Driving in Greece?

May 4th, 2011, 09:43 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2011
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Driving in Greece?

We're going to Greece next month and have a week free before our island sailing trip begins. Don't want to spend more than 2-3 days in Athens and then take a 2-3 day bus tour or take train/bus to west coast or we could spend the time driving a rental car to interesting places. Any suggestions? Are road signs in English? Is driving there unthinkable? (We are three women and have driven in other foreign countries.)
Martykay is offline  
May 4th, 2011, 11:58 AM
  #2  
 
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Driving is basically fine as long as you pay attention and DON'T attempt to drive in Athens itself. Road signs are in Greek and phonetic English both. If you need to book a car with an automatic transmission do so in advance. Otherwise you can wait until you're there if you prefer.

If you live in North America be sure to go to your local AAA/CAA office to pick up an International Driving Permit, no test or membership required, for USD $15 plus a photo fee if you don't bring 2 passport photos with you.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 10:59 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the reply. We'll have to drive some to get out of Athens. So don't try to get from airport to hotel?
Martykay is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 01:18 PM
  #4  
 
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You will be fine driving out of Athens if you pick up your rental car on Syngrou Avenue where most of the rental companies are located. It is worthwhile to take a taxi to the agency. If you are staying in Plaka the agency you pick could be within walking distance unless you have a large amount of luggage. I always suggest to have a good navigator to help you watch for the highway signs as you must keep up with the fast traffic when you first start out. Road signs are in English and Greek when leaving the city this way. The roads are well marked. Sounds like a dream of a trip! We have done it many times.
gogogreece is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 01:30 PM
  #5  
 
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Whoops,
Sorry I did not read your second reply. I suggest you do not drive from the airport to the city. Parking is difficult, and even for those familiar with the city, the traffic tie ups can be monumental. Amazing how they untangle, especially with the taxi drivers showing a bit of Greek "emotion". I know, because 2 years ago we took a wrong turn and were caught up in a traffic tangle.. The grand kids loved it!
PS-- One can find excitement at every corner. but I surmise that is not what you are in Greece for!
gogogreece is offline  
May 7th, 2011, 04:24 AM
  #6  
 
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You could drive to Delphi which is not far from Athens and very beautiful. Also you could drive down to the Peloponnese and visit Nafplio or Olympia. I agree about not driving in Athens, in the country it's much easier.
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travelmagpie is offline  
May 7th, 2011, 08:51 AM
  #7  
Les
 
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To add to what brotherleelove said, road signs are in Greek and phonetic English both, in the cities and larger towns, but not necessarily out in the country. I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the Greek spelling of your destination while you have the signs in both languages; you'll lose the English spelling as you get further from the city.
Driving through the Greek countryside was one of the great pleasures of our trip.
Les is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 08:41 AM
  #8  
 
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I am currently in Greece as part of a four week trip. Currently traveling around Pensivenesses for two weeks. Driving. So...

If I did not have my GPS then I would be in a sad state. There are some signs in English and Greek but many that are only in Greek.

The countryside is beautiful and there are great places to visit. Get to Mystras if you can. Messene was quite nice with not a tourist in sight.
AlwaysOnTheRoad is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 01:45 PM
  #9  
Les
 
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Re. post by AlwaysOnTheRoad,
Our GPS broke on the first day, and we had to navigate for the remaining 10 days just using the map that the car rental company provided. This was not a problem. In fact, we traveled on roads that the GPS probably would not have suggested, and never got lost. Also saw some beautiful towns and countryside that we might have missed using a GPS. It helps if you have someone to navigate while you drive - it would have been difficult with just one person. Also, see my post above regarding road signs.
Otherwise, just do it! You'll love it
Les is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 05:17 PM
  #10  
Doh
 
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Our GPS also stopped working for a while and we did not have any real problems (we had maybe a 15 min detour to the town of "ancient Epidauros" which we did not mind on our way to Napflio).
Doh is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 06:56 PM
  #11  
 
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We plan to do some driving in the Nafplion area How long a drive is it to Olympia from my home base of Nafplion??? Would this be considered a day trip or not?? Is it a winding mountainous road there????
bornintheusa is offline  
May 12th, 2011, 09:19 AM
  #12  
 
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Maybe two people with a map is fine - a solo traveler - a challenge.

If anything the routes from my GPS are much more exciting than I would pick using a map. My trusty Garmin routed me onto the most amazing single lane road through the Langada Pass enroute from the coast to Mystras - vice staying on 82.

As to Nafplio to Olympia. Not what I would do but...

It is 175 kilometers with an estimated driving time of three (3) hours each way. Certainly doable. Olympia is nice, I was there yesterday, easy to see everything to include the museum in 2-3 hours.
AlwaysOnTheRoad is offline  
May 12th, 2011, 11:47 AM
  #13  
 
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It is surprisingly easy to learn the Greek alphabet. You have a month, plenty of time to do it.

On several occasions, we found it very handy in several situations that we were able to read the Greek signs, in both capitals and lower case letters. It is well worth the effort to learn, esp if you will be driving around.
cheryllj is offline  

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