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Alexandroupoli
  1 introduction
2 history
3 practical info
4 getting there
5 sightseeing
 
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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Thrace > Alexandroupoli
Alexandroupoli, Greece How to get to Alexandroupoli   page 4
The Saos II ferry for Samothraki in the harbour of Alexandroupoli, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The Saos II ferry for Samothraki in Alexandroupoli harbour.
by air local transport by bus by train by ferry by road
 
Alexandroupoli is the most important transport hub in Thrace, and most visitors are passing through on their way to and from local destinations and the Turkish and Bulgarian borders beyond.

You can get there by bus from Athens, Thessaloniki and Kavala, and by train from Thessaloniki in the west or Dikea on the Bulgarian border to the north. Buses are more frequent and usually cheaper and faster. You can also fly there on a domestic flight from Athens or Sitia (Crete).

Alexandroupoli railway station is right next to the ferry port and 10-15 minutes walk to the KTEL inter-city bus station in the city centre. From the airport, 7 km east of the centre, it takes less than 30 minutes by bus or taxi.

The new A2 (E90) "Egnatia Odos" motorway runs across northern Greece, from Epirus in the west to the Turkish border and on to Istanbul. There are exits very close to Thessaloniki, Kavala and Alexandroupoli. It makes the journey much easier for motorists, but there are tolls. The old toll-free National Road EO2, which covers approximately the same route, is a lot slower, but perhaps more interesting.
 
 
  Please note: Due to Greece's economic crisis, information about timetables, fares, prices, opening times, etc.
is changing continually.

Many tourist information offices have beeen closed, and
many official websites offer no indication of these changes.

Below is the most up-to-date information we have been
able to find. If you have any more information you would
like to share, please get in contact.
 
 
 
 

The national Greek flag at My Favourite Planet
The symbol of East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The symbol of
East Macedonia
and Thrace
Alexandroupoli
transport
By air
Alexandroupoli International Airport

Alexandroupolis "Democritus" International Airport
(Κρατικός Αερολιμένας 'Δημόκριτος'),
Alexandroupolis, Thrace.

7 km east of the city centre, near Apalos village.

Tel: +30 25510 89300

Website: www.alxd.gr

IATA code: AXD

The small state-run airport is convenient for travelling on to places in Thrace, Samothraki island and southern Bulgaria. Istanbul is 5 hours away by road.

There are regular flights to/from Athens as well as flights to/from Sitia and Heraklion in Crete (April-September).

In summer there are also flights to and from Germany and Russia.

For information about other airports (Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala), see How to get to Macedonia, Greece.

Transport to/from the airport

There are regular local buses (see below) between the city centre to the airport.
Buses are more frequent on weekdays (starting at 5:45)
than on Saturdays and Sundays.
The last bus is at 21:15 every day.
The normal fare is 1.10 Euros.

Hourly KTEL inter-city buses (see below) between Alexandroupoli and Orestiada stop in front of the airport.

Taxi to/from Alexandroupoli takes around 10-15 minutes and costs around 15 Euros.

Flights to/from Athens

There are 6 daily flights to/from Athens
(Friday 7, Saturday 5).

Flights operated by:    aegeanair.com    olympicair.com

Both websites, in Greek and English,
offer the same flights and prices.

One-way fares typically 55 - 120 Euros.
Journey time 1 hour 5 minutes.

Flights to/from Crete

Flights to/from Sitia in eastern Crete, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday.

Some flights to Sitia continue to Heraklion, the capital
of Crete, in the centre of the island's north coast.

Flights operated by Sky Express: www.skyexpress.gr
(Greek and English)

Small propeller-driven planes (30-46 passengers).

One-way fares typically 130 Euros to/from Heraklion.
Journey time 1 hour 45 minutes.

There are no fixed fares for flights to/from Athens or Crete;
the earlier you book the cheaper the ticket.

Book early for flights in summer and around bank holidays.

 
Alexandroupoli
transport
Local transport
The office of Astiko KTEL for local buses in Alexandroupoli, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The office of Astiko KTEL for local buses, opposite Alexandroupoli railway station (see below).


Local buses

Urban KTEL of Evros, Alexandroupoli

(Άστικό ΚΤΕΛ Ν. Έβρου, Astiko KTEL South Evrou)

Tel: +30 25510 28844

Local blue and white buses run around the city, to the suburbs, nearby villages and the airport,
and along the coast to beaches (see page 5: Sightseeing).

