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How to get to Elláda

AIRLINES Many airlines fly to Greece, both charter and scheduled, via London, Paris of Amsterdam (there is no scheduled direct service from Ireland).
  • Air Lingus flies to Athens via London and directly on charter service in the summer. They are on 01/679 5030
  • British Airways also flies to Athens via London (terminal 4). They can be reached on 01/661 0666
ROAD Due to problems in ex-Jugoslavia, the only route for cars into Greece is via Italy. It is recommended that Ancona is used as a port of exit, not Brindisi, because fuel in Italy is very expensive (1750 Lire/liter) and the road tolls prohibitive). It costs Lire 69000 until Brindisi, which is about 30 pounds, for the one way toll!

There are plenty of ferries from Ancona, with the biggest Venizelos M/V taking 3000 people and 1200 cars. For a family with a cabin, the fare is about 300 pounds return.

From Dublin, or the North East, you leave in the morning and then head to either Hollyhead(via Dun Laoghaire) or Fishguard (via Rosslare) using .

From Cork or the South West, it is better to take the and spend a night on the ship. The ship is Greek, (it's called Superferry) and can give you a first taste of Greece. Ask the crew to get Greek food from the crew menu, instead of the usual British/Irish fare!

You then take the highway to London, switching to the M25 and then driving to the direction of Dover via either the M20 or the M2. You cross to Calais, again using (they are the best) heading to Brussels on the E40. Take the E411 to Luxemburg and get petrol there. Luxembourg is one of the least expensive places for petrol in Europe. One liter costs LFR 27/50p (unleaded). Compare that with 69p in Ireland!

Follow the road to Metz and then Saarbruecken passing the river Rhine at Strassburg and then getting on the Autobahn direction Basel. You must have a Swiss highway vignette on your windscreen (Sfr 40) current for the year (includes January of the following year) to drive on Swiss highways.

From Basel, you head on direction Luzern and then passing St Gotthard tunnel, you arrive at the last highway/petrol stop of Switzerland, 9 km before the Italian border, called Coldrerio. It should be about 6 am at this point and you can stop, relax and have breakfast (there is a McDonalds hamburger restaurant here). From here taking the highway to Milano and then Bologna you arrive at Ancona 3 to 4 hours later.

From Dublin, count about 20 hours to Ancona (excluding the Ferries) and another 21 hours to Greece. It is preferable to get off at Igoumenitsa and thus take a look at mountainous Epirus on the way to your destination. The ferries also go to Patras for the same fare as to Igoumenitsa.

The price of petrol in Greece is DRA 200 per liter of unleaded super (IRP 0.50) or DRA 160 for diesel (IRP 0.35).

TRAIN There are two main trains heading for Greece: the Acropolis Express and the Hellas express. They take 36 hours from Munich so it is not a fast way of getting to Greece. Coming from London, you would need to connect to Munich which takes an additional 7 hours.

In addition, the Budapest/Belgrade/Thesaloniki circuit is also used.

However train travel is very expensive. It costs twice as much as a plane fare at around 300 pounds return. The best bet, is to take advantage of an interail pass which is substantially better value.

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