it is exactly these Greek destinations that attract the most tourists in the summer months. Of the less than 30 greek island airports less than half with direct flights from germany to greece. Among them are of course the most popular Greek islands, such as Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Mykonos and Kos.
The airport of kos
Especially the airline condor has one of the best developed flight networks to greece. from the major german airports frankfurt and munich many greek destinations are served even 2-3 times a week.
Also TUI and eurowings offer direct flights to greece several times a week. These airlines also serve smaller airports such as nuremberg or hamburg. the main arrival day for most airlines is saturday. For german vacationers in the south or east of the republic it might also be worthwhile to fly to departure from vienna or prague.
There are numerous direct flights to greece
Enclosed you get an overview, which islands are served by german or surrounding airports direct flights to airports will be:
*2021 with condor from dusseldorf and munich
The two largest greek cities athens and thessaloniki will also be served by direct flights from almost all major german airports. Ideal for a city trip, a round trip on the greek mainland or to one of the smaller greek islands by ferry or domestic flight to cross.
Athens is always worth a city trip
The airfares for the two largest Greek cities are usually very low. Through portals like skyscanner or momondo you can view cheap flights to athens and thessaloniki.
Flights to greece in 2021
For the year 2021, flights from germany to greece will be provided from several german airports. there are numerous direct flights with condor, u.A. To the peloponnese peninsula to patras and kalamata. In addition, the city of kavala in the northern greek region of macedonia is served.
More information about flights to hellas can be found in our separate article: flights to greece
fares to greece
The prices for direct flights to greece vary depending on the season and destination. This way you can buy a return ticket outside the high season (september to june) for less than 200 euros. Provider like ryanair and easyjet even undercut each other with bargain offers for flights to greece of less than 50 euro per person (one way) and less.
However, keep in mind that for many tourist places the season only from may starts. The supposed bargain can quickly turn out to be a disappointment. If you find that there are hardly any restaurants or places worth seeing open in the low season. In the main season the round trip ticket about 300 euro per person.
#3 fork flight via athens or thessaloniki
A large part of the greek islands can only be reached by ferry. However, 27 islands currently also have an airport. You can either reach it by direct flight from germany or by plane greek domestic flight. These islands are served from athens or thessaloniki depending on their geographical location.
from thessaloniki you can explore northern greece
All islands of the southern aegean with airport are served by the Athens airport eleftherios venizelos ATH. The few islands in the northern aegean can be reached from the makedonia airport SKG in thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki is also ideal for a short city trip. Our extensive travel report about the greek metropolis can be found here: thessaloniki highlights. Enclosed we have created an overview for you, which islands by domestic flight only to reach the airport:
lesvos, ikaria, milos, syros, naxos, paros, astypalea, kalymnos, leros, kythira
skyros, limnos, chios, lesvos
As a rule the airlines olympic and sky express flights from athens and thessaloniki to the greek islands. These are smaller planes and the prices are between 50 and 100 euro per flight depending on demand.
The tiny islands kasos and kastellorizo are only approached from their large neighboring islands. Kasos is approached from karpathos and kastellorizo from rhodes. Of course, both islands can also be reached by ferry.
the mini airport of the small island kasos
If you want to fly directly to athens, you can also fly from the port of piraeus explore the greek islands by ferry. Here you can find out more about: island hopping greece
#4 by bus and train to greece
If you want to travel by bus to greece, it’s not necessarily the easiest way to get there, but of course it’s possible! From germany you can take the bus via bulgaria to greece travel to the cities of thessaloniki or athens.
Numerous connections u.A. With the long-distance bus company flixbus, the following routes are possible from germany to bulgaria’s capital sofia. For this you have to travel at least a day of travel plan. There is also the possibility to travel by night bus.
by bus to greece
bulgaria capital sofia is very worth seeing and worthwhile for a short stopover. Then it takes a little more than 12 hours from sofia to the capital athens or the port of piraeus. Alternatively, you can also stop in the northern greek city of thessaloniki.
It takes about five hours by bus. From thessaloniki you can even get there in four hours by train to athens travel. Depending on where exactly you want to go in hellas, you have new travel options by bus or train in the two largest cities in greece.
How to get to greece by bus
Z.B. With flixbus
Berlin → sofia
munich → sofia
Travel time, costs
33 h, ca. 80 euro
22 h, approx. 60 euro
Z.B. With ardatur
Sofia → athens
sofia → thessaloniki
Travel time, cost
12 h, approx. 40 euro
The transport company trainose operates the railroad network in greece, which has been permanently expanded in recent years. Even if the greek train network is not very developed, you can still reach some of the following destinations greek destinations by train.
For example, in three hours you can travel by train from thessaloniki to the picturesque meteora monasteries travel in kalambaka. here you can learn more about the popular sightseeing attraction: the enchanting meteora monasteries
About the portal omio (formerly go.Euro) you can choose possible bus connections to greece view and compare prices: omio – comparison portal for train, bus and plane tickets
How to get to greece by train?
Unfortunately there are currently from germany no reliable train connection to greece. the times of the nostalgic orient-express which ran from paris to istanbul are over. this direct train connection to greece was already discontinued in 2009.
If you would like to travel to greece exclusively by train, you will have to transfer stops in vienna and depending on the train route in belgrade (serbia) or budapest (hungary), as well as sofia (bulgaria) or skopje (north macedonia) in buy. At least two days you have to plan for the journey, if you reach all connecting trains.