The bus station for local buses is at Plateia Eleftherias,
outside the train station, just to the east of the ferry port,
with bus stops all over town.

The area covered by local buses is divided into 3 fare zones:
A, B and C.

C is the furthest away from the city centre and more expensive.

The range of fares is between 1.10 and 2.00 Euros,
with discounts for students and other groups.

Routes, schedules and fares in Greek and English: www.astikoktel.gr/en-us/home.aspx

A bus route map would be a useful addition to the website.
 
A local Astiko KTEL bus in Alexandroupolis, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

A local Astiko KTEL bus.

Taxis

Until recently, the general rule of thumb for taxis in Greek cities was that they cost 1 Euro per kilometre. However, due to the Greek economic crisis, fares are bound to increase. Taxis beyond the city limits and late at night are usually more expensive.

In order to avoid nasty shocks, ask the driver, the taxi company telephonist or your hotel receptionist the price to your destination in advance.

Still, taxis in Greece are good value, especially if you are in a hurry, there are two or more of you or if you have a lot of luggage.

Some hotels arrange guaranteed prices with taxi companies for their guests.

Telephone numbers for Alexandroupoli taxis:

+30 25510 22000, +30 25510 27770, +30 25510 27200,

+30 25510 28358, +30 25510 28484, +30 25510 27700

 
A taxi at Alexandroupoli ferry port, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

A taxi at Alexandroupoli ferry port.
Alexandroupoli
transport
By bus
The KTEL Evrou inter-city bus station in Alexandroupoli, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The KTEL Evrou inter-city bus station in Alexandroupoli.
KTEL Evrou inter-city bus station Alexandroupoli  
Alexandroupoli KTEL Evrou inter-city bus station is in the town centre,
5 blocks north of the waterfront,
10-15 minutes walk from the ferry port and train station.

Odos Eleftheriou Venizelou 36 (corner of Leoforos 14th Maiou),
68100 Alexandroupoli.

A typical, old-fashioned provincial Greek bus station. Still very 1970s.
Not very charming, unless you are a transport-nostalgia fan. Basic ticket windows, snack bar and toilets. The staff are helpful and friendly.

The KTEL Evrou website has little information. The timetables were last updated in 2013. Fare information, in the form of official Greek documents, only available as PDF downloads.
 
KTEL Evrou logo

KTEL Evrou bus company

Ticket office:
+30 25510 26479

KTEL Evrou website:
www.ktelevrou.gr
(Greek only)
International buses  
At time of writing it is difficult (nigh impossible) to find up-to-date information about bus services from Alexandroupoli to Bulgaria and Turkey and other international destinations.

There are said to be daily buses to and from Bulgaria and Turkey, but reliable details are scarce.

For trustworthy information about buses between Turkey and Greece, see Tom Brosnahan's excellent Turkey Travel Planner website:

www.turkeytravelplanner.com/go/Istanbul/Transport/bus_ist_athens.html
 
Inter-city buses  
Inter-city buses in Greece are operated by various regional KTEL bus companies. There is almost no interaction between the companies, and often a bus station or information office run by one company (for example KTEL Macedonia in Thessaloniki) can not provide information about the services of another. Many websites for local KTEL companies are in Greek only, and even then the information is often incorrect or out-of-date. The national KTEL website is now dead, and there is only a telephone service for which there is a charge.

Tickets for inter-city buses can be bought at bus stations, or from the driver if you board the bus from a bus stop along the route. Tickets can not usually be bought in advance or online.

When you buy a ticket you are usually assigned a seat number.

TIP: If you want to enjoy the view out of the window, try to get a seat on the non-sunny-side of the bus (e.g. north; takes some figuring out, and depends on direction of travel and time of day), otherwise the person in the next seat may insist on closing the curtain.

There are usually more buses in summer than in winter.

Although long distances buses should have toilets, often they are "out of order". The buses usually stop for breaks every couple of hours, depending on routes. Ask about the breaks, and complain about bad service - in writing. We are not sure if it will make a difference, but it is worth trying.

