Highways in Greece
Highways in Greece are generally organized so that the odd numbered highways are of north-south alignment and even numbered highways are of east-west alignment. However, there are many exceptions.
The designation of some important roads of Greece as "national" was decided by a 1955 decree, while a minister's decision in 1963 determined the numbering of these roads. In 1998, a survey of the Hellenic Statistical Authority defined some new national roads that were constructed after the 1963 decision. Furthermore, motorway numbers in Greece are different and irrelevant to other highways' numbers. For example, Motorway 6 (A6) refers to the Attiki Odos motorway, while "GR-6" refers to a different road.
- 1 Motorways
- 2 Motorroads
- 3 National roads
- 4 Current construction projects in Greece
- 5 Correlation with European routes
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Greece's motorway network has been extensively modernised throughout the 2000s and part of it is still under construction. Most of it is expected to be completed by early 2017. There are a total of 10 main routes throughout the Greek mainland and Crete, from which some feature numerous branches/auxiliary routes, as described in the listing below.
Motorway 1 (A1), colloquially referred to as the PAThE motorway (derived from the initials of the route: Piraeus – Athens – Thessaloniki – Evzoni (the border crossing with the Republic of Macedonia)); is the oldest and most important motorway of Greece, connecting the country's largest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki and passing through many important regions of Greece on a south-north direction. Most of the route has been upgraded to motorway standards, expept for 25 kilometres through the Tempe Valley.
As of summer 2008, works were in progress around the Malian Gulf, due to be completed in 2010. Most of the route around the bay, was completed in April 2008, but due to delays, the last part (the 17 km Stylida-Karavomylos bypass) was finally given to traffic on March 16, 2015. At Tempe valley, works started in 2008, in order to be completed around 2012, but due to severe delays they will be completed in early 2017. This part will include 11 km of tunnels, made mostly for environmental protection and, of course, road safety. Furthermore, the section between Thessaloniki and Evzoni, is yet to be converted into motorway, but this is not planned to happen in the near future.
The full length of this motorway is around 553 km or 346 miles, including 14 km or 8.7 miles of shared route with the A2 (Egnatia Odos). Note that until recently, the "P" in "PAThE" referred to Patras, but the Patra – Athens section has now become part of the A8 (Olympia Odos) motorway, belonging to a different project.
- Motorway 11 (A11) is a branch of the A1, connecting it with the city of Chalcis.
- Motorway 12 (A12) is another branch of the A1, connecting it with the city of Volos, and serving as a bypass for the city. Although it is a dual carriageway throughout its length, parts of it remain with traffic lights and not all sections of the branch are up to motorway standards. Ongoing construction has been happening to upgrade it to such. It also includes a tunnel near the village of Goritsa.
- Motorway 13 (A13) is a planned branch of the A1, from Thiva to Elefsina; connecting it with the Olympia Odos motorway and serving as a western bypass of Athens' Metropolitan Area.
A2 (Egnatia Odos)
The Egnatia Odos is also known as the "horizontal road axis" of Greece, connecting almost all of Northern Greece from west to east; and provides access to various other locations, as well as international borders with various "vertical routes" that begin from various locations along the A2.
Specifically, there are auxiliary routes to Albania and Bulgaria, with the main route leading to Turkey. The Republic of Macedonia is accessed through the A1 (PAThE), as described above. Another auxiliary route runs close to the Evros river in the prefecture of the same name, reaching a point where Greece's, Turkey's and Bulgaria's borders meet. Some of those auxiliary routes are not motorways, but typical 2-lane highways, but are of considerable higher quality than other similar highways in the rest of Greece. The project (including most of the auxiliary routes), was completed in 2009, with the length of the main route being 670 kilometres or 416 miles, making it the longest motorway in Greece.
- Motorway 21 (A21) is a branch of the A2 (Egnatia Odos) and connects Egnatia Odos at the town of Ardanio (near the Greek-Turkish border) with the Greek-Bulgarian border at Ormenio
- Motorway 25 (A25) is a branch of the A2 (Egnatia Odos) and lies between Thessaloniki to the Greek–Bulgarian border crossing, via Serres (taking over parts of the GR-12); and between Thessaloniki towards Nea Moudania, referred to in this part of its section as the Thessaloniki – Nea Moudania Motorway or Chalkidiki Motorway. As it passes through the eastern periphery of Thessaloniki the A25 becomes part of the Thessaloniki Inner Ring Road (Esoteriki Peripheriaki Odos, Greek: Εσωτερική Περιφεριακή Οδός).
- Motorway 27 (A27) is another branch of the A2 (Egnatia Odos), at Kozani which leads towards Ptolemaida and from there to Florina and the border crossing with the Republic of Macedonia. Within 2012 tenders were announced for the construction of the 14 kilometres section from Florina up to the border crossing with the Republic of Macedonia. Construction started in 2013, finished in 2015 and it as opened to traffic in 20 May 2016. The Ptolemaida - Florina part is an expressway.
