A return of urban-dwellers back to the cities, especially the greater Athens-Piraeus area, began on Monday – Renewal Monday according to the Orthodox religious calendar – a day after Orthodox Easter and after a holiday exodus deemed as one of the biggest of recent memory.

The greater Thessaloniki area was also experiencing a mass return of local residents on Monday, with significant delays reported due to a closed stretch of the main north-south highway leading into the city and another spot under construction near the Malgara toll booths.

The situation caused a suspension in paying tolls, although traffic was snaking through only two lanes.

To the south in the greater Athens area, authorities said nearly 330,000 vehicles passed through the toll booths heading north to Lamia and west towards Corinth.

On the water, ferry boat capacity neared 100 percent, with more than 24,000 people and 3,348 vehicles departing on Good Friday from the port of Piraeus, and more than 9,770 passengers with 2,015 vehicles from the east Attica port of Rafina.

Inter-city buses were also nearly fully booked.