Participants begin their journey by flying into the Greek city of Alexandroupolis’ Demokritos Airport (AXD). The location of the airport is 7 km east of Alexandroupolis on main national road E90. The name "Democritus " was given to the airport in honor of the ancient Philosopher who was born in Avdera (a village located about 100 km west of Alexandroupolis). Both taxis and city buses are available at the airport. Click HERE for more information .
Alexandroupolis is our point of departure for the 3-hour ferry to the island of Samothrace (Samothraki) on the morning of Wednesday, September 3rd. For participants joining us from North America or any other location entailing an overnight flight, we highly recommend arriving in Alexandroupolis on the 2nd of September. This will facilitate travel with the Open Center on the early morning ferry the following day. Click HERE for optional hotel choices.
Alternately, participants may wish to spend the evening of the 2nd in Athens, and take their connecting flight into Alexandroupolis on the morning of the 3rd in time for the afternoon ferry to Samothrace. Please note that if you catch the afternoon ferry, you will miss the opening dinner and orientation. It may also be possible to find inexpensive flights into Thessaloniki, from where it is a 5-hour bus ride to Alexandroupolis.
For participants traveling independently of our group, we recommend checking into your hotels on September 3rd, where conference packets (which will include maps, conference schedules, locations and directions) will be available.
Booking Your Flight
The New York Open Center and Olympic Airlines have arranged to offer Esoteric Quest participants a discount on Olympic flights to this year’s conference. A special discount code will be provided upon confirmation of your registration.
Pre-Conference Walking Tour of the Acropolis, Athens: For those participants joining us for the pre-conference tour in Athens, you will want to book your flight to arrive in Athens anytime on September 1st , arranging for your connecting flight into Alexandroupolis for late in the afternoon on the 2nd contact Aegean and Olympic Airlines for flight information: we recommend booking a 5pm flight).
Main Conference on Samothraki: Those participants beginning their Quest with the main conference on Samothraki will want arrive in Alexandroupolis with enough time to catch the 9am ferry on September 3rd with Open Center staff (Alexandroupolis is the port town for ferries to and from the island). For anyone whose travel entails an overnight flight into Greece, it is highly recommended that you book your flight to arrive in Alexandroupolis on the 2nd, and spend the night there before the morning boat.
Post-Conference Mainland Greece + Ephesus: Participants flying from Athens to the island of Samos on September 12th have numerous flight options on either Aegean and Olympic Airlines. An early morning flight allows you to enjoy more time on the island and its beaches; a flight later in the day gives you the opportunity to explore Athens further before departing for Samos.
If your travels with the Open Center conclude after our main conference on Samothraki, you will want to arrange to fly home out of Alexandroupolis once again. If you are joining us for our post-conference tour of the Greek mainland, your flight home will leave out of Athens. Anyone returning home directly after our post-conference tour of Istanbul will fly out of Istanbul, and those of us continuing all the way through to our last days in Ephesus will arrange their flight home out of Izmir.
Ferry to Samothrace
Map of Samothrace
Map of Greece