Many of the buses travelling between Alexandroupoli and towns to the west (Thessaloniki, Kavala, Xanthi, Komotini) now use the A2 (E90) "Egnatia Odos" motorway (see below) and do not stop at smaller towns or villages.
  Bus tickets For some inexplicable reason, many bus stations will not sell tickets in advance, only on the day of travel. Where you board a bus at a roadside stop, you can buy a ticket either from the driver or a conductor.

Return tickets, where available, are usually a little cheaper.

Be sure to ask the price of a single and return fare ("allez-retour"), especially if you are buying a ticket on the bus itself. Some bus drivers and conductors may charge you for a return ticket if you do not specify you only want a single!

Fare reductions available on some KTEL buses for:
students (25%), people wth special needs (50%), soldiers (25%), families (50%), social tourism workers, groups (by arangement).
Appropriate ID or documentation is required.
 
 

Inside the KTEL Evrou inter-city bus station, Alexandroupoli, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Waiting passengers and the ticket windows in the KTEL Evrou inter-city bus station, Alexandroupoli.

Buses to / from Athens

In Athens, buses to/from destinations in northern Greece, depart and arrive
at the Kifissou Street KTEL Bus Station, also known as Teminal A.

KTEL Kifissou, 100 Odos Kifisou, Kifissos, 104 42 Athens.

Ticket office: +30 2310 595439

Teminal A is quite distance from Athens centre. See: How to get to Macedonia, Greece

KTEL ticket office at Omonia Square, central Athens:
59 Sokrates Street, Omonia Square.
Tel: +30 210 5237889
Mon-Fri 7:00 - 17:00, Sat: 7:30 - 15:30, Sunday closed.

The bus stations in Athens have no website (why?), and currently the only source of information about schedules and fares are photocopied pages from the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO).

There is no information about the routes buses take or at which places they stop along the way.

Athens - Alexandroupoli

8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 16:30 (except Saturday), 17:00 (Saturday only), 20:30 (except Saturday)

Alexandroupoli - Athens

8:00, 11:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:45

Journey time 11-12 hours.
Tickets: one-way 71 Euros, return 110 Euros.

12 hours on a bus can be quite a strain. Consider a stop-off in Kavala (see below) or Thessaloniki,
both fascinating cities.

Buses to / from Thessaloniki

KTEL Macedonia inter-city bus station, Thessaloniki
Giannitson Street 194.
5 km west of the city centre.

Ticket office: +30 2310 59 54 69

For information about getting to and from the bus station, see How to get to Macedonia, Greece.

There are 7 buses a day each way (8 on Fridays) via Xanthi and Komotini.

Some buses stop at Kavala (see below).

Most buses continue on to Provatonas, Ferres, Soufli, Didymoteicho and Orestiada (see below).

Distance 352 km.
Journey time around 4 hours (buses via Kavala 4:30 hours).
Tickets: one-way 29 Euros, return 45 Euros

Latest timetable and fare information on the website of KTEL Macedonia bus station, Thessaloniki:

ktelmacedonia.gr/en/routes/&tid=8 (Greek and English)

Unfortunately, the website does give not details of which routes the buses take or at which towns or villages they stop. If you want to visit other places on the way, such as Xanthi and Komotini (see below), the same website has details of buses between those cities and Thessaloniki only.

Buses to / from Kavala

KTEL Kavalas inter-city bus station
4 Mitropolitou Kavalas Street, Kavala.
on the corner of Filikis Eterias Street.

In the city centre, near the harbour, 5 minutes walk from the ferry terminal.

Tel: 2510 22 22 94

Ticket office: +30 2510 23 22 67

website: www.ktelkavalas.gr

See also: How to get to Kavala

There are 5 buses a day.

Some buses between Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli stop at Kavala.

Distance 149 km. Journey time around 2 hours 30 minutes.
Tickets: one-way 14.90 Euros, return 26.90 Euros

Kavala - Alexandroupoli
Monday to Friday 10:00, 13:15, 16:45, 20:30, 1:45
Saturday 10:00, 13:15, 16:45, 20:30, 1:30
Sundays and Holidays 10:00, 13:15, 16:45, 20:30, 1:30

Alexandroupoli - Kavala
5-7 buses per day, schedule unavailable.

Buses to / from Thracian towns

Villages and suburbs around Alexandroupoli are served by local buses run by Urban KTEL of Evros.

Xanthi and Komotini

Xanthi (121 km) and Komotini (68 km), west of Alexandroupoli (see map below),
are the other two largest cities in Thrace.

