If you are planning to travel from Athens to Igoumenitsa by bus there are some things you need to know.
There are two bus companies that offer a service between Athens and Igoumenitsa. The first one is called KTEL Thesproias [Website].
The second company is KTEL Ioannina [Website]. Using their services will add more than an hour to the travel time because the bus travels a slightly longer route and stops in Ioannina along the way.
Both companies provide online ticket sales from their sites, but if you want to book a ticket from Athens to Igoumenitsa you will need the help of Google Translate. Although the KTEL Ioannina website has an English version, it switches to Greek for the ticket sales. The KTEL Thesproias website does not offer an English version at all.
I chose to travel from Athens to Igoumenitsa with the KTEL Thesproias bus company because the route was shorter. Everything I write from this point is about making the journey with KTEL Thesproias.
The first thing you need to know about travelling with KTEL Thesproias is you won’t be able to use the toilets on the bus. There appears to be toilets installed, but passengers are not allowed to use them. The journey takes around six-and-a-half hours and there is only one stop along the way. So, if you have a lot to drink before you get on the bus, you could be sitting with your legs crossed for around three hours.
Apparently, this lack of onboard services is normal for Greek buses. So it’s not going to matter where you go or which company you travel with there is unlikely to be a toilet you can use on the bus.
If you book your ticket online the other thing you need to know is the bus to Igoumenitsa departs from the Kifissos (Kifisou) bus station [MAP]. Believe it or not, the ticket does not provide this important information. I had to phone the bus company to find out and it wasn’t easy. The lady I spoke to did not speak much English. There are several bus stations in Athens, so the lack of information is not ideal.
You will also have to print your ticket. The need to do so is specified when you book your ticket. I was tempted to try and get away with just showing the ticket on my phone, but It’s a good job I printed it. The driver tears off part of every passenger’s ticket and keeps it.
Kifissos is quite a large bus station. It has a lot of bus stops. The bus to Igoumenitsa leaves from no. 5. Again, the ticket does not provide this information. Nor does the accompanying email.
There are three services per day:
I’ve written this blog post to help anyone who needs to make the journey from Athens to Igoumenitsa because I found the process more difficult than it needed to be. It’s the first time I’ve ever bought a bus ticket and not been told where the bus departs from. Having to travel several hours on a bus without a toilet was also a new experience. I’m so glad I hadn’t had much to drink before I got on the bus. If I’d had an extra cup or two or coffee, or maybe a beer, things could have got very unpleasant.
If you want to buy a ticket for the bus from Athens to Igoumenitsa This is the page you need: https://www.ktel-thesprotias.gr/gr/services/online-reservation. Don’t forget to right-click to get the translation.
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