Greece’s Biggest Airports Have More Visitors in 2023

The Most Popular Airports in Greece

According to the latest data from the Greek Tourism Confederation, SETE, the two largest cities in Greece, Athens and Thessaloniki, are still the most popular. They have an increased number of passengers visiting when compared to the same period in 2022. In total, in the first ten months of 2023, passengers arriving at all international airports in Greece numbered 23 million. Athens’s airport received 28.4% more travelers than last year (measuring until October), and Thessaloniki had 20.3% more travelers during this time.

View on Acropolis at sunset, Athens, Greece

Tourists Don’t Stay in Athens and Thessaloniki

For most European travelers who fly to Greece, Athens and Thessaloniki are a starting point for a journey. For example, from Thessaloniki, you can reach the Chalkidiki peninsula, Pelion, or Mount Olympus. From Athens airport, popular destinations are the Peloponnese, Evia, and the Greek islands.

Church Near Mount Olympus

Areas of Greece with Increased Interest

Of all the airports in Greece, the airports in Lesbos, Thassos, and Zakynthos islands had the largest growth. Lesbos received 15% more tourists through its airport in the period from April to September. Thassos, served by Kavala Airport, received 20% more vacationers. The island of Zakynthos received almost 10% more tourists from April to September when compared to numbers from last year. 


Heraklion, in Crete, had an increase of 4.7% international arrivals by air between January and October, totaling 3.6 million arrivals. Chania, similarly, had 1.4 million visitors by air, an increase of 8.6%.


In the Dodecanese, from January to October of 2023, Rhodes received 2.6 million international arrivals by air (a 2.9% increase), Kos received 1.3 million international arrivals (a 5.3% increase), and Karpathos had 90,000 international arrivals (a 2.7% increase).

Thassos Island

Where are the International Airports in Greece?

Out of all the airports in Greece, only Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, and Chania (the last two are in Crete) receive flights all year round. The smaller airports only have flights within Greece during the Winter months. The biggest month for tourists traveling to Greece is July – surprisingly, the numbers are even higher than in August.

Balos Lagoon, Crete

Upgrades to Travel in Greece

Of the changes happening in Greece that benefit European travelers, Crete will soon have a larger airport in Heraklion by 2025. A new network of roads is also being built in Crete to make travel easier. In the Cycladic Islands, a new domestic airline, Fly Cycladic, will let you fly between some of the most popular Cycladic islands in small, 12-person propellor planes.

© Heraklion Airport, Exact Layout Subject to Change

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