Buses between Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli usually stop at Xanthi and Komotini.
(some also stop at Kavala).

Villages near these cities are served by local bus services.

KTEL Xanthi (ΚΤΕΛ Ξάνθης) inter-city bus station

6 Dimokritou Street, 67100 Xanthi.

Booking office: +30 25410 22684

Website: www.ktelxanthis.gr (Greek only)

A very slick looking website with very little useful information for travellers.
Tickets Alexandroupoli - Xanthi: one-way 10.50 Euros, return 18.90 Euros.

KTEL Komotini (ΚΤΕΛ Κομοτηνής) inter-city bus station

15 Georgiadou Mameli Street, 69100 Komotini.

In the centre, just south of the EO2 National Road which runs through the city.

Booking office: +30 25310 22912

Website: www.ktelrodopis.gr (Greek only)

Komotini-Alexandroupoli 9 buses a day each way.

There is no information about fares to/from Alexandroupoli, but they should be cheaper than for Xanthi.

Towns north of Alexandroupoli

There are 7 buses a day (8 on Saturday) from Thessaloniki, via Xanthi, Komotini, and Alexandroupoli,
to towns and villages northwards along the Evros valley:

Provatonas - Ferres - Soufli - Didymoteicho - Orestiada

Most of the buses run directly from Thessaloniki, while some require a change at Alexandroupoli.

Some buses stop at Kavala. "EXPRESS" buses do not stop at Kavala or Xanthi.

The KTEL Evrou website shows fares to some towns from Thessaloniki, Athens, Kavala and Xanthi,
but strangely not from Alexandroupoli or Komotini, or between one town and another.
There is also no information about distances or journey times.

Provatonas (Προβατώνα)
A village 46 km northeast of Alexandroupoli.
Fare to/from Thessaloniki: one-way €33.20

Ferres (Φέρες)
Booking office: 25550 22219
Fares:
Thessaloniki one-way €31.70, return €49.60
Alexandroupoli €2.30

Soufli (Σουφλί)
Booking office: 25540 22291
Fares:
Athens one-way €77, return €120
Thessaloniki one-way €35, return €55
Kavala one-way €20.90, return €37.70
Xanthi one-way €16.50, return €29.70
Alexandroupoli €5 (1.5 hours)
Didymoteicho (Διδυμότειχο)
Booking office: 25530 22366
Fares:
Athens one-way €79.60, return €124
Thessaloniki one-way €37.60, return €59
Kavala one-way €23.50, return €42.30
Xanthi one-way €19.10, return €34.40
Alexandroupoli €7.20 (1 hour 45 minutes)

Orestiada (Ορεστιάδα)
108 km north of Alexandroupoli.
Booking office: 25520 22550
Fares:
Athens one-way €81.50, return €127.50
Thessaloniki one-way €39.59, return €62.50
Kavala one-way €25.40, return €45.80
Xanthi one-way €21, return €37.80
Alexandroupoli €8.70 (2 hours)

Villages north of Alexandroupoli

There is very little reliable or up-to-date information available about public transport to villages
in Thrace beyond the main routes (e.g. Megalo and Mikro Dereio, Koufovouno).
Where bus services exist, they operate from local towns.

For example, buses for the villages Ormenio [1] and Dikea on the Bulgarian border
apparently operate from Orestiada, although further details are not available.

For buses to Ormenio, contact KTEL Evrou (see above).

Trains run to Dikea from Alexandroupoli (see below).

There is said to be 3 buses daily to Kipoi (Κήποι) on the Turkish border,
but we have found no further details.

 
 

The KTEL Evrou bus station in Didymoteicho, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Passengers at the KTEL Evrou bus station in Didymoteicho wait for the early morning bus to Alexandroupoli.

Alexandroupoli
transport
By train
The Alexandroupoli railway station, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The Alexandroupoli railway station near the ferry port.
In September 2011 all international trains to and from Greece were suspended.

Since 2014 train services have been operating again between
Thessaloniki and Sofia, Bulgaria and Skopje, FYR Macedonia.


See: How to get to Macedonia, Greece: International trains
 
Trains in Greece are run by OSE (Ο.Σ.Ε.):
www.ose.gr (Greek and English)

Train schedule and fare information at Trainose, the official OSE website for passenger train information: www.trainose.gr (Greek and English).

