Daktylios of Athens

Daktylios of Athens

Traffic in the center of Athens is restricted, partly to alleviate traffic jams, but mostly to minimize pollution by utilizing a novel traffic-control system in place ever since 1983.

The area is defined by a sign with a prominent "Δ" (greek "Delta") and is in effect September through July.

Cars with a license plate that ends in an odd number are allowed in the Daktylios (def. 'Ring') on odd days, and cars with license plates that end in even number are allowed to drive in the center of Athens on even days.

In theory, the measure is meant to reduce by half the numbers of cars on the road on any given day. In practice, many Athenian families now own two cars, and as the licensing authorities often allow car owners to choose odd or even number plates, the system is much less effective than it could be.

The "Δ" restriction is not in effect during August when the city of Athens is almost devoid of cars because just about everyone is on vacation elsewhere, making driving and parking in Athens a painless situation! Most of the aforementioned issues with driving don't apply during the month of August, and we would comfortably recommend driving (still very carefully) with no concerns.