Feverish preparations have begun on the E65 highway for the delivery of the Lamia-Xyniada and Trikala-Kalambaka sections. According to information from, the delivery is scheduled, based on current data, just before Holy Week, specifically between April 23rd and 25th.

At this moment, the final touches are being made to both sections, mainly involving road markings, signage, and lighting, completing a construction period that began in 2019 for the Lamia-Xyniada section and in 2021 for the Trikala-Kalambaka subsection. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is gearing up for the second delivery of a major road project after the Ambracia Highway earlier this year.

With the delivery of the two sections, the E65 highway and the Athens-Trikala route will be traversable in a safe and comfortable 3-hour journey. The road, along its entire length, will feature two lanes plus an emergency lane per traffic direction. Essentially, drivers will use the national road from Athens (i.e., the New Road), and at the Anthili area (approximately at kilometer 205), they will enter the Central Road axis. From there, they will travel approximately another 110 kilometers until they reach the city of Trikala and about 10 more to reach Kalambaka. This means that the distance of 325 kilometers can be covered with conservative driving in 3 hours and 10 minutes.

The goal for this year’s Easter holidays is for travelers heading towards Phthiotis and Western Thessaly to have the opportunity to travel on these new sections of the highway, approximately 125 kilometers long. With this, the Central Greece Highway, better known as E65, will no longer be the “blind” highway.

What is being delivered is essentially the complete completion of the southern section of the E65 Lamia-Xyniada, with a total length of 32.5 kilometers, as well as an additional 10 kilometers in the northern section from Trikala to Kalambaka. The works on the southern section start from the Anthili area, before Lamia (coming from Athens), and end at the dried-up lake of Xyniada. It is worth noting that the first 15 kilometers have been open to traffic since 2020, and the remaining 16 kilometers will connect the E65 with the national network of highways in the country.

The largest technical project in the southern part is the Othrys Tunnel, which is approximately 3 kilometers long and was a significant challenge during construction. Upon completion, it will be one of the 10 longest road tunnels in the country.

The completion of the works on the Lamia-Xyniada section will make the Athens-Trikala route a reality in 3 hours, as drivers will no longer need to navigate the challenging terrain on the uphill stretches after Lamia. An additional ten minutes will be required to reach Kalambaka.

The strategic significance of the E65

The E65 will constitute the third major north-south axis of the mainland of Greece. To the west, it is flanked by the Ionian Highway (Antirrio-Ioannina), and to the east, by the Athens-Thessaloniki axis.

The great asset of the E65 is its connection between East and West. Through the E65, the ports of Igoumenitsa and Volos are linked. Additionally, it will provide easy access to the regions of Western Macedonia and Eastern Epirus in much shorter times than currently.

For example, the Athens-Grevena route will take about 4 hours, while it will take about 4.5 hours to reach Metsovo or Kastoria. Additionally, through the E65 and the vertical axis Siatista-Krystallopigi, neighboring countries such as Albania and North Macedonia are brought closer together.

The construction works on both the southern and northern sections are being carried out by TERNA on behalf of Central Greece Highway S.A. In the southern section, the projects are financed by the NSRF 2014-2020, while in the northern section, as mentioned earlier, they are funded by the Recovery Fund. Independent engineers for the project are from the AECOM-OMEK consortium.

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