The site has recently improved its information in English. However, rather than show timetables and fares, you have to use the ticket booking interface, name the desired departure and destination stations and enter planned date of travel. The site then shows the trains and fares for that particular journey on that day. There is no information about other stations along the route.

Alexandroupoli railway station

(Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός Αλεξανδρούπολης,
Sidirodromikos Stathmos Alexandroupolis)

The station is also referred to as Alexandroupoli Port.

Odos Karaoli 73-75.

Tel: +30 25510 26395

The station is on the seafront, just to the east of the ferry port, and 10-15 minutes walk from the KTEL inter-city bus station.

The bus station for local buses (see above) around town and to the suburbs, is just outside the train station.

For details about train stations in Athens, Thessaloniki and Central Macedonia, and a timetable for Athens-Thessaloniki trains, see How to get to Macedonia, Greece: by train
 
An OSE Athens-Thessaloniki train arrives in Livadia, Central Greece at My Favourite Planet

An OSE (Ο.Σ.Ε.) Athens-Thessaloniki train
arrives in Livadia, Central Greece.


Trains to / from Athens

Journey time 12 - 15 hours.

Athens - Alexandroupoli

1 direct train per day.
Depart Athens 23:55,
arrive Alexandroupoli 14:13.
Single fare 38 Euros.

1 train per day with a change at Thessaloniki.
7:18, arrive Thessaloniki 12:41.
OR
10:18, arrive Thessaloniki 15:41.
Depart Thessaloniki 16:01,
arrive Alexandroupoli 22:36.
Single fare 62.80 Euros.
Alexandroupoli - Athens

1 direct train per day.
Depart Alexandroupoli 15:11,
arrive Athens 5:01.
Single fare 38 Euros.

1 train per day with a change at Thessaloniki.
6:43, arrive Thessaloniki 13:12.
Depart Thessaloniki 15:04,
arrive Athens 20:24.
Fare 62.80 Euros.

Trains to / from Thessaloniki

The west-east railway line from Thessaloniki to Alexandroupoli follows an inland route, via Strymona, Serres, Drama, Xanthi, Komotini and Mesti.

Journey time around 7 hours.
Fare 17.40 Euros.

Thessaloniki - Alexandroupoli
2 trains per day:
Depart 6:55, arrive 14:13.
Depart 16:01, arrive 22:36.
  Alexandroupoli - Thessaloniki
2 trains per day:
Depart 6:43, arrive 13:12.
Depart 15:11, arrive 22:22

Along the route, there are regular bus connections between Drama and the port of Kavala (36 km).
The archaeological site of Philippi (recommended) is on the highway and bus route between
Drama and Kavala, so it possible to visit it en route.

There are also regular buses between Serres and Amphipolis (60 km).

Trains to / from Dikea

The north-south line between Alexandroupoli and the village of Dikea (or Dikaia; Greek, Δίκαια)
near the Bulgarian border, and 15 km southeast of the nearest Bulgarian town Svilengrad.

There is no public transport between Dikea and the Bulgarian border.

From Alexandroupoli the line runs up the west bank of the Evros River, stopping at the following Thracian towns:

Feres, Soufli, Didymoteicho, Orestiada, Pythio, Kastanies and Dikea.

There are 3 trains a day each way.

Alexandroupoli - Dikea
7:55, arrive 10:20
14:41, arrive 17:06
22:36, arrive 01:01
  Dikea - Alexandroupoli
4:11, arrive 6:43
12:08, arrive 14:38
19:05, arrive 21:33
Journey time 2 hours 25 minutes.
Fare 5.10 Euros.

Dikea train station: +30 25560 31210
Border office: +30 25560 41244
National Tourism Organization office: +30 25560 41700

For further information about rail transport to, from and around Macedonia (e.g. between Athens and Thessaloniki),
see: How to get to Macedonia, Greece: by train
Alexandroupoli
transport
By ferry
The ticket booth for ferries to Samothraki at Alexandroupoli harbour, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The ticket booth for ferries to Samothraki at Alexandroupoli harbour.
There are frequent ferry connections to Samothraki island (Samothrace).

Ferries to Limnos and connections to other islands have been suspended indefinitely.

Flying Dolphins

The Flying Dolphin hydrofoil ferry service between Alexandroupoli and Samothraki
has been suspended indefinitely.

