Earth > Europe > Southern Europe > Balkans > Greece > Athens
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Athens is the capital of Greece.
Around Athens people are generally suspicious about hitchhikers. It can take a long time before someone stops.
North to Thessaloniki, Macedonia (E75)
Option 1. Take the metro from the center north to Nea Ionia station. (Suggestion: When you get off from the metro, take the bus no. 724 (it starts from here, you can't miss the direction) and get off at stop "Gymnasio" that is 10th stop and just walk 50m. Way better than to walk few kilometers as described in next lines). From the exit of the metro station, turn right, go down a few dozen meters, and go under the tunnel. This is the start of Odos Elevtheriou Venizelou. Walk up this street to Odos Tatoiou and turn right. Walk straight for a few kilometers until the road rises to become a bridge over a large motorway. Note that you will cross ringroad/highway E-94 (A6) first, but continue straight until you get to the bridge going over highway E-75 (A1). Don't go up the bridge, but rather take the road that stays below the bridge and runs to the right side. This is signposted Lamia, one of the first major cities north of Athens. The best time to get a lift is the early morning when local people are driving to work in more distant communities. Eventually someone will stop who can take you far enough north that you can escape the Athens metropolitan area and get long distance rides. For Macedonia, turn left about a kilometer after the enormous toll booth plaza before Thessaloniki.
Option 2. Take the green "metro" to the final station Kifisia. Find the bus 509 (not exactly at the station, it is on a nearby parallel street. Ask around.) in the direction ΚΥΝΟΥΡΙΑΣ and get off at the stop 6η ΚΡΥΟΝΕΡΙΟΥ. Go straight and there you will see a turn right. This is taking you to the national road, going parallel with the highway (don't go to the highway yet) and walk on this road. In like 4 kilometers there is a toll station (the best spot!) on the highway. Walkable distance, but there are spots where you can stop and hitch.
E.g. a Lidl supermarket, where you can buy supplies for yourself for the road. Or something like a car repair shop like 500 m later. Ask people if the are going your direction, and if they can take you for 3 kilometers to the toll station. They are friendly and somebody will take you.
Note: it seems that bus 508 does not operate anymore, but if you happen to see one, it is the better option, get on! Take it to Neo Terma and you are much closer to the toll station. (like 2 kilometers)
When you are at the toll, hitch with or without a sign. Everybody is going in the same direction. Very important! Refuse rides who would take you to the toll station before Halkida. That station is abandoned and cars are only slowing down a bit. Much worse spot. Stay here and wait for somebody who will take you further.
Anywhere you hitch from, try to get a lift going at least to the town/village called Oinofyta. 10km before that there is a huge gas station called Autogrill where you can get long lifts if you are lucky. In Greece it is also no problem to hitch on the actual highway as long as you are far enough from the city suburbs.
For a place to sleep before Thessaloniki, there is a great 24 hour rest area/gas station called Olympus plaza(olympusplaza.gr). It is 10km east of Katerini and has free wifi, showers and comfortable couches you can sleep on. Workers were really nice when Sma asked if she could sleep there, they said "of course!".
Southwest to Patras and the Peloponnesos (E94)
- Bus A16 from Aigaleo Metro Station (end of blue line)
- Bus B16 from Metaxourgio Metro Station (Red Line)
- Bus 865 200m from Eleonas Metro Station (blue line)
Get off at 1st Aerodromiou Stop or Levkes Stop. There you will see the connection with National Road 8 (N8).
In the suburb of Aspropyrgos, in west Athens, there is a truck-stop well known and used by truck-drivers. There are many trucks from western and northern Europe which means that hitchers will have very good chances of getting a lift to the port-city of Patras and possibly even beyond into Europe.
The truck stop is at the 17th km of National Road Athens-Korinthos (Athinon-Korinthou). Ιt seems this is where Halivas Cement Company is. It's a huge area and bus drivers and people know it.
Take Suburban Train Piraeus-Kiato from Piraeus or Athens aka Larissis Train Station-be careful when you ask because there is Larissa city far from Athens. The train station is next to the red line metro station with the same name.
- There are almost no controllers on that train. I have taken it 5-6 times last two months (April-May 2010) usually on Fridays and Sundays and have seen no controllers. My girlfriend neither in different occasions. Regular ticket is EUR 6.
Get off at last stop "KIATO". Walk straight from the right side of the railway line to the motorway you see. There turn right. After 20m there is a left turn to Egio, Patras. You can easily hitchhike there.
(please be aware that Parking (Rest Area Kiato) on the way to Patras dosn't work anymore).
Eleusina Toll Station.
Southeast towards Sounio
To go along the coast, take tram 5 from Sintagma or Sigrou-Fix and get off at the last station: Asklipio Voulas. A little ahead there is a good spot to start hitch-hiking from.
From the northbound hitchhiking point, go up the stairs, across the bridge to the other side of the motorway, take the stairs down, and then walk a few meters south. You'll find a small wooded area surrounded by a fence. The gate of this is open, you just have to look for it. Surrounded on all sides by motorway and away from any normal pedestrian avenues, this is a pretty safe place to camp for the night, even pitch a tent. The large amount of trees means you won't be seen by the cars, which pass by rather fast.
Blackriding is possible .Controllers lately don't wear the the dark blue uniform nor name tag. In the metro sometimes the hide behind the turns of the connecting corridors. Good news is they are as rare as elephants in Athens. It's very possible to run into them between the last and the first 2-3 days of the month. Look for used tickets in entry/exit points or validating machines.Tickets of 1.40e or 0.70e student tickets are valid for 90min. after first validation.