#5 journey with your own car
Even if the majority of tourists prefer to travel to greece by airplane, a trip with your own car can be a good option if you have less than two weeks to travel longer stays make sense.
Especially for exploring the greek mainland, it is advisable to choose this way of travel. Also many camping friends come to greece every year with your own vehicle. the regions of epirus zagori and western macedonia are ideal for an extended hellas road trip with your own car.
explore greece with your own car
for a trip to greece with your car you should plan enough time though. If you have less than two weeks of travel time, we do not recommend it. after all, depending on which route you choose to greece, you need at least 2-3 days travel time and of course the same travel time back.
Also we have already heard on the internet about shorter travel time heard to greece. Mostly, however, these are the tales of eager locals from hellas, who drove as "fast" as possible back to their beloved homeland.
What is the best route to greece?
In principle there are two main routes to greece. The first option would be journey across the balkans. There are several variants depending on the departure point in germany. The total travel distance is at least 1.500-2.000 kilometers to the greek border.
For this you should at least two days by car and plan one or two overnight stays. the biggest advantage of the balkan route is the low cost of getting to.
the greece route is often via patras
The second possibility to reach greece would be via italy and the sea route. Here you have several options to choose from regarding the departure ferry port in italy. So you can shorten the travel time by car significantly.
most vacationers arrive at the port of patras. The ferry crossing on the other hand causes higher travel costs compare to the balkan route.
#6 via the balkan route to greece
Even though the balkan route in the past not the best reputation had, we can reassure you with this. The times of the autoput route with numerous accidents, criminal smuggling, car theft& co. Are over.
We sailed this route in april 2019 and had no problems on the entire itinerary of 1.700 kilometers no problems or dicey situations.
Waiting times are normal at the borders in front of greece
The freeway network is sufficiently good the supply with rest areas and gas stations is also ensured. We started from dresden and divided the stage more comfortably on four driving days and three overnight accomodation.
Every day we traveled between 500-700 kilometers with it. This was roughly equivalent to six hours of daily travel time, which was not possible due to the many speed limits was absolutely sufficient in most countries.
Routes across the balkans to greece
- Variant 1: czech republic, slovakia, hungary, serbia and northern macedonia
- Variant 2: austria, slovenia, croatia, serbia and north macedonia
We have on our journey to greece spent one night in budapest (hungary), and one night each in boljevac near nis (serbia) and ohrid (northern macedonia). Our last stop at lake ohrid is located ca. 100 kilometers before the greek border.
You can of course reduce the overnight stays by 1-2 days, depending on how much driving distance you can manage per day.
lake ohrid as a stopover to greece
It is also important to know that depending on the time of travel, for example in the summer months, there may be higher waiting times at the borders can come. especially the crossing from hungary to serbia may require longer waiting times. We have waited in april at the border from hungary to serbia about an hour.
greece travel along the adriatic sea
A alternative journey to greece leads via austria, slovenia, croatia, bosnia and herzegovina, montenegro and albania. Although the route covers almost the same number of kilometers, the journey along the Adriatic Sea is much longer.
By car along the adriatic sea
On the one hand, this is due to the fact that you are introducing another country and its border controls pass. On the other hand, there is not such a long and well-developed network of highways on this route.
Also you have to expect higher tolls here because of the long drive through croatia. For this, this country road, if you bring a lot of time, is probably the most scenic most beautiful route to greece.
#7 by ferry from italy to greece
The most comfortable way to get to greece by car is definitely with the ferry from italy from. Unnecessary border controls and the resulting long waiting times are eliminated due to the Schengen agreement of the EU countries.
With this route you can shorten the pure driving time by car considerably. There are only tolls for switzerland or austria and the use of the italian freeway.
The country road over italy is simply picturesque
Most vacationers take the autostrada A14 from bologna head south and head directly to one of the italian ferry ports. If you are short on travel time or traveling to greece with children, this can be an advantage. If you have a little more time, the scenic drive through tuscany and umbria is also worthwhile.
How long is the crossing to greece??
When crossing from italy to greece by ferry you can choose from four different departure points choose. the ferry ports are spread from north to south italy.
"the more northern the port, the longer the travel time and the higher the ferry fees."
on the greek side there are three different ports of call. The driving time varies from 8 to 31 hours. Of course you thus less time in the car.
in principle the only question is: do you want to spend more time in the car or on the ferry?? At least you can use the time on the ferry much more effectively. There is also partly internet resp. wifi on the ferries. Unfortunately the connection is unreliable.
Attention cost trap! Mobile internet or. roaming can cause high costs at sea if your smartphone dials into a maritime mobile network. The best thing to do is to set your cell phone to flight mode.
Sleeping cabin on the ferry from italy to greece
On the large ferries there are plenty of lounges, restaurants and bars, as well as a sun deck. You can also use own cabin including shower and toilet book for the crossing from italy to greece.
cabins are available in different sizes and with different equipment. On a long trip, this makes sense, as sleeping in the lounges can be very tiring and uncomfortable.
Ferries and prices from italy to greece
You can choose from different combinations regarding port of departure in italy and of the port of arrival in greece choose. The ferries depart from the following italian ports (from north to south):
in greece the ports of corfu, igoumenitsa and patras are served. The arrival and departure points vary depending on the ferry company. This is how the small ferry port of brindisi in the very south of italy is not served by all shipping companies.
Ancona, one of the largest ports in the mediterranean, is considered a popular departure point for the ferry to greece. We have given you below the approximate sailing times and prices listed for deck passengers per port.