Alexandroupolis - Samothraki

The SAOS II car ferry sails from Alexandroupoli to Samothraki and back
once a day Monday - Friday.
Schedules change constantly.
In summer there is a sailing every day, on some days two.

The crossing takes around 2 hours 30 minutes.

The Economy one-way fare is 9.60 € or 14.50 €, depending on which ferry you take;
the cheaper fare is subsidized.

The ferry is operated by SAOS ANES Lines.
For current schedules and fares see: www.saos.gr (in Greek, English, Italian and German)

Since the ferry is quite large, the crossing is usually comfortable, and in fine weather there are good views of the Thracian coast and the approach to the dramatic form of Samothraki.
 
 
The Saos II ferry leaves Alexandroupoli harbour for Samothraki, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The Saos II ferry leaves Alexandroupoli harbour for Samothraki, July 2015.
 
Alexandroupoli ferry port, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Alexandroupoli ferry port on an untypically grey day in August. Since the cutbacks caused by
the Greek economic crisis many ferry services in the Northern Aegean have been suspended.
At present only ferries to Samothraki sail from this port which now often looks quite deserted.
Alexandroupoli
transport
By road

The Egnatia Odos A2 motorway through Macedonia and Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Heading east along the Egnatia Odos motorway A2 (E90) between Kavala and Xanthi.
To the north rise the Rhodope Mountains which divide Greece from Bulgaria.
Numerous firms in Greece rent a variety of cars, vans, motorbikes and scooters.
At present it is beyond the scope of this website to recommend companies.

There are two main roads which run west-east through Macedonia and Thrace,
between Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli, and on towards Turkey.
Two other routes run north from Alexandroupoli to the Bulgarian border.
 
west - east roads  
By motorway

The new A2 (E90) "Egnatia Odos" motorway across northern Greece,
from Epirus in the west, via Thessaloniki, Kavala, Xanthi, Komotini
and Alexandroupoli, to the Turkish border and on to Istanbul.

See www.egnatia.eu

This is quickest way to Alexandroupoli, taking around 5 hours from Thessaloniki,
and 5 hours from Istanbul.

NOTE: Greek motorways are toll roads. During the recent economic crisis, Greeks have complained that the tolls are far too expensive, and many are avoiding the motorways and using the old national roads.

Information about motorways and roads in Greece, including maps:
www.greek-motorway.net

Turkish motorways (otoyols) are also toll roads. You can not pay tolls in Turkey by cash or credit card and must buy a "HGS" electronic-chip sticker or a toll transponder from a post office or participating Shell fuel station.

See Practical information for Turkey.

 

A2 Egnatia Odos motorway, Macedonia, Greece

A2 "Egnatia Odos"
motorway
 
E90 Egnatia Odos motorway, Macedonia, Greece

E90 "Egnatia Odos"
motorway
 

The National Road EO2 passes through the western suburbs of Alexandroupoli, Thrace, Greece at My Favourite Planet

National Road EO2, the old Odos Egnatias, passes through the coastal suburbs west of Alexandroupoli.
Local buses (see above) service the suburbs, villages and beaches along this road.
For information about local beaches see page 5: Sightseeing.
The old National Road EO2

(Greek, Εθνική Οδός 2, Ethniki Odos 2, abbreviated as EO2)

Before the motorway was built, this was known as the Odos Egnatias, roughly following the route of the ancient Roman Via Egnatia (see History of Stageira and Olympiada Part 7) from the Albanian border across northern Greece to the Turkish border. Between the Albanian border and Thessaloniki the road is part of European route E86.

It is a bit slower, but it is a more pleasant drive, with less traffic; and if you're on a bicycle it is the least challenging route.

From the northeast of Thessaloniki the road heads east, passing south of Koroneia and Bolbe (Volvi) lakes, and the ancient city of Apollonia (near the village of Nea Apollonia) and a Byzantine fortress at Rentina.

After passing through the wooded Vale of Rentina the route arrives at the Strymonic Gulf and the east coast of Halkidiki just north of Stavros (turn off for Ancient Stageira), then follows the coast through Asprovalta, to the mouth of The River Strymon (turn off north for Amphipolis and Serres).

Between the Strymon and Kavala the road hugs the coast along the foot of the south slope of Mount Simvolo (Όρος Σύμβολο). Along this isolated stretch there are a few seaside villages and service stations. The road passes through the centre of Kavala.

After Kavala the EO2 heads inland towards Xanthi and Komotini on the Thracian Plain, then after Komotini back to the sea at Ennato (Έννατο) 2 km east of Makri (Μακρή) and 10 km west of Alexandroupoli. It passes through the centre of Alexandroupoli as Leoforos Dimokratias, just north of the port.

Continuing east from Alexandroupoli, the road merges with the A2 (E90) motorway (see above) 1 km before the Feres-Ipsala border crossing with Turkey and the bridge over the Evros River. On the Turkish side of the border the road is known as E84 to Tekirdağ and Istanbul.

The great thing about this road, apart from the wonderful scenery and the places it passes through, is that there are many beaches en route. Take a break, have a picnic, go for a swim.
 
Greek National Road 2 (EO2), Macedonia, Greece

EO2 National Road
north - south roads  
Greek National Road EO51 / E85

(Greek, Εθνική Οδός 51, Ethniki Odos 51, abbreviated as EO51)

Part of European route E85

The EO51 begins (or ends, depending where you a coming from) near Alexandroupoli and runs north 183 km, along the west side of the Evros River, through the towns of Feres, Soufli, Didymoteicho and Orestiada, Kastanies (Καστανιές, turn east for the Turkish border and Edirne), to Ormenio (Ορμένιο) [1], 7 km southeast of the Bulgarian border crossing Kapitan Petko Voyvoda-Ormenion. The next town after the border is Svilengrad (Свиленград), 8 km northwest.

The start of the road is 34 km east of Alexandroupoli, 6 km northeast of the village of Feres (Φέρες), just before the village of Ardani (Αρδάνι). It branches off north (left) from the EO2 (see above) which continues to Turkish border.

European route E85 is part of the International E-road network, which is a series of main roads in Europe. The 2,300 km (1,400 mile) long road runs north from Alexandroupoli, Greece through Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, and ends at Klaipeda, Lithuania.

On the east side of the Evros River the E80 Istanbul-Plovdiv highway passes through the border towns of Edirne (Turkey) and Svilengrad (Bulgaria). The Turkish stretch of the road is the motorway Avrupa Otoyolu 03 (TEM İstanbul-Edirne Otoyolu); the Bulgarian part is numbered 8.
 

Greek National Road 51 (EO51), Thrace, Greece

EO51 National Road
 
European route 85, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece

European Route 85
Greek National Road EO53

(Greek, Εθνική Οδός 53, Ethniki Odos 53, abbreviated as EO53)

A single carriageway road between the centre of Alexandroupoli and the village of Ormenio (Ορμένιο) [1] on the Bulgarian border.

This is the real scenic route, one of Thrace's more interesting, if slower, country roads.

The road begins in the centre of Alexandroupoli as Nikomidias Street, north of Leoforos Dimokratias, one of the city's main west-east avenues and part of National Road EO2. After 150 metres and a right turn it becomes Elenis Filippidi Street which bends to the left, and after crossing the railway tracks becomes Avantos. Heading north out of the city the road leaves the urban sprawl and the coastal plain and heads for the Thracian hills.

Winding through the woods and farmlands in the foothills of the Rhodope mountains, it passes through the villages of Aisymi (Αισύμη), Mikro Dereio (Μικρό Δέρειο), Metaxades (Μεταξάδες) and Kyprinos (Κυπρίνο).

At its northern end the road joins the EO51 at Ormenio (see above). Because of its twists and turns through the hills, at some places with steep gradients, the road is much longer than the EO51 and takes a lot longer to drive. Estimated journey time from Alexandroupoli to Ormenio at least 4 hours.


NOTES

1. Ormenio (Greek, Ορμένιο; Bulgarian, Черномен; Chernomen, Turkish, Çirmen), part of the Trigono municipal unit in the Evros regional unit of Thrace, is the northernmost settlement in Greece. The village is 2 km from the Evros River and the Greek-Bulgarian border at Kapitan Petko Wojwoda-Ormenio.

 
Greek National Road 53 (EO53), Thrace, Greece

EO53 National Road
Alexandroupoli Area map
Interactive map of Macedonia, Thrace, Central Greece and the Aegean at My Favourite Planet

Interactive map of Macedonia, Thrace, Central Greece and the Aegean.

Colour key for Greek island groups (west-east)

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