PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Travelling requirements and must have
Sailboats at anchor in the deep blue sea

PLANNING YOUR TRIP

CUSTOM REGULATIONS

Before visiting Greece it would be useful to have a look at customs regulations* referring to:

  • Currency declaration upon arrival: According to EU law, if you’re carrying cash valued at €10,000 or greater, you are required to declare that sum to the authorities of the Member State you are entering or exiting. Therefore, upon arrival at a Greek airport and prior to exiting the Baggage Claim area, it may be necessary for you to proceed to the Customs Office for a currency declaration.
  • Currency declaration prior to departures: If you are flying to a non-EU destination, after passing through Passport Control you are required to proceed to the Customs Office for currency declaration. In addition, in case you are travelling to an EU member state and carrying cash of a value of €10,000 or more, you must also declare that sum to the Customs Office. 
  • Alcohol and tobacco:  When travelling from one EU country to another, you can transport tobacco and alcohol products for personal use but not for resale. Under EU law, you do not have to prove that the goods are for your personal use if you are carrying quantities below than those defined on the EU website. 
  • Restrictions of animal products: When traveling within the EU, transportation of animal products does not fall under general restrictions since all EU countries have to adhere to the same strict veterinary standards. If, however, you are transporting meat or dairy products and are not travelling from an EU country, there is danger that you may enter with animal diseases.
  • Animals and plants: When travelling within the EU you have the right to transport animals and plants. However, given that the majority of EU countries have strict rules in place regarding the transportation of endangered species and products derived from them, you will need a permit to travel with them. 

*Further information on the above, can be found at the corresponding links of the European Commission website:

For currency declaration

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/customs_controls/cash_controls/index_en.htm

For Alcohol & Tobacco, Restrictions of products of animal origin as well as animals and plants:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/common/travellers/enter_eu/index_en.htm

For general travellers’ information: 

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/index_en.htm     


PASSPORTS AND VISA

In order to visit Greece you are obliged to have the following: 
  • ID card In the case that your country of origin is a signatory to the Schengen Agreement, you may use your national ID to enter the country and you may stay for a three-month period. In these cases a passport is not necessary, although you will need it in a variety of other transactions, including currency exchange, shopping etc.
  • Visa If your country is not a member of the Schengen Agreement, make sure you obtain further information from the Greek embassy or consulate in your country before your trip, or from your travel agency.*
  • Passport If your country of origin is one of the following non-EU countries, your passport allows you to visit Greece and remain in the country for up to three months (90 days) within a six-month period:

Andorra
Argentina
Australia
Brazil
Brunei
Canada
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Israel
Japan
Malaysia
Mexico
Monaco
New Zealand
Vatican
Nicaragua
Panama
Paraguay
San Marino
Singapore
South Korea
USA
Uruguay
Venezuela

*In case you are visiting Greece with a visa, make sure you also have suitable insurance coverage for emergency medical or other needs.

HOW TO COME

You can travel to Greece by car, plane, train and sea.

This is some useful information to make your visit more enjoyable and stress-free:

  • By car*

Greece connects with Europe and Asia through a vast road network that today is 117,000km long. Highways extending both to the east and the west are constantly being expanded and improved. The main motorways link Greece to Balkan countries and from there to the rest of Europe, as well as to the European part of Turkey via the eastern routes. Another route to Greece is from Italy through the western border via one of the many ferry services.

Recent surface quality upgrades to the two major national highways and the construction of a major section of the Egnatia Road, from the weastern coast to northeastern Greece, has made life easier for motorists. Visitors who wish to discover Greece can expect comfortable and hassle-free travel (numerous gas stations, restaurants and parking areas along the length of the road network).

The four border crossing points through which one can enter the country by car are: From Bulgaria – Exochi, Drama; from Fyrom – Evzones, Kilki; from Albania – Kakavia, in the Ioannina prefecture; and from Turkey – Kipi, in Evros.

The main road axes in Greece are listed below, along with their assigned European highway number:

Athens - Thessaloniki (E75)
Athens - Corinth (E94)
Corinth - Patra (E65)
Corinth –Tripoli – Kalamata (E65)
Patra – Pyrgos – Olympia (E55)
Thessaloniki – Kavala – Alexandroupolis (E90)
Igoumenitsa – Alexandroupolis (Egnatia Odos)
Chania – Agios Nikolaos (Crete E75)

* EU citizens may use their national driving license, while citizens of other countries must have an international driving license along with their valid national driving permit.

