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Mayor's Address

As Mayor of Athens, I pledge my full support for Athens to host the ITA – AITES World Tunnel Congress. Athens is famous for telling stories about humanity. They are often found deep below the ground, in almost every building foundation and tunnel. Our experts work passionately and deliberately every day to create innovative methods for infrastructure development that respect our culture heritage while continuing to build a modern and beautiful city. Our resolve to face these challenges has been paying off. Athens has become a leading global destination for international meetings.

Conferences, company meetings, exhibitions and incentive travel establish the core of the local tourism industry and a strategic priority for the City of Athens. We have built world-class infrastructure and conference services that will ensure an efficient and productive experience for your members. Our spectacular conference venues and learning oportunities will inspire them to face challenges with curiosity and excitement while giving them life-long memories. In this direction, the City of Athens through This is Athens – Convention & Visitors Bureau is committed to providing assistance and full support to guarantee the success of the most demanding of events. I believe the Congress will be a wonderful opportunity for all of us to learn and share our hopes for the future. I am excited to welcome you to Athens.

Kostas Bakoyannis
Mayor of Athens

Chair's Address

The Greek Tunneling Society (GTS) is proudly applying for the organization of the 49th ITA-AITES General Assembly and the 2023 World Tunnel Congress in Athens, Greece, from the 12th to the 18th May 2023.

Athens, a vibrant modern European capital situated by the Aegean Sea, is an ideal location for international conferences.

The city of myths, monuments, gods and ancient glory could offer unique experiences for the distinguished delegates of the ITA family. Contributions from all parties of the supply chain of the underground industry i.e. consultants, contractors, software producers, machine / equipment manufacturers, investors as well as operators and clients are welcome to attend since they will be able to exchange knowledge, promote their expertise / knowhow and define future needs. 

The GTS has been the national representative of Greece in ITA-AITES since its creation 25 years ago. The Greek Tunneling Society has been continuously participating in the ITA-AITES activities (General Assemblies, Working Groups etc), whereas the Greek Young Members Group has been actively involved on the initiatives for the networking of young tunneling professionals and students as well as on bridging the gap between generations of tunnellers.

During the last 4-5 years Greece experiences an explosive recommencement of tunnel construction activities just after country’s recovery from the economic crisis. Some 65km of, total single tube length, tunnels were recently completed along the four motorway concession projects and approximately 20km long tunnels including 24 Metro Stations in total are near completion, both for the new Athens Metro line 3 and for the Thessaloniki Metro. Moreover, numerous underground projects are planned to commence shortly within the complex geological environment of the country.

The organization of WTC in Athens will greatly promote the interests of the ITA in the Balkan region where, despite the length of the coastline (Greece alone is classified as the 11th country worldwide in terms of length and 2nd country worldwide in terms of coastal length vs country’s land area ratio), the mountainous environment of the countries as well as the rapid urbanization necessitates the construction of longer – deeper – larger – safer – smart – sustainable and green underground projects.

Greece has been for many millennia the cross road for civilizations. This has left a rich inheritance of ancient monuments and artifacts of unparalleled beauty. Having a magnificent natural environment and surrounded by the “deep blue” Mediterranean Sea, it provides perfect conditions for recreation. Mid May is an ideal season to visit Greece. While the city of Athens is not that crowded by Tourists, the climate is warm enough for enjoying outdoors and the beaches.

Being in Athens, one of the World’s safest city, you’re midway between Europe, Asia, and Africa; constituting an easily accessible destination city from all over the world. The proposed Venue of the Congress ”Megaron Athens International Conference Centre” offers a stunning environment with exceptional aesthetics, but also cutting edge technology. Moreover, it is situated in the city Centre, next to the “Megaron” Metro Station, which enables easy access from all over the city.

Athens provides abundant modern hotel accommodation and boasting an excellent METRO system. It presents great opportunities for sightseeing, excursions and technical visits. Numerous hotels are within walking distance from the convention centre, located in central Athens, as well as from other places of interest.

Our proposal has the full support of the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, the Minister of Tourism, the Mayor of Athens, the Rector of the National Technical University of Athens as well as of other Technical Universities around Greece (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Democritus University of Thrace, University of Thessaly, University of Crete), leading firms involved in the construction industry and operation of underground infrastructures and many others. If the WTC2023 comes in Athens it will be held under their auspices.

We are committed to organize a successful and memorable ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress 2023 and offer what has been known as a traditional Greek hospitality. We would be grateful if you support our effort to organize the WTC2023 for the first time in Greece.

Ioannis Fikiris
Chair of the Organizing Committee bid for WTC2023 / ATHENS

President of the Greek Tunnelling Society


Online Workshop with Itacus

Online Workshop with Itacus Expanding UndergroundKnowledge & Passion to Make a Positive Impact on the…



Rapid urbanization, natural hazards, climate change, sustainable energy geo-resources, people’s mobility and transportation of goods are first-priority demanding challenges that the globe is facing.
Cities and infrastructure expansion towards underground provide safe, sustainable and green solution facilitating the transformation of millions of people’s lives into a more resilient lifestyle. A comprehensive understanding, rethinking and reshaping of the underground spaces have become even more vital and crucial in the urban transformation of future cities. For the latter to be attained, planning and organization of underground development, a holistic approach is required not only in terms of spatial organization or overcoming engineering challenges, but also in regards to the establishments of policies, regulations and consideration of social factors.
WTC 2023 in Athens will highlight the multiple advantages and solutions that underground space could provide, at the prospect of a whole new era of smart technology where sophisticated “digital tools” change investigation, design, construction and operation methods and strategies rapidly. WTC 2023 will additionally provide an ideal opportunity to showcase recent innovations and the perspective of technology to further efficiently upgrade underground infrastructure assets, transforming the industry and the societies it serves.
Athens (Greece) has the knowledge, and we strongly believe we have the means and the responsibility to literally make a positive impact on the world.

The Greek Tunneling Society

The Greek Tunnelling Society (GTS), founded in 1995, is the established and official representative of Greece in the International Tunnelling Association (ITA-IATES). GTS is a non-profit body and aims to promote the key advantages of tunnels and underground structures from technical, environmental, social and economic point of view. The steering board of the GTS consists of 7 members, while the body of the GTS has more than 200 members.

  • The main objectives of the GTS are:
    To inform the Greek engineering community (individuals,
    companies, public sectors etc.) for the key advantages of the underground structures and underground development.
  •  To develop methods and/or update the existing ones for a more efficient design, construction, supervision and maintenance of underground structures…

The top 11
features of Athens

1. Connectivity

Connecting Athens to the World Since its opening in 2001, the multi-awarded Athens International Airport (AIA) “Eleftherios Venizelos”, is one of the fastest-growing airports globally.

2. Best Value

A privileged geographical location at the crossroads of three continents offers easy and affordable access.

3. Meeting Facilities

Athens boasts a variety of state-of-the art meeting venues, conference hotels and unique social event venues which can be tailored to every need.


4. Transportation

State-of-the-art transport network including metro, bus, tram, train, trolleybus, taxis and expansive highways.

5. Accommodation

A total of 32.012 rooms in 647 hotels in a constantly developing sector.

6. Know How

One of the top 24 most popular meeting destinations worldwide, according to ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) rankings.

7. A City to Thrill

Lively nightlife, world-famous Mediterranean cuisine, make up Athens a unique entertainment scene. Its contemporary urban vibe caters to every segment of the tourism market. From landmark venues to indie hubs, Athens guarantees authentic nightlife experiences.

8. Culture Shots

World-famous museums and UNESCO sights go hand-in-hand offering a vibrant contemporary urban experience.

9. A Sunny Disposition

With an average daylight of 8-9 hours, famous mild climate and incredible blue skies, Athens will entice you with its atmosphere

10. Athens Riviera

Get away from the bustling city centre to the glorious Athens Riviera in under 30 minutes.

11. Safe Location

Greece is ranked 42nd on the ranking of the World’s Safest countries. These sources take into consideration all kind of threats such as mugging, crime, road death toll, occurrence of terrorist attacks and wars.

EUPALINOS Tunnel - Samos Island

An International Tunnelling Landmark

The Eupalinos Tunnel is considered as one of the most important engineering achievements of antiquity. It’s a 1036m long tunnel in Samos Island, Greece, built in the 6th century BC to serve as an aqueduct.

The Eupalinos Tunnel is considered as the first underground project excavated with a geometry-based approach. The Engineer Eupalinos built a tunnel under a mountain by starting to dig, simultaneously, from two portals diametrically opposite. All applied measurements using maths and geometry are of outstanding precision.

It is estimated that 8-10 years were required to complete the project. The maximum overburden of the tunnel is ~ 170 m below the summit of the Kastro mountain and its elevation is 55m above sea level. The tunnel consists of a corridor having internal dimensions 1.80×1.80m and of a ditch 0.60m wide. The depth of the ditch ranged from 4.0m in its northern section to 8.9m in its southern one…


Supported By​

Local Authorities - Goverment

Technical Chamber of Greece & Associations

Greek Technical Universities


Athens International Airport (AIA)

Official Carrier

Contact Info

Phone: (+30) 210 6833600

Fax: (+30) 210 6847700

E-mail: eesye.gr@gmail.com, info@athenswtc2023.gr

Visit GTS: www.eesye.gr