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Hire a car in Athens
The capital of Greece is one of the oldest cities in the world.
World famous ancient landmarks dramatically sculpt the cityscape, whilst modern rooftop bars allow you to sit above the skyline and soak in the Athens aura.
Aside from the obvious options, there are many more unusual treasures within the city walls: whether you’re hunting for amphitheatres or content wandering old districts, Athens is sure to melt your heart. There are lots of rumours about driving in Greece, but careful drivers don’t have to worry. It’s ultimately the best way to see the amazing landscape around Athens and beyond.
Hilly landscape – 80% of Greece is mountainous, and whilst beautiful, mountainous roads can make for some challenging driving. Take it slow, and be prepared for what’s around the corner.
Local drivers – aggressive driving is not uncommon in Greece. Take extra care on one lane roads – overtaking is common practice and sometimes you’ll see local drivers using the hard shoulder as a means to do so. You’ll likely come across lots of motorbikes too, so be prepared to watch out for them.
Navigating the roads – having a Sat Nav is extremely useful, but a back up map will also come in handy. Some minor roads may not have names so GPS systems can be a little ambiguous with their directions.
Types of road – the quality of the roads may not be as good in small, rural villages.
Road signs – these are usually in both Greek and English.
Winding roads – Prepare for travel sickness, especially if you have children who aren’t used to winding journeys!
Things to be aware of
Speed limits – Greek speed limits are as follows: 50 km/h on residential streets, 90 km/h out of town and 110-120 km/h on motorways. Locals may not give you an accurate representation of the speed limits, so it’s best to know them beforehand!
The cost of petrol – fuel is expensive in Greece (it’s one of the priciest places in the world to buy it) so check the latest petrol prices and pop a few tanks into your holiday budget.
Where to pick up – driving in Athens can be tricky so an airport pick up is advisable. Outside of the city, driving is much more relaxing
Parking – this can be tricky in towns, and you’ll probably have to pay. It’s worth looking ahead at where you are driving to find suitable parking. You’ll see non-tourists leaving their cars in precarious positions with the hazards on in order to run their errands – we don’t advise joining them!
Toll roads – there are lots of these outside of Athens. Whilst adding to the cost of driving, they aren’t expensive, they do offer the best quality roads and using them is usually the safest route.
A drive through history
Athens International Airport
The main international gateway to Greece.
A grand scale 14,000 seat open air theatre immersed in rolling hills.
Romantic town on its own little peninsula, with stunning port and Venetian architecture.
The second most popular archaeological site in Greece (after the acropolis).
UNESCO World Heritage Site, this important part of Byzantine history is not to be missed.
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