We had one mission – Amsterdam to Athens AKA 2,869kms.
We needed to do it “quickly” but also within the bounds of our Eurail pass, which meant land travel was already paid for, and a significant portion of our sea pass was paid for – to put this in context, at the time we were looking the cheapest flights from Amsterdam to Athens as just over €400 for the both of us – our trip cost us around €260.
We had very very seriously considered traveling via the Balkans to Greece, but we decided against this on the basis that we didn’t want to rush our way through the Balkans, and like France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Morocco we wanted to really take our time and appreciate the world around us.
So, it is do-able to get from Amsterdam to Athens in two nights and three days – here is how:
- Train from Athens to Milan (you need to change at Basel, Switzerland) – and it works out to about 11.30mins on a train.
- Leave from Milan at 8.00am and arrive Bari, Italy via high speed train at 14.05 (wish)
- Board the Super Fast Ferry at Bari to Patras, Greece – leaves 19.30 from Bari arrives 13.30 – 14.30 Patras
- There IS NO TRAIN from Patras – please understand this, there is a lot of information including timetables on the internet, but THERE IS NO TRAIN from Patras to anywhere. You can apparently take a bus from Patras to Athens, but this is not under the Eurail pass and was not within our price range at €90 each. There is a bus (which is actually a train, but a bus, but a train – if you get my drift) leaving from the Patras train station that takes you to Kiato Station where you can get the train that takes you to Athens Airport.
- They will also probably tell you that there is a train from Kiato to Ano Liosia – again, at the time of writing this, THERE WAS NO TRAIN, there is apparently a bus, but this according to the locals this is not advisable. You are best to stay on the train from Kiato to Nerantziotissa where you can get the green metro line into the city for a reasonable €1.40 per person (ticket useable for up to 1.30 hours on any form of public transport).