Travel planning

Travel dolphinProject participants will be expected to reach Vonitsa on their own.

Here are some useful tips!

For detail on Rendezvous Point and time and much more download the complete IDP EXPEDITION BRIEFING.

 

Getting to Vonitsa

Overland to Greece and Athens

  • Several FERRY companies operate between Italy and Ionian Greece. The arrival harbor is Igoumenitsa, approximately 100 kilometers north of Vonitsa. From Igoumenitsa, one can get a bus to Preveza or Lefkada and then take another bus to Vonitsa. Igoumenitsa bus station tel. (+30) 26650 22309.

Minoan Ferries http://www.minoan.gr/

Anek – Superfast ferries http://www.anek-superfast.gr

Various ferries companies http://www.greekferries.gr

Ferry_Italy-GreeceMAP

 

You may also travel comfortably overland by TRAIN, for instance, from the UK through the Balkans, via Brussels, Cologne, Vienna, Budapest, Transylvania and by Mount Olympus on the train from Salonika to Athens. All travel is by InterCity service and on sleeper trains.

For overland travel to Greece:

•          www.seat61.com

This website takes you step by step through how to book your travel and the options available for rail, ferry and bus travel around the world but particularly in Europe.

•          www.raileurope.co.uk

You can book European train travel through this website

 

Flying to Athens (ATH)

Athens

Regular flights to Athens originate from all over Europe.

 

  • Overland from Athens to Vonitsa

Reaching the village of Vonitsa is relatively simple. Most volunteers take a bus from Athens directly to Vonitsa. This takes about 5 hours and is the cheapest way to get there. Those coming by bus from Athens, if leaving the same day of the rendezvous, should take the bus that leaves from the Kifisos Central Bus Station at 9:00 a.m. and should arrive in Vonitsa around 14:00 p.m.

Alternatively, for those with a more flexible schedule:

Departure times from Athens→Vonitsa: 9:00, 12:00, 17:00

Departure times Vonitsa→Athens: 6:20, 9:00*, 12:30, 15:15, 18:30

(*Recommended time considering that project participants will be required to leave the field base by 10.00 on their departure date)

 

Athens Kifisos Central Bus Station Terminal A (they normally speak English)

Address: Leforio Kifisou 100

Tel: +30 210 5124910 / 5132601

The bus usually stops a couple of times with no announcements and the trip costs approximately 35 Euro. Those of you knowing that will be heading back to Athens on the departure date using the same means of transport may save some money by buying a return ticket (about 55 Euro).

There are Express Airport Bus connections between the airport and the Athens centre on a 24-hour basis. Buses leave the airport terminal every ~30 minutes. To reach the Kifisos Central Bus Station from the airport take the bus route X93 (price: ~5 Euro): Athens Airport – Kifisos Intercity Bus Station. Get off at the last stop (end of the line). This trip takes about 60-90 min depending on traffic. Alternatively, you may take a taxi (40-50 Euro, 30-50 min drive).

Bus tickets can only be purchased from the little blue and yellow kiosk just outside of the terminal doors. Theoretically, bus drivers can also sell the tickets, but this is not always the case. At the airport, take Exit 5 and turn left to buy your ticket at the kiosk. The bus stops are next to it.

Please note that if you get caught without a ticket, you will be fined 60 times the amount of the bus ticket, payable on demand. If you forget to validate your ticket, the same penalty applies.

For those staying overnight in Athens, catching a bus from the airport to the center of Athens is easy. Before you leave the terminal make sure to pick up a brochure explaining the various routes and bus numbers. They are free and plentiful at the numerous Plexiglas units.

A faster and more comfortable way to reach Vonitsa once you land at the Athens airport, although obviously more expensive, is to take a taxi. This should cost about 300-400 Euro and takes approximately three-four hours. If this is your choice, you may want to check this link to taxi driver George Kokkotos provided by a past volunteer: http://www.greecetravel.com/taxi/

 Flying to Preveza-Aktio (PVK)

During the summer months, May – September, charter flights are available from across Europe to Preveza-Aktio airport. Domestic airlines used to fly here but these flights stopped in 2010. Preveza-Aktio airport is 10 kilometers west of Vonitsa. Volunteers arriving by plane at Preveza-Aktio airport can easily get to Vonitsa by taxi (approximately 25-30 Euro, 15 min drive), you should ask to be left on the seaside, near the Hotel Pegasus or Bel Mare.

 

Flying to Thessaloniki (SKG)

Thessaloniki

Regular flights to Thessaloniki Airport originate from all over Europe. This airport may be a relatively cheaper option because Ryanair and other low-cost companies operate there.

For info on Thessaloniki visit:

http://www.thessaloniki.travel/index.php/en/
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/greece/northern-greece/thessaloniki

 

  • Overland from Thessaloniki to Vonitsa

The most frequently used option to get to Vonitsa from Thessaloniki is by bus. Thessaloniki has a very modern and well connected bus station; the Macedonia Intercity Bus Station. There is no direct bust to Vonitsa, but you can get a bus to Preveza or Lefkada, which are both at about 20 km from Vonitsa. The bus to these two destinations from Thessaloniki take about 5 hours. Check the following links for departure times and fares or call the Macedonia Intercity Bus Station ticket office at (+30) 2310216000.

Bus Thessaloniki-Preveza http://ktelmacedonia.gr/en/routes/tid=31

Bus Thessaloniki-Lefkada http://ktelmacedonia.gr/en/routes/tid=25

From Preveza or Lefkada you can get easily to Vonitsa by bus (for about 3 EUR) or taxi (for about 30 EUR) in less than 30 min.

 

Early arrival

For logistical and other reasons, it is impossible to welcome volunteers at the field station before the rendezvous time. You are advised not to arrive early at the project site; however, those who plan to arrive in Greece one or more days early may want to book a hotel in Lefkada (see below for tips on nearby interesting areas). Lefkada is not far from the Preveza-Aktio airport and has lots of accommodation and restaurants. The city’s economy is based largely on tourism and English is commonly spoken. You can get to Lefkada via taxi from the Preveza-Aktio airport (approximately 25 Euro, 15-minute drive).

Alternatively, volunteers arriving one or more days early may travel directly to Vonitsa and stay at one of its three hotels (see map above). However, English is not spoken much in Vonitsa.

• Hotel Bel Mare

Tel: +30 26430 22394 / 22563

Room prices approximately 40-60 Euro per person, depending on season and room availability

• Hotel Vonitsa (recommended)

Tel: +30 26430 22565 / 22594 / 22595

Room prices approximately 40-60 Euro per person, depending on season and room availability

Please arrange your travel details so you can reach Vonitsa at your team’s scheduled rendezvous time. If your flight/ferry/bus is delayed and/or you miss the rendezvous, call Joan Gonzalvo (mobile +30 69794-28717) or the project field station (+30 26430-23861).

 

Departure

On the departure date, all volunteers should leave the field base by 10:00 a.m. Those flying from Athens and going there by bus should keep in mind that the public bus leaves Vonitsa at 9:00 a.m. and arrives in Athens by 2:00 p.m. This means that you will be arriving at the Athens airport by 3:30-4:00 p.m. It would be preferable to schedule an evening flight. Those flying from the Preveza-Aktio airport should remember that the taxi ride from Vonitsa takes about 15-20 minutes. It would be preferable to schedule a morning flight. The research staff will arrange the taxi reservations for the departures, and will provide information on other means of public transportation. If you wish to stay longer, you may consider booking a hotel (e.g. in Lefkada). See Early Arrival above for more information.