- Motorway 29 (A29) is a branch of the A2 (Egnatia Odos) motorway, connecting it with the city of Kastoria and the Greek–Albanian border crossing at Krystallopigi.
Motorway 3 (A3), or the Central Greece Motorway is currently under construction starting from Lamia (at the A1) and ending at the A2 (Egnatia Odos), close to Grevena. It will be part of the E65 and be 175 kilometres or 109 miles long. Construction started on June 2007. Work was halted in 2011 due to economic problems of the construction companies but resumed in mid-2013. The motorway is expected to be completed early 2016 but construction date of the part from Kalampaka to the Egnatia Odos junction is yet unknown.
A5 (Ionia Odos)
Motorway 5 (A5), also referred to as the Ionia Odos, is another motorway currently under construction. It starts from Ioannina at the A2 (Egnatia Odos) interchange, and ends at Rio, in Patras, after crossing the Corinthian Gulf through the Rio-Antirrio bridge. There, it connects to the A8 motorway (see below).
The route passes through most of western continental Greece, along the Ionian Sea, hence its name "Ionia Odos". Work on the majority of the highway began in spring 2006 and would span six years, to be completed by 2012. Though, because of economical problems of the constructing companies, all construction works were halted in 2011, but since mid-2013 works on the whole of the 196 km motorway are undergoing. Completion of the motorway is expected by 2017. Completed parts include the Arta and the Agrinio bypasses with lengths of 33 km and 17 km respectively, as well as the 25 km segment bypassing Amfilochia, which was opened to traffic in 27 December 2016, and together with the Agrinio bypass, create a contiguous motorway with a length of 59 km.
- Motorway 52 (A52) is a branch of the A5 (Ionia Odos) connecting it with the island of Lefkada and the undersea-tunnel of Aktio, leading to Preveza. This motorway section is expected to serve the popular tourist region around the Ambracian Gulf. At 48.6 km (30.2 mi) long, the motorway was expected to finish in 2012, having started construction in 2009. Earthworks were largely completed by April 2012 but structures had not commenced as of that time. In mid-2013, works had begun again, but as of December 2016, problems with funding have kept the road largely behind scedule. The road is now expected to be completed by 2020.
A6 (Attiki Odos)
Motorway 6 (A6), or Attiki Odos forms part of the urban motorway network of Athens's metropolitan area. Its full length is 65 kilometres (40 mi) and it is also planned to be extended to various directions, bringing its total length to 141 km (88 mi). The Attiki Odos has various auxiliary routes, namely the Aigaleo Beltway (A65) and the Hymettus Beltway (A64), serving parts of western and eastern Athens respectively; while the 6 km (4 mi) section leading from the main route to the Athens International Airport is numbered as the A62.
- Motorway 62 (A62) is a section of the Attiki Odos which branches off at the end of the main A6 route. It basically serves as a corridor from Attiki Odos and Koropi towards the Athens International Airport.
- Motorway 64 (A64) is a section of the Attiki Odos which branches off the main A6 route. It is referred to as the Hymettus Beltway (A64) (Greek: Περιφερειακή Υμηττού), serving parts of eastern Athens, while it is also expected to be extended further southwards to Vouliagmeni and further eastwards towards Rafina.
- Motorway 65 (A65) is a second auxiliary route that branches off the main A6 route. The A64 section of the Attiki Odos is referred to as the Aigaleo Beltway (A65) (Greek: Περιφερειακή Αιγάλεω) and serves parts of western Athens. A small part of the A65 remains still unconstructed, and it is yet unknown when it will be completed.
- Motorway 642 (A642) is a small branch of Attiki Odos which connects Attiki Odos with Hymettus Beltway. It serves as a small detour of the main route and its length is 2 km.
Motorway 7 (A7), known as the Moreas Motorway or Eastern Peloponnese motorway starts from Corinth, at the interchange with the A8 (Olympia Odos) and continues to Kalamata, passing through Tripoli. It replaced the old GR-7 as the main road, with the section between Corinth and Tripoli, constructed between 1984 and 1990 and officially becoming part of the Greek road network in 1992.
The A7 has recently undergone extensive improvement to full motorway standards. As of December 2012, the motorway section between Corinth and Kalamata is fully constructed and operational. Its total length is 205 kilometres or 127 miles.
- Motorway 71 (A71) is a branch of the A7 (Moreas) motorway from Lefktro, connecting it with Sparta. It was opened in 18 April 2016.
A8 (Olympia Odos)
The Elefsina–Corinth section has been completed to motorway standards, while the Corinth – Patras section begun construction in 2008, and was due to be completed in 2012. After construction works had begun again the whole motorway will be completed by late-2016 or early-2017. It will mostly include the widening and general reconstruction of the GR-8A along with some new tunnels and bridges.
