Athens to Thessaloniki

Local train 3520 pulls into Avlon en route to Lianokladi - © Apostolos Anastasiadis
Volos Station is one of the most beautiful examples of railway architecture in Greece. Designed by the famed Italian engineer Evaristo De Chirico,it was inaugurated in 1884 and for many decades,has been the jewel of the Thessalia - © Apostolos Anastasiadis
Corinth Canal - © Pixabay
Corinth Canal - © Pixabay
Delphi Amphitheatre - © Pixabay
Pireaus - © Pixabay
Pireaus Railway station - © Pixabay

Holiday Highlights

  • Delphi day trip
  • Little Train of Pelion
  • Corinth Canal
  • Pireaus boat trip
  • 11 Days from £1,280pp
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Series 4, Episode 4, Great Continental Rail Journeys. We again follow in the footsteps of Michael Portillo as he embarks on a Greek odyssey from the Athens's port of Piraeus travelling north to the city of Thessaloniki. Visit the Corinth Canal where Michael found out about the surprisingly ancient origins of the modern railway. This journey also includes one of the narrowest gauge railways in the world, the Little Train of Pelion.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – To Athens

Afternoon flight with BA from Heathrow to Athens International. Private transfer to hotel in Athens for 4 nights.

Day 2 – Athens's port of Piraeus

Take the train from Athens to Piraeus and a ferry across to Aegina before retracing your steps to Athens.

Day 3 – Delphi

A full day escorted tour by coach to Delphi to see the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo. Take a drive through the fertile plain of Boeotia, passing the towns of Thebes (connected with the tragedy of King Oedipus), Levadia and Arachova, famous for its colourful rugs and carpets, and enjoy a short stop. Then we arrive at Delphi, the centre of the ancient world, called the 'Omphalos' (navel of the earth), whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. Visit the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo, and the Museum containing masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture including the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete, Aghias.

Day 4 – Acropolis of Athens

A free day to explore Athens. Visit the Acropolis, taste moussaka and baklava and explore as you wish.

Day 5 – Corinth Canal

Take the train to Corinth for a day trip to see the canal and maybe even take a cruise through along it.

Day 6 – Athens to Volos

Take the train from Athens to Larissa and onwards to Volos. The Larissa to Volos line is currently operated by bus. Stay in Volos for 2 nights.

Day 7 – The Little Train of Pelion

Take the bus from Volos to Ano Lehonia Railway Station for the Little Train of Pelion. The train normally operates from spring until autumn. During this period one cyclical trip is made in the mountainous part of the line, which is the only segment currently in operation. The running time is 1h 30m (including a 15m stop at the scenic station of Ano Gatzea, where coffee, local “tsipouro” and refreshments are available).

Day 8 – To Thessaloniki

Continue by train north to Thessaloniki for a 2-night stay.

Day 9 – Explore Thessaloniki

At leisure to explore the city where Michael ended his journey, where Greece's King George I was assassinated in 1913.

Day 10 – By Train to Athens

Return to Athens by train for a one night stay close to the airport.

Day 11 – Flight Home

Lunch time flight back to Heathrow.

Price Includes

  • 10 nights in good quality hotels
  • Flights with British Airways
  • Transfer from Athens airport to hotel
  • 8-day Greek 2nd class InterRail pass for rail travel
  • Return ferry trip from Pireaus to Aegina
  • Delphi full day excursion with coach transport

Price per person

From £1,280 per person sharing

Upgrade to the 5* Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens, as mentioned by Michael Portillo, available for around £490 additional cost

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