a VirtualTourist member
I'm travelling in June from Igoumenitsa to Athens (return) and need some info re: the route and KTEL buses.
Have read tales about the roads that the bus takes are very dangerous in places (e.g very narrow mountain roads with no barriers and steep drops, hairpin bends and unsurfaced roads) also that the KTEL buses are dirty, crowded, have no air-con...
Does anyone know the truth about the route/journey and the KTEL buses? Also, if KTEL are bad, are there any other companies that run the route?
(p.s ferry from Patra to Igoumsnitsa is a last resort for us and flying is not an option - awkward, I know)
Any help will be very gratefully received as getting a bit stressed about it :)
Wow, it sounds like your info is from 40 years ago(!) ;-)
I have taken buses 30-40 years ago in the Peloponnesos, and, yes, there were 2 lane roads in the mountainous areas with sharp turns and "scenic" drop-offs...but nobody was driving like a maniac (this is why it took a long time to get anywhere)...AND in the meantime, Greece has built a number of modern highways through the Peloponnesos so your exposure to such roads is now limited.
I haven't been on the stretch from Patras to Igoumenitsa, but in looking at the map, I see a major highway, the E55, all the way, so I am presuming that the road there is safe too.
Oh, I've never taken KTEL buses, but since the rail system really isn't practical in Greece, the bus is the way to go most inland places, although Igoumenitsa is about as far northwest as you can go in Greece, and still be in Greece.
I hope someone else will stop by with some alternatives...
Let put your worries at rest, youwill Travel on motorway 1 from Athens and than join Egnatia Odos motorway, and both are in very good condition, latter one is about 7-8 yrs old.
KTEL buses atleast the ones i use ( and use them quite regulary are v modern and very clean.
They are Green and cream.
Only gripe i personaly have with KTEL is that they dont have one deddicated Website, but every perfecture ( Council/town) has their own, so there are 67 KTEL websites and most of them are in Greek, nö English choice,some of them only have Telephone numberes and for smaller towns Info is hard to come by.
Dont worry you will be fine, the Forward fom Lamia, Trikala, Metsovo, to Ioannina is breathtaking, also is Fun going trought all of those tunells all the way Igummenitca ...
-buses are modern, clean and have air condition, from Patras you may even see a double decker bus.
-the roads are just ok but yes they are narrow on some parts (very scenic though) but have in mind that the route Patras-Athens isnt the best too with never ending constructions the last 3000 years...
-Greek drivers are as bad as most in the mediteranean area
-KTEL is the only option from Igumenitsa but you'll be fine, dont worry
Thank you for all your help! If I have any more issues, I know where to come!
One more question :) is the route the same regardless of whether the bus stops at Patras on way to Athens, or if if goes direct from igoumenitsa to Athens?
Thanks in advance
it goes directly to Athens (maybe there's a stop or two near Igoumenitsa at some small town), so no stop at Patras. After the Rio bridge the route is the same with the bus from Patras.
there are 3 buses from Igoumenitsa to Athens, at 8.15, 12.00 and 20.00, you have to confirm again closer to June (call KTEL at Igoumenitsa at 2665022309)
Thank you! :)
Have you considered renting a car? If you have an experienced driver, then you can go at your own pace and you will be able to go off the main roads to stop and visit the small towns and villages as you travel. I have driven this route many, many, many times and I did not find anything so scary as you have fantasized. Having your own car allows you the comfort and the safety you are looking for. Will you have been in Corfu? If so, you will find car rentals, I suppose, that will allow you to drop your car in Athens or at the El. Venezelous International Airport in Athens. If you want, I could check my car rental, where I rent my car and have them check.
Hi [VT member 74ef1], I had searched quite a few rental company and the extra fare for picking a car in Athens and then dropping off in Igoumenitsa was very expensive. Can you share your car rental company which can provide better fare? Thanks.
Does anyone know the timing of the bus from Rion or Patras to Igoumenitsa? Can I buy the ticket on the bus or is there some other place where I can buy the ticket? I need to get to Corfu so does the bus get to Igoumenitsa in time to catch the last ferry to Corfu. Thanks a lot.