  •       By plane

Airplane journeys are particularly popular because they offer both comfort and speed. Athens International Airport (www.aia.gr), one of the most modern in the world, connects to the suburban railway and the metro and is the starting point for many bus routes that run to central destinations in Athens. The aforementioned modes of public transport connect to the ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrion, particularly convenient for passengers intending to depart the same day for the islands.

Aside from Athens, many other Greek cities have airports that offer flights to domestic and even international destinations. Some airports may also have charter flights. Both the number of destinations and the frequency of charters increase during the summer period.

International airports

  • Alexandroupolis
  • Chania, Crete
  • Corfu (Kerkyra)
  • Heraklion, Crete
  • Kalamata
  • Kavala
  • Cephalonia (Kefalonia)
  • Kos
  • Limnos
  • Lesvos (Mytilene)
  • Rhodes
  • Samos
  • Thessaloniki
  • Zante (Zakynthos)

National and public airports

  • Astypalaia
  • Chios
  • Ikaria
  • Ioannina
  • Kalymnos
  • Karpathos
  • Kasos
  • Kastelorizo
  • Kastoria
  • Kythera
  • Kozani
  • Leros
  • Milos
  • Mykonos
  • Naxos
  • Nea Anchialos (Volos)
  • Paros
  • Patra
  • Preveza
  • Santorini
  • Skiathos
  • Skyros
  • Syros


  • By train

Approximately 2,500 km long, Greece’s railroad is served by high-quality Intercity-type trains (express), as well as regular trains (high-speed and speed rail etc) performing regularly scheduled routes. The service provides for the transportation of passengers and accompanied vehicles in much of the continental part of the country. For further information, please visit the webpage of Hellenic Railways Organisation. http://www.ose.gr/

  • By ferry**

Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Volos, Patras and Igoumenitsa are the sites of the main ports of Greece. Every year Greek ports welcome a huge number of passengers from all over the world, thus connecting mainland Greece to Europe and all inhabited Greek islands by ferry. Although ferry routes to Europe are numerous, many cruise ships and private boats opt to dock in Greece as a favored destination. In order to better cover the ever-increasing demand for mobile home transportation, shipping companies have scheduled ships with specially configured areas for campers and caravans (towed and automotive).

The majority of European tourists travelling to Greece by car use modern ferries that sail between Greek ports and ports in neighboring Italy. As far as the quality of the trip is concerned, these ships offer a comfortable and modern environment, with experienced staff and high levels of hospitality ensuring relaxation and pleasure at very reasonable prices. Various categories of cabins are offered – from suites featuring private bathrooms and showers to economy cabins. Regardless of cabin choice, however, your overnight stay will be comfortable. Most ships include air-conditioning, bars, restaurants and storage for baggage, as well as satellite communications (telex and fax), video games and gaming facilities (slot machines, casinos, card rooms), swimming pools, self-service facilities, discos, cinemas, children’s playrooms, escalators etc. Many departures are late at night, providing passengers with an extra vacation day.

Main ports linking Greece to Italy:

  • Patra: One of the most modern ports in the Mediterranean, connecting Greece with the Italian ports of Ancona, Bari, Trieste, Brindisi and Venice.
  • Igoumenitsa: One of the most important ports in the European Union, offering routes to Brindisi, Bari, Ancona and Venice. 
  • Corfu, Cephalonia and Zante: These island ports often function as stopovers on voyages to and from Italy (the port of Bari).

Greece is also connected to Turkey by sea, with ferries (motorboats and hydrofoils) departing from:

  • Lesvos: To Ayvalik (daily schedules)
  • Chios: To Çeşme (daily schedules) 
  • Kos and Samos: To Kuşadasi (daily schedules) 
  • Rhodes: To Bodrum and Marmaris (3 departures per week)
  • Kalymnos: To Bodrum (3 departures per week)

**According to the terms of the Schengen Agreement, to which Greece is a signatory, all passenger ships/ferries sailing regular routes from Patra and Igoumenitsa to Italy and back (without visiting any non-Schengen third-country ports) are included in the category of ships executing domestic routes. As a result, passengers in these ships whose only destination is those ports situated on the sovereign land of the Schengen countries, do not have to undergo passport control.