Motorway 90 (A90) is a temporary name for a motorway under construction in Crete. It is more widely known as North Road Axis of Crete (Greek: Βόρειος Οδικός Άξονας Κρήτης, BOAK) and is Greece's only motorway that is not on its mainland, but on an island. Certain parts have already been completed, as of summer 2007, at Heraklion and Chania. In late 2014, the Agios Nikolaos - Kalo Chorio part (which also serves as a bypass of Agios Nikolaos) was opened to traffic. Its full length will be 310 kilometres or 193 miles. Other sources claim it to be 250 km or 156 mi.
List of motorways
- Motorways under construction
|Kallithea - Kalambaka – Trikala – Karditsa − Lamia|
|Ioannina - Filippiada − Arta − Amfilochia − Kouvaras - Agrinio − Aitoliko − Mesolongi − Rio–Antirrio bridge − Rio|
|Eleusis - Megara - Corinth - Zevgolateio - Kiato - Xylokastro - Aigio – Rio|
|Preveza - Vonitsa - Amfilochia|
- Planned motorways
|Velestino - Volos|
|Thiva - Eleusis|
|Angelokastro - Agrinio - Fragkista - Karpenisi - Leianokladi - Lamia|
|spur to Alexandroupoli Centre|
|Feres - Didymoteicho - Orestiada - Ormenio - Bulgaria|
|Serres - Nea Zichni - Kavala|
|Ilioupoli - Paiania|
|A121||spur to Northern Thessaloniki|
|A122||Planned upgrade of the western Thessaloniki Inner Ring Road|
The Motor-Roads in Greece constructed in Regions how connected Motorways or other Main-Roads. The most Motor-Roads constructed in the Regions of Athens and Thessaloniki. A lot Motor-Roads constructed by the Egnatia A.E. and connected the A2 with other Roads and Regions. All the Greek motorroads more detail in the list:
|Edessa - Skydra - Giannitsa - Gefyra (Junction with ) - Thessaloniki|
|Elassona - Tsiritsani - Tyrnavos - Larissa|
|- Veria - Naoussa - Edessa|
|Trikala - Larissa|
|Neo Monastiri - Karditsa - Trikala|
|Thessaloniki - Liti (Junction with ) - Kilkis - Doirani|
|- Neos Kavouras - Keratea - Lavrio|
|Andrea Syngrou Avenue|
- Additional National Roads according to the register of the National Roads 1998
|Greek National Road 8A: Athens – Corinth – Patras new road (partly motorway)|
|Greek National Road 16A: Greek National Road 16 – Polygyros|
|Greek National Road 34A: Volos – Portaria - Horefto|
|Greek National Road 111: Agia Triada – Lambia - Lalas - Ancient Olympia|
Current construction projects in Greece
Currently, there are several construction projects all over Greece.
- Olympia Odos, Central Greece Motorway and Ionia Odos are all expected to be finished in mid-2017 at a cost of 2,2 bn euros, 1,4 bn euros and 1,118 bn euros respectively.
- Moreas Motorway was completed in November 2016, costing a total of 1 bn euros.
- Motorway 1 (Greece) will open in 2017, costing 1,3 bn euros. The final construction point is at the Tempe Valley.
- Motorway 25 (Greece) will open in 2016 or 2017, costing 147 million euros.
Correlation with European routes
This is a list of European routes that shows which parts of them run through Greece.
|Preveza – Rio - – Patras - - Pyrgos - – Kalamata|
|Medžitlija-Níki (border with the Republic of Macedonia) – Florina – Florina – Kozani - Kozani – Elassona – Larissa – Lamia - Amfissa – Galaxidi - Galaxidi – Antirio - Rio – Corinth - Corinth – Kalamata - Kissamos – Chania|
|border with the Republic of Macedonia – Thessaloniki – Athens - Chania – Aghios Nikolaos (will be replaced by )|
|Bulgarian border – Serres through GR-57, Serres – Thessaloniki|
|Greek National Road 51|
|Albanian border at Kristalopigi – Florina – Edessa – Giannitsa – Gefyra (west of Thessaloniki)|
|Egnatia Odos or Via Egnatia, Igoumenitsa - Thessaloniki - border with Turkey|
|Greek National Road 6 (will be replaced by )|
|Attiki Odos - Athens – Corinth|
|Kakavia (Albanian border) -|
|Greek National Road 5 (will be replaced by )|
|Preveza-Amfilochia - Karpenisi – Lamia|
|Greek National Road 39|
|Elefsina – Thiva (will be replaced by )|
Note: When certain highways that carry European routes are replaced with motorways, the European routes will be reassigned to the new motorways. For example, GR-7 carried the E65 from Tripoli to Kalamata. When the Corinth – Tripoli – Kalamata motorway was completed, the E65 numbering was reassigned to it.