Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos)
The airport was built in 2001 to replace the old Athens Ellinikon International Airport which, after nearly 60 years in operation, had become too small to cope with the increased air traffic into and out of Athens. It is currently the largest and busiest airport in Greece. It is situated approximately 30 km east of central Athens near the suburb of Spata. It received the name Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in honour of the Cretan politician, Eleftherios Venizelos who, in 1896, was a leader in the revolution in Crete against the Ottoman Empire and went on to become the Prime Minister of Greece. During the time that he held this office, Venizelos founded the Ministry of Aviation and begun the organization of Greek aviation
Athens airport is a major hub in the Aegean, Balkan and East Mediterranean regions. Delta and Olympic maintain non-stop flights from North America, while a large number of European carriers fly direct into Athens.
Flights to and from nearly every country, both European and International use this airport.The airport currently has two terminals, the main terminal and the satellite terminal which is accessible by an underground link from the main terminal. The main terminal is on three levels: one for arrivals, one for departures and a food court level which overlooks the eastern runway. This terminal handles all the intra-Schengen flights, as well as several non-Schengen flights and can service 10 million passengers per year. The baggage handling system has 144 check-in counters and is equipped with fourteen passenger boarding bridges, two tilt tray sorters and eleven luggage belt conveyors totalling around 3,000m of belt.
The satellite terminal has two levels, one for departures and one for arrivals. It can be easily reached from the main terminal by an underground link equipped with moving walkways. It is provided with ten passenger boarding bridges and can handle annual traffic of around six million passengers. The purpose of this terminal is to act as an overflow for increased air traffic during high seasons.
Athens International Airport provides 4,800 short and long-term parking lots. All parking facilities are equipped with automated payment machines for easy and quick payment, while electronic message screens provide continuous information on parking vacancy.
Inside the terminals there are over 50 select shops and 14 dining facilities with a wide variety of specialties. The IT&T Business Centre (tel: (30) 210 353 6416) has offices equipped with desktop PCs, Internet access, telephones, photocopy and fax machines, laser and colour printers, scanners and office supplies; the centre also has one conference room. In addition, there are meeting rooms to hire from the airport facility and administration department (tel: (30) 210 353 6318).
A full range of postal and courier services are provided by the Hellenic Post Office located at the Arrivals Level of the Main Terminal Building. For further information please contact ELTA (The Hellenic Post Office) at: Tel: (+30) 210 3530561-3.
The Wireless Internet Zone Service is available within the airport’s terminal areas and is offered for free for 45 minutes.
The airport is accessible via Metro Line 3 Aghia Marina – Athens International Airport”.
Suburban Rail services operate via Athens Central Railway Station (Larissis Station). SKA (Rail centre of Acharnes). For further information regarding timetables, please call 14511.
There are four bus routes that connect Athens and Piraeus directly with the airport. All buses set down passengers at the Departures Level and depart from the Arrivals Level, between Exits 4 and 5.
Travelling onwards to the Ports of Piraeus. Rafina and Lavrio:
Many visitors to Greece arrive at Athens and then travel onwards to the beautiful islands of Greece. Links from the airport to the Port of Piraeus and Rafina are as follows:
By metro: Use Metro line 3 from the Athens International Airport and change at Monastiraki to Metro line 1. Estimated journey time is 60 minutes.
By bus: Use Route X96 Piraeus – Athens International Airport. For further information please contact the OASA (Athens Urban Transport Organisation) call centre at 185, or call the Piraeus Port Authority at +30 210 4147800.
By suburban railway: Airport – Port of Rafina. Take the direct Regional Bus Service (KTEL) to the port of Rafina. The line departs from the Arrivals Level, opposite the airport hotel (Sofitel).
Airport – Port of Lavrio: Take the Regional Bus Service (KTEL) to the port of Lavrio. The line departs from the Arrivals Level, opposite the airport hotel (Sofitel). Change bus at Markopoulo.
Information and Help Desks: the airport information line operates daily 24 hours (tel: (30)210 353 0000). The Greek National Tourist Organisation (tel: (30)210 327 1000) is located in the Arrivals area of the Main Terminal and can provide information on tourism.