Athenians are fleeing the smog and chaos of the city in droves on Orthodox Holy Thursday in order to celebrate the Easter break in the countryside and on the islands.
Traffic police are reporting a peak in the exodus from the Attica ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio.
According to ferry operators, all ships sailing on the morning of Holy Thursday and Good Friday are at 100% capacity, with 19 ships scheduled to sail from Piraeus, 17 from Rafina and 10 from Lavrio on Thursday.
The coast guard has taken all the necessary measures to facilitate ferry passengers, advising all those that intend to sail to be at the port an hour earlier due to heavy traffic on surrounding roads.
On Wednesday, 14 ships sailed from Piraeus carrying 14,760 passengers, 2,649 cars, 575 trucks and 394 motorcycles to the Aegean islands. There were 26 ferries sailing to the Saronic Gulf on the same day, carrying 5,459 passengers, 949 cars, 40 trucks and 148 motorcycles.
Another 13 ferries sailed from Rafina, with roughly 5,000 passengers, and seven set sail from Lavrio with 1,743 passengers on board.
The traffic police have also taken measures to ensure a smooth and safe journey for motorists leaving the capital, implementing a plan prepared by the General Police Directorate of Attica.
The head of the Attica Traffic Police Spiros Laskos, speaking to AMNA, said that there will be an increased police presence and other measures on the national road network, at the ports of Piraeus and Rafina and around the intercity bus stations to assist travellers and other motorists, with constant police patrols and checks to help enforce road safety.
He said emphasis was being placed on dangerous traffic code violations, such as drinking and driving, speeding, use of mobile phones at the wheel, failure to wear helmets and seatbelts and driving in motorway emergency lanes (hard shoulder).