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The most important point of entry to Greece by air is the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos. Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, www.aia.gr

Flights to the Peloponnese are served by the State Airport of Kalamata. Information: State Airport of Kalamata 24200 Kalamata, Messene, Messenia, http://www.hcaa.gr

The Attica Road links Athens International Airport to the key road axes in the Peloponnese:

Olympia Road: Elefsina – Corinth – Patras – Pyrgos – Tsakona

Moreas Road: Corinth – Tripolis – Kalamata

Athens – Thessaloniki (E75)

Athens – Corinth (E94)

Corinth – Patras (E65)

Corinth – Tripolis – Kalamata (E65)

Patras – Pyrgos – Olympia (E55)

Access to Greece by sea is available primarily from Italy, the most important destination port being that of Patras, which is a ‘bridge’ city for those wishing to visit the Peloponnese by sea. Information: Patras Port Authority, http://www.patrasport.gr/

Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE): 1440, 1110 (ticket reservations) www.ose.gr

Suburban Railway: Customer Service Center: 14511, www.trainose.gr

Long-distance bus services

Long-distance bus services (KTEL) are an important means of transport in the Peloponnese. Visit the local long-distance bus stations to obtain information on the exact bus service timetables to the destination you are interested in.

Basic information:

  • Long-distance buses are green, white and blue, and white and orange, but with different patterns though.
  • All vehicles are air-conditioned.
  • The driver will help you with your baggage or tell you where to put it on the bus. There is no weight limit for travelers.
  • Most probably, you will find your seat number on the back of the seat. The number is found on the top part of the back of your seat or in pairs in the corridor.
  • If you buy a return ticket, you can get a discount of approximately 20%.
  • Return tickets are valid for 30 days.
  • Please note that there are several areas with two different long-distance bus stations, so you must be aware of which one to visit.
  • Winter service timetables are valid from November to March and summer ones are valid from April to October.
  • Bus services on holidays, if any, are fewer and not the same as those on normal working days. You are advised to consult with the station before you set off.

Travelling to Greece by bus.

There are several companies that you can consult with to book a ticket, and there are also the bus services of KTEL.

Make sure that you have the required documents to make that trip, as there are frequent check points and, if you lack the necessary documents, you will be removed from the bus.

Visa issuance procedure

Nationals of European Union Member States and Schengen Area Member States

Greece is an EU Member State and ratified the Schengen Agreement in 1997. Nationals of EU Member States and Schengen Area Member States are entitled to travel freely to Greece and other Schengen Area States by just producing their police ID card or passport.

Third-Country Nationals

The entry and stay of third-country nationals to Greece, given certain considerations relating to migration, is subject to Law 3386/2005 on the entry, stay and social inclusion of third-country nationals to Greece (Government Gazette, Series I, No 212/23.08.2005, p. 3329), as amended by Laws 3448/2006, 3536/2007, 3613/2007, 3731/2008, 3801/2009, 3838/2010, 3846/2010, 3807/2010, 3875/2010, 3879/2010, 3900/2010, 3907/2011 and 4018/2011.

All third-country nationals entering Greece must have a passport or other travel document recognized under international conventions. A visa must be affixed on these documents where this is required under the international conventions in force, Community law and national legislation. Visas are granted by the consular authority with jurisdiction over the third-country national’s place of residence, after taking into account certain considerations relating to public order, security and public health in Greece. There are short-stay visas and long-stay visas.

Third-country nationals who are not required to obtain a visa can enter and stay in Greece for three months, either totally or partially, within six months of their date of first entry.

New Visa information system (VIS)

A new Schengen visa information system (VIS) was launched on 11 October 2011. The VIS allows Schengen Area Member States to share data on the ratification of travel documents and is used to connect consulates in EU Member States with all border control stations in Schengen Area Member States.

The VIS aims primarily to simplify and strengthen the security of visa issuance procedures and to facilitate controls at Schengen Area external borders. Being a Schengen Area tool, the VIS is applied in all Schengen Area Member States. It will take time, however, until all consulates and authorized departments in the Member States connect to the system.

The VIS was launched first in North Africa and will be extended gradually to the Middle East, (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria), the Gulf countries (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen). All consulates in the Schengen Area Member States will have connected within two years. LIST OF SCHENGEN AREA MEMBER STATES: Austria, Belgium, Chez Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

LIST OF EU MEMBER STATES THAT ARE NOT SCHENGEN AREA MEMBER STATES: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, UK LIST OF EU-ASSOCIATED STATES THAT ARE SCHENGEN AREA MEMBER STATES: Iceland, Lichtenstein (it has not applied the Schengen acquis yet), Norway, Switzerland

LIST OF THIRD COUNTRIES WHOSE NATIONAL DO NOT NEED A VISA TO ENTER GREECE AND THE SCHENGEN AREA:Greece and the other Schengen Area Member States that have fully applied the Schengen Agreement and the relevant Community acquis with regard to short-stay visas (for a stay of up to 90 days every six months (180 days) in the Schengen Area) do not require a visa for holders of ordinary passports from the following countries:

Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See (Vatican), Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA.

Health and Safety

To have healthcare insurance cover, nationals of EU Member States must have a legal Community document issued by their competent insurance organization, based on which all or part of their healthcare costs are covered, or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is a card issued free of charge and provides access to healthcare services throughout your visit in any of the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

By producing the EHIC, you are entitled to the same healthcare services as those available to insured Greek nationals.

You can receive medical care at health units or the local surgeries of the Social Security Organization (IKA), the regional surgeries (rural surgeries), local health centers and contracted outpatient clinics in hospitals.Please note that this card is under no circumstances a substitute for travel insurance.

If you are a national of a non-Member State, you should consult with the social security organization in your country before embarking on your travel.

For more information visit: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559

In case of emergency call:

the single European emergency number: 112

the Ambulance Service: 166

the SOS doctors service: 1016

Hospitals and clinics on duty: 1434

Pharmacies: 1434

Poison call center: 2107793777

Police emergency unit: 100

Currency

As an EU Member State, Greece uses the euro (€). Just like other Member States, it uses 6 subdivisions of the euro, i.e. €0.01, €0.02, €0.05, €0.10, €0.20 and €0.50 (cents), and €1,00 and €2.00 coins. It also uses the following banknotes: €5.00, €10.00, €20.00, €50.00, €100.00, €200.00 and €500.00.

You can exchange your foreign currency in all banks that accept foreign currency and provide a detailed list of foreign exchange rates.

Greek banks are open five days a week, from Monday to Thursday from 08:00-14:30 and on Friday from 08:00-13:30.

Of course, credit card holders can use ATMs on a 24-hour basis.

You can also exchange your foreign currency in duly authorized offices in large cities. You will have to produce your passport.