Planning a trip to Greece in 2023
Planning a trip to Greece can be both incredibly exciting and completely overwhelming. We’ve done it multiple times and yet each year presents new challenges as we flesh out the best Greece itinerary to include new places to discover and old favourites.
Each year things change depending on the demand and numerous other factors ( like pandemics of course), and it can be difficult for visitors to plan their trip not knowing or understanding the different transport options in particular.
Already a number of major changes have been announced or scheduled for 2023 and I’ve tried to get across them to share with you in this article. I will update it each month until at least May, when hopefully things will have settled down.
Changes in the Tourism Industry in Greece in 2023 (updated weekly)
There are now up to 4 published direct ferries between Santorini and Crete:
* one direct route – the Powerjet, starts on the 12th of April through to October 26
*two commence May 25 through to October 15
*three from June 2 to October 3
After last year’s successful trial, Seajets will once again connect between Thessaloniki and the Sporades Islands this time with both the Superunner and the bigger Champion Jet. These will run from mid-June to mid-September.
You can now also book an overnight Blue Star ferry between Thessaloniki and the Cyclades every Saturday night, specifically, Mykonos and Syros, and this also goes on to Athens.
Connections between Thessaloniki and Izmir are also expected to recommence in 2023 with Levante Ferries, twice a week.
There have been a number of increases in scheduled ferries between Italy and Greece. The Venice – Igoumenitsa and Patras routes are particularly exciting. Read about all of them on Ferryhoppers Italy-Greece page.
*update February 23 – Magic Sea Ferries routes between the Sporades islands and the mainland are now up.
There are still schedules to be added for the 2023 season. These have typically been finalised each year by Easter but the ferry companies – there are over twenty of them, have been working hard to get these out as early as possible this year.
All new schedules are uploaded to Ferryhopper as soon as they are released.
Trains & Metro
There are two big changes that have occurred with rail travel in Greece recently.
1. The official train company, Trainose, has changed its name to Hellenic Train, and it has a brand new, fully functional website that actually works. This is a huge improvement on the old site which wouldn’t allow you to buy a ticket until a week in advance.
2. The new metro station at Piraeus opened late last year and now connects the airport and Europe’s busiest port in a single trip that takes about 90 minutes and costs 10euro.
Domestic Flights in Greece
Flights from Athens to Kalamata start February 25! They haven’t had these for many years. Although quite expensive so far, hopefully the prices will come down as routes increase.
International Flights to Greece
Aegean Airlines have announced:
- 17 direct flights to nine French destinations from Athens, Thessaloniki, and Heraklion (Crete)
- 3 new direct routes from Ioannina, Chania, and Kalamata with Tel Aviv in Israel
International Flights to Kalamata start on February 25, that’s about two months earlier than usual.
Sky Express have added Milan, Munich and Sofia as new routes
Delta starts its first direct flight to Athens, from New York(JFK) on March 11 meaning it and Emirates will still be flying direct to Greece year-round.
Air Lingus has added a new route from Dublin to Kos as has RyanAir
Danish Carrier SAS has added several new routes to its summer schedule for Greece and it will run flights to Athens, Thessaloniki, Corfu, Crete, and Rhodes.
Air Serbia has announced new flights from Belgrade to Crete(Heraklion), Crete (Chania), Rhodes, and Corfu.
Eurowings, a low-cost carrier from Germany has announced new connections from late March until the end of October from Berlin to Rhodes and Zakynthos and are increasing their Dusseldorf to Crete flights to nine per week.
Play is a low-cost Icelandic carrier that will start flights between Athens and the USA – New York, Washington, Boston, and Baltimore, with a stopover in Iceland.
Easyjet has announced a new route from Bristol in the UK to Chania (Crete) and Edinburgh to Santorini.
United Airlines from New York with three flights a week from April 6 and daily as of May
American Airlines from New York with daily flights starting on May 5
American Airlines from Chicago with daily flights from June 1
American Airlines from Philadelphia with daily flights from June 1
Delta Air Lines from Boston with flights every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday as of May 8.
Emirates from New York (Newark) with daily flights (all year round)
Flights are expected from Canada as of late March – two weekly flights to Athens from Montreal from March 31, and three weekly flights from Toronto to Athens from March 28
Aegean have now opened new lounges in Athens and Thessaloniki and there will be a new lounge for non-Schenghen travellers in Athens International Airport by summer.
Flights on seaplanes can soon be booked via Hellenic Seaplanes. They will be offering commercial flights, chartered flights and cargo services between a number of islands and the Mainland, and launched several years ago but their expansion plans were scuppered by Covid19.
We have flown in Seaplanes several times and it’s a fantastic experience. The views are incredible as they flow lower than commercial planes, and its a great novelty too.
The islands can certainly do with more transport options but it does need to be very reliable and safe, of course. I do worry about the wind with seaplanes, especially in the Aegean with the Meltemi, as it can be disruptive enough for the bigger planes and ferries.
Watch this space.
This is the most expensive way to travel between the islands but if you are looking for a really special experience and/or are travelling with friends or on your honeymoon you may be interested in this.
Last year there were only a few routes on offer like between Santorini and Mykonos but this year there are a bunch of new destinations added such as Ios, Paros, Crete and Spetses.
Further reading: Frequently Asked Questions about Greece
(tipping, toilet paper, drivers permits, safety and more)
Start booking your trip now!