For some people, going to Greece is all about going to the islands. For others, it’s the 2,500 years of history in Athens, on the Peloponnese Peninsula and beyond. But for most travelers, it’s a combination — islands and inland, city and countryside, culture and playground.
The intercity bus system in Greece is very efficient. All are operated by a government organization, Ktel. In general, they are clean, comfortable and reasonably priced. Information on schedules and routes is available at local tourist information centers everywhere you go.
Most Greek towns are small enough to get around on foot. All the major towns have local buses, but the only places you’re likely to need them are Athens, Patra, Kalamata and Thessaloniki.
Ferries and Boats
Considering that Greece has nearly 3,000 islands (227 inhabited) and more than 8,500 miles of coastline, it should come as no surprise that boats are one of the most common ways to get around. For islands close to mainland hopping on a ferry is your best option. Keep in mind that most of the ferries may make several stops on different islands en route to their final destination.
Within easy reach of the Athens International Airport is Piraeus, which is the main port for ferries plying the Aegean Sea. From there, there are regular routes to the major islands in the Cyclades, Crete, the Saronic Gulf Islands, the Dodecanese chain and the Northeast Aegean Islands. A smaller port in Athens is Rafina, which has ferry service to Evia, some of the northernmost Cycladic Islands and many of the Northeast Aegean Islands.