Driving In Greece

cabrio driving

trafficRenting a car in Greece used to be a relatively expensive affair compared with other popular European holiday destinations. But with more than 14 million tourists now pouring into the country each year the number of car rental firms is growing rapidly and fierce competition is driving prices down in all the busiest resort areas.
There are plenty of car and motorbike rental agencies in Athens, but be warned that driving in the capital is likely to be one of the most hair-raising experiences of your life. The sheer volume of traffic and the bewildering maze of extremely narrow and clogged one-way streets make the city a nightmare for all but the bravest of foreign drivers and even for many Athenians, not to mention the blatant disregard for many traffic rules.

The aggressiveness of the Greek driver is exponentially increased when traveling on the expressways, locally referred to as the national roads, which often turn into obstacle-laden race-tracks, especially at the beginning and the end of the weekend, when the mass exodus and return of Athenians traveling to their respective ‘country houses’ takes place.
The best way to get around the city is by public transportation, which means by trolley, bus, metro (amazingly clean and beautiful, worth a ride just for the ride’s sake) or on the new tram being constructed in preparation for the Athens 2004 Olympics.
Only rent a car if you’re planning to spend time traveling about and exploring central mainland Greece.
If you survive the challenge of getting out of the city you’ll find there are a wealth of fascinating places of interest to visit within easy driving distance of the capital. Of course there are plenty of mototrcoach tours to the top tourist destinations and sites, such as Olympia, Delphi, Meteora and Mount Olympus.

traffic lightsBut with your own set of wheels you’ll be able to explore at leisure, enjoy pit stops at roadside tavernas (free from the hordes of fellow tourists) and take time to appreciate the stunning mountain scenery, which dominates the Greek mainland.
Many of the country’s winding mountain roads can be hazardous, with either crumbling or non-existent crash barriers. So drive with great care and be sure to take enough cash with you to pay for fuel if you’re going on a long journey because most gas stations don’t accept credit cards.
Reasonably priced car rentals are in abundance on most all the islands. Vehicle standards, quality and prices vary, so check out a few different rental agencies before you commit.
Moped and scooter rentals are a favored way to get around the islands, but be warned that there are a fair number of accidents involving foreign bikers every year; therefore we suggest you make sure you wear a crash helmet, which is a legal requirement in Greece, although you wouldn’t think so by looking at the indigenous motorbike crowd. Greek drivers are notoriously reckless, some say downright crazy, often driving at ridiculously high speeds all the while blasting their horns at anyone who doesn’t react quickly enough to a green traffic signal or move onto the shoulder of the road to let them pass.

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