Driving in Greece
- The birthplace of western democracy, philosophy and science, Greece is a land of myth and legend. With peaceful islands and historic cities Greece is a wonderful place to explore and hiring a car gives you flexibility, independence and the ability to discover the hidden gems of this magnificent country.
- If you make one car journey in mainland Greece, you should follow in the footsteps of historic travellers and take a trip to Delphi. The drive from Athens takes less than three hours. You’ll travel through some beautiful countryside on the way to the site of the famous Oracle, where the ancients came to hear prophecies about their future.
- The speed limit on Greek motorways is 130km/h. In built up areas this reduces to 50km/h. On other major roads it is 110km/h. There are further variations to these limits so it’s important to take notice of local signage.
- Carry your driving licence at all times. EU Citizens are able to drive in Greece with their own national licence. Drivers from other countries may need further documentation so it’s important to check this before driving. UK citizens should be aware that requirements may change after Brexit.
- Greece has a number of Toll roads and the system is more complicated than in most other European countries. Different companies maintain and manage different roads including toll fees and rules. It’s a good idea to think about where you want to drive in Greece and research tolls thoroughly beforehand.
Some rules of the Greek road
- The driver and all passengers must wear a seatbelt.
- Children under the age of 10 must travel in the backseat.
- Children under the age of 4 must be seated in a suitable child seat.
- Handheld devices, such as mobile phones must not be used when driving in Greece.
- The blood alcohol limit in Greece is 0.05%
Car hire in Greek airports
As one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations Greece is served by a number of airports on both its mainland and island regions. The busiest airport in Greece is Athens, which serves the capital city and surrounding areas. In 2018 over 24 million passengers travelled through Athens airport. Heraklion, Thessaloniki and Rhodes all served more than 5 million passengers each.
Although it is possible to book car hire on arrival at many Greek airports, booking in advance with Enjoy Car Hire will save you time and money. Booking in advance also gives you the added security of knowing you’ll get the size and standard of vehicle you really need. Car hire costs vary according to location, vehicle type and time of year. For example, you can hire a small car such as a Fiat 500 from £65 per week in late spring, this would increase by around £100 at the height of summer. Use our search tool to find the best deal for your dates.
Guide to Greece
Aside from its borders with Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey and North Macedonia, Greece is almost completely surrounded by the sea. It is a beautiful country with mild winters and hot summers. Made up of a mix of island territories and a magnificently varied mainland. Greece is one of the most significant regions of world history but don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a country of history, with a population of over 10 million Greece is a great place to enjoy the modern world. Food, bars, clubs and live music are just some of the highlights of 21st Century Greece.
The birth of what is usually regarded as Ancient Greece began around the 8th Century BC, though the region was inhabited long before this. This is where we start to see the development of the Greek alphabet. It’s important to know there was not, at this point, a nation called Greece. Instead it was a geographic region, consisting of a number of city-states, such as Athens and Sparta. Each of these states was self-governing, had their own leaders and military. Most city-states were separated either by the sea or other geographical features, such as mountains.
A Land of Myth
The myths which the ancient Greeks used to explain the origins of the world, have fascinated people for centuries. Many Greek myths found their way around the world by entering and merging with later Roman mythology. They tell of the major gods and heroes of the ancient Greeks including Zeus, Athena, Heracles and Theseus.
Many figures from the Greek myths have become culturally iconic and still feature in fiction and film today, including the snake-haired-gorgon Medusa. Writers and readers today are still fascinated by the myths, which can be argued form the basis for most stories western society has created since. Franchises as wide ranging as Wonder Woman and Percy Jackson have the roots firmly planted in Greek mythology.
A Land of Diversity
Thanks to the long history of city-states, the various Greek regions have their own histories and identities. This means there are a wide range of unique natural, cultural and gastronomical experiences in every part of the country. From exploring the ancient remains of the Parthenon in Athens to unwinding on one of the beautiful beaches of Crete, there are things here for every kind of traveller. Do not miss out on Greek street-food, it’s affordable and delicious with options for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.
Places to visit in Greece
The Acropolis of Athens - The Greek word Acropolis translates as ‘highest point.’ The Athens Acropolis is located above the city. The Parthenon, an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, and one of the most famous buildings in the world, is located here. However, it is not alone. A number of stunning and significant architectural wonders can be found here. A visit to Athens would be incomplete without walking through the historical acropolis.
Greece has hundreds of beautiful beaches, especially on the islands. This particular beach is on the mainland. Located in the Pelion region on the east coast this beach is a natural beauty spot and a relaxation paradise. The crystal-clear waters of the Aegean will call you down through the pine-covered-walkway to the white-pebbled beach, where you can relax, swim and find yourself at one with nature. At roughly a half-day drive from Athens or Thessaloniki this is a great place to stop for a night or two on a journey between these cities.
The Thessaloniki Archaeology Museum – An ancient civilization deserves an excellent museum and the collection of displays here should not disappoint. Highlights include The Petralona Hoard, a collection of Early Bronze Age tools and a statue of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus. Tickets to the museum are only €4.00
Waterparks of Greece
All of the major tourist areas of Greece have waterparks offering fun in the sun for all the family. If you’re on the mainland take a drive to Splash Water Park, close to Corinth for great value thrills and spills from €16 adults and €12 children. Visit our specific islands page for information on more waterparks and more.
Getting to and from Greece
As one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, Greece is well served by national and international airlines. The largest Greek airline is Aegean which is part of the Star Alliance group and flies to and from 153 destinations worldwide. Large international carriers such as British Airways and KLM fly into many areas of the country as well as a number of budget airlines. Flights are available to Greek cities and islands from most of Europe’s major airports. Once in Greece it is possible to fly between the regions and islands, with car hire available in most destinations. Be sure to book online through Enjoy Car Hire to get the best choice and price.
FAQ's about Greece
On which side of the road should I drive in Greece?
Like most European countries you should drive on the right-hand-side in Greece.
What is the speed limit in Greece?
The motorway speed limit for cars is 130km/h. On other main roads the limit for cars is 110km/h and in built up areas 50km/h. Remember though, there are further restrictions and speed limits in operation on individual roads, it’s essential to obey local signage.
How far is Athens from Thessaloniki?
The journey between Athens and Thessaloniki is around 5 hours. If you have time you can split this by taking in a visit to the beautiful Mylopotamos Beach in the Pelion region.
What is the Summer weather like in Greece?
Summer in Greece, June – August, is usually hot and dry, a temperature of 40°C
is common. If heat isn’t your thing, a visit in Spring or Autumn is a great idea, you’ll also probably save a little money.
What is the currency in Greece?
The currency in Greece is the Euro.
Is Greece in the European Union?
Yes. Greece has been a member of the EU since 1981.
Can I use my driving license in Greece?
EU Citizens can drive in Greece using their own national driving license. Visitors from elsewhere may need further documentation. British drivers should keep up to date with any changes which occur as a result of Brexit.
You are not to park within 3 metres of a fire hydrant, within 5 metres of a junction, or within 15 metres of a public transport stop.
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