Athens – Thessaloniki no tolls road

ath-theFor years now we do the route Athens Thessaloniki without taking the highway. On one hand the cost of tolls that for an RV exceeds 50 70 € for 500 km. On the other, the fact that the alternative routes are more interesting and even if they require a few more hours of driving, the mileage does not increase by much, in the worst case we are talking about 50km more.

Athens – Larissa (distance 300km)

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Leave Athens taking the highway to Corinth. A couple of Kilometers before the tollbooths, at the height of Mandra, exit following the signs for Thebes.
Aliartos [38.421318,23.105484], just after Thebes is a quiet village, which we often used to stay overnight. Some times we prefer to start from Athens in the late afternoon to get a few kilometers ahead for the next day and avoid the morning traffic.
After Thebes follow the signs to Lamia Larissa.
Right before Lamia, Thermopylae [38.833289,22.520462], are another good stopping point, see my previous post.
Continue following the signs for Domokos-Farsala-Larissa.

Chiesetta vicina a ModiChurch close to Modi. It is located on a shortcut to get faster at Thermopylae, not recommended for larger vehicles. It offers a good stop for lunch [38.68759,22.69007].

Larissa – Thessaloniki (distance 220/250 km)

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Just before reaching Larissa you have to decide which way to take for Katerini: for this stretch there are two possible routes, equally interesting, one that follows the coast and the other going up Mount Olympus.
As expected, the road of the sea in summer can be very busy and to be avoided if you are in a hurry. Out of season, however, is really nice and even if it is about thirty kilometers longer, it has far fewer ascents and descents and offers many opportunities for a stopover. The one that passes from Tirnavos-Elassona offers wonderful views of the mountain of the gods, but is a bit more demanding for the driver.
Before you get to Katerini you will find Dion, where there is an archaeological site that is supposed to be very interesting. Shortly after the site, we found a wonderful small church in the middle of the fields that look like the abandoned scenery of a movie, and where you can comfortably stop for lunch.
After Katerini the route is always parallel to the motorway up to Thessaloniki, apart from a small stretch after Eginio, where you have to take a little detour to cross the river Aliakmonas. In Thessaloniki, I pointed out a parking lot where we’ve been on several occasions, is not the best area and a bit noisy, but we were never bothered and is relatively close to the town center [40.643819,22.934523]

spiaggia dopo agiokampoAgiokambos, one of many possibilities to stop following the road along the coast.

Below: a curious museum at Paleopyrgos, unfortunately it was closed when we went through.

Below: The church of Agios Dimitrios, stands alone in the fields close to the archaeological site of Dion.
Dion, Agios dimitrisDion, chiesetta di Agio Dimitris
Dion. Agios DimitrisDion, Agios Dimitris

Lake Kerkini, between dream and reality
The royal tombs of Vergina and ancient Pella.
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8 thoughts on “Athens – Thessaloniki no tolls road

  1. We have cycled from Prague to Budapest mainly off road. We get the bus from Budapest to either Athens or Thessaloniki on 4th of May. Will the coast road be busy with traffic from Thessaloniki to Athens, is it safe for cyclists or is better to stray on the bus to Athens?

    • I suppose there will be some traffic, not much anyway, but you have to be careful, there is not much respect for cyclists by Greek drivers… lot of mountains though, probably the bus to Athens is a better choice 😉

  2. Hello and thanks for this great info. I will be doing this trip in a couple of weeks and this info will be very handy.

    I see that you take E75 from Thiva to Larissa. Isn’t this a toll road? When I get directions on google maps after indicating I do not want toll roads, I am shown Route #3 from Thiva to Lamia and Route E65/30 from Lamia to Trikala and finally E92 and E90 to Thessaloniki.

    I am confused. Is this because the E75 route you indicate is no longer a free road? Thanks in advance for your reply……..

    • Hello Jey,
      sorry about the confusion, you’re perfectly right.. somehow I messed up with the map on google and it was showing the wrong way.
      I fixed it now ! :)
      thank you for pointing this out

    • Nice site… too bad this is the toll cost for a normal car under 2,20mt height. A motorhome would still pay more than 70 euros! :(
      It would be great if you could include our category too, beside autos and motorcycles

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