I think it is no longer new for those who accompany us, that we try to explore as much as possible the places we go, and whenever possible, we rent a car, precisely because it gives us greater freedom to set up our routes.
So, every time we decide to travel to a new destination, the concern arises: Is it worth renting a car? And on our trip to Greece in mid-June / 2017 was no different. Our trip lasted 10 days, and our itinerary included beyond the mainland (Athens), 3 different islands (Santorini, Zakynthos and Kefalonia). As the route we were going to travel was quite large, renting the car was crucial, and so we had to make 3 different reservations, since for Santorini we used plane to get there.
In this way, we rented the car in Athens, Santorini, and Athens again, only this last time we took the car to the islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia. To make it easier, I’ll share our experience with places we visit and renting car guide in Greece.
The airport is located 35 km away from the center, so renting a car can be very useful to make the transfer, as well as visit some sights. Athens airport is not very big, so just at the exit gate of the boarding, you will already find signs indicating the car rental companies. Still about the rent, it is important to remember that at the time of the lease was required only passport, local driver’s license and credit card. However, even if it is not required, Greece is one of the countries that require the International Driving Permit so do not forget to take it on the trip. In general, we found it very safe to drive through Athens, as the roads are well signposted and we easily find parking on the street, close to the main sights. In addition, there are some fast-track, multi-lane roadways, making traveling easier.
For those who do not want to rent a car, it is possible to rent quadricycles, and we find plenty of rental options in the region of Fira. As I said earlier, Santorini itself is not very big, so it is easy to get around there. Practically the whole island has a simple lane, and is very well signposted. In some places the routes may be narrower, but with no problem or difficulty walking there.
This would be our third stop in Greece, and we chose to rent a car in Athens and cross to the island via a ferry, crossing with the car together. So we took the car at Athens airport and headed towards the port of Kyllini, which is approximately 290 km from the capital. The route to Kyllini is made by a road in good condition, mostly duplicated and with good signage (written in Greek and English). Even at that time, some works were being carried out on certain routes, for improvements. Driving in Zakynthos was also very quiet, even though the streets are smaller and you find many curves along the roads, there is good signage and a place to park quietly.
Important to remember that the island of Zakynthos is very extensive and has many beaches to be visited, so renting a car is well advised.
Kefalonia, like Zakynthos, has many beaches to be known, so a car is essential to explore the region well, with greater freedom. There, the streets are also small, but are well signposted, being easy to reach the desired place. To facilitate locomotion I recommend using a GPS.
To rent a car in Greece, the driver must be at least 21 years of age (minimum age may vary by category of vehicle) and must be enabled for at least 1 year. Drivers under the age of 25 and older than 70 years are subject to an additional fee.
The speed limits in Greece are:
Urban Areas: 50 km / h
Secondary highways: 90 km / h
Motorways: 120 km / h
Note: Rental Considerations
Before we decided to drive across the island from one island to another, we had read many reports of people renting the car on the other island, usually small businesses, which sometimes have better prices and wait for you right off the ferry. Honestly, in our case we did not find it very advantageous, especially because of the fact that we had to make a good journey to Kyllini. Therefore, this can be a good option for those intending to arrive on a particular island by plane, and only from then on, explore the surrounding islands.