About Greece (GR)
Greece (GR) consists of a mountainous mainland in Southeastern Europe, and an uncountable number of Greek Islands in the Mediterranean, Ionian, and Aegean Seas. Its ancient culture is a primary influence on Western civilization, and its destinations are among the most visited sites in world tourism. Some travelers come to Greece for the architecture and history, some come for the postcard views from the beach of a remote island, and still others come to immerse themselves in modern Greek culture. For Europeans in particular, who comprise the bulk of visitors, a visit to Greece is at the top of every traveler’s bucket list — or a familiar trip taken on numerous occasions. From the Acropolis to the Parthenon, the Temple of Zeus in Olympia to Santorini, few countries can match the star power of world-class attractions found in Greece. Many travelers will attest that Greece is a destination that inspires multiple visits over the course of a lifetime, which merely scratches the surface of everything it has to offer.
Getting around Greece by car depends on your destination. For any stay of one night or longer in Athens and the mainland, visitors will want to rent a car — if not for the sake of convenience, then avoidance of public transportation is reason enough. For visits to some of the smaller islands such as Serifos and Donousa, car hire won’t even be an option. On the other hand, Greece car rentals are readily available on many of the larger islands of Corfu, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, and Karpathos. Plus, there are a range of car ferry boats departing from Athens to all island groups (see Tips and Advice), as well as inter-island service (c.g. Rhodes to Crete). Extra-generally speaking, driving on the mainland is straightforward European navigation, albeit on somewhat of a narrow scale. Trips from Athens to important outlying cities of Sparta, Tripoli, Kalamata, Lamia, and Patras, are all within easy reach of a day trip. For exploration of Northern Greece, travelers would be better off flying in to Thessaloniki and renting a car from there. And finally, island driving is best with a smaller class vehicle in the minicar, compact, and economy range.
Choosing your car
Cheap Greece car rentals are provided by the most trusted names in car hire. Choose your perfect vehicle from Avis, Sixt, Dollar, Enterprise, Thrifty, or National. Minicars and compact hatchbacks are the most popular models in Greece, and typically sell out before standard and intermediate sedans. Select from 7-12 seater minivans, SUVs, estate wagons, and luxury and premium vehicles.
Tips and advice
Peak tourist season runs from April through October, with July and August bearing the weight of the crush. Book especially far in advance to secure your Greece car hire. Specific hot spots include Crete and the Cyclades island group (Naxos, Paros, etc.).
All major Greek mainland attractions are reachable by car, but many are found in remote locations accessed by unpaved rural routes. Check with your Greece car hire vendor about off-road restrictions. Most car rental companies will allow all-wheel drive vehicles to drive on rural roads.
The tricky parts of driving in Greece involve risky local driving habits and navigating certain twisting one-lane mountain roads. Use common sense before attempting to drive across unfamiliar terrain. If you haven’t done it at home, you probably shouldn’t do it in Greece.
Fuel is expensive in Greece. One more reason to consider a compact, fuel-efficient car.
Some Greece car rental providers allow their cars to board Greek ferryboats. Most do not — with a wink and a nudge. It’s a detail many renters conveniently omit from travