Greece is hands-down one of the best destinations in Europe – if not the world – for a road trip!
We just can’t get enough of it! And it’s all down to its huge selection of different and unique landscapes.
Fancy touring a picturesque country village one morning, sampling delicious fresh handmade treats for lunch and then looking at the sun set over the sea the very same day?
Well, Greece it is then!
So, if you’re setting off on a country-wide road trip or you’ve got your heart set on exploring a specific region, there’s a few things you’ll want to get up to speed with before you fly or ferry yourself over to Greece…
Your Greek road trip checklist
Few things are worse than a road trip in an unfamiliar country that’s gone terribly wrong! To lower your chances of a Greek driving sojourn turning into the holiday from hell, make sure you:
Book a small car
Vision of an epic road trip involve you speeding around Greece in a spacious SUV? Let us stop you right there!
While Greece’s motorway system is made up of wide roads where you can slip into cruise control and relax, the country’s rural roads aren’t quite as dreamy.
Many roads, especially in mountainous regions, remote country villages or small islands, are extremely narrow or just plain windy. Having a big car instead of something small and nifty will therefore make most of Greece a massive headache to navigate.
The same goes for a lot of car parks in Greece. It’s likely you’ll have trouble squeezing into a spot, or even making the clearance of the entrance, if you’ve hired a larger vehicle!
Remember they drive on the right in Greece!
Now this is one definitely not to forget!
Just like most countries in Europe, the Greeks drive on the right-hand side of the road. It can take a bit of time to get used to this change if you’re venturing there from Australia or you’ve just been driving around the UK, so avoid driving when you’re tired and more likely to slip up!
Will you travel by ship to an island?
If you want to move with a ship to another island you have to book your tickets(and the car tickets) in advance.
Note that when you book ferry tickets online you have to add the license plate numbers. THIS IS NOT MANDATORY.
You can book them by adding a default Plate number (Greek Plate numbers are usually in this format: AAA-1111) and the local authorities will be happy to allow you on the ferry.
Also always be mindful of your vehicle’s spot when you park it in a ferry as you are not covered by the insurance companies on the ship. (you can get more exact details when you pick up your car)
And that means that you are responsible for the car’s condition. (unless you bought a full insurance cover package).
Keep an eye out for toll roads
Know much about Greece’s toll roads? We’ve got the lowdown.
Greece is pretty confusing, and you’ll find loads of dual carriageways which can whizz you quickly from one region to the next. Unfortunately, a lot of these are toll roads and, at €5-15 a pop, they can really start to add up after a while!
While they can be unavoidable at times (toll roads are typically the fastest ways to get from A to B), you might want to plan out some of your driving routes on smaller, country roads instead. They won’t be as well-kept (or as wide!), but they’ll probably be pretty scenic.
Map out a road trip route– but only roughly
All about the spontaneity? Love a random adventure? Us too!
But, while it can be nice to be a bit spontaneous on a driving holiday, it’s still a good idea to have a vague idea of where you’re going.
We find planning out a few spots you’ll definitely make pitstops at in advance is a good way to give yourself the freedom to visit wherever takes your fancy in between!
Plan your overnight parking in advance
Staying at a hotel or holiday rental which includes free or cheap parking? You’re sorted then. No drama!
But if you’re not, it’s a savvy idea to look for your parking spots in advance to avoid spending half the night searching for a space.
It helps to give your accommodation a quick call beforehand for advice or simply do a web search for local parks and free parking areas in the cities/towns you’re planning to visit.
We can definitely all agree that finding parking is one of the most stressful parts of a road trip! Who wants to have to deal with that pressure if you don’t have to?!
Essentials to pack in your hire car in Greece
Preparation is the key to success on a driving holiday, so make sure you have:
– A paper map in case the GPS or phone signal fails you and you’re stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Some hire cars feature built-in satnavs, but it’s still a good idea to have a physical map or at least to download one on your phone.
– A warning triangle in case you breakdown and a medic kit in case you have an emergency when you are far away from a hospital or medical center (ask about this when you pick up your rental car).
– Water and snacks are always a good thing to have stashed in your car in case you breakdown somewhere remote. If you’re journeying across Greece in the winter, make sure you’ve got plenty of warm clothing, too!
Greece road trip inspiration
This fun-loving, tourist-packed nation has an endless stream of bucket list places perfect for visiting at your own pace! Searching for some solid ideas on where to go on your next road trip in Greece? Why not:
1.Hit the mountains on a driving holiday between trendy Thessaloniki and the pretty Olympus.
2.Check out the stunning islands for endless beaches filled with white sand and unique experiences. No island is the same as you will soon find out. Every island you choose will be a completely new tasteful and fun experience.
3.Walk (or drive) in Athens the birthplace of democracy and view Greece’s most famous landmark, the Parthenon.
4.Hop between Greece’s provinces on a grand tour of the country’s most Instagram-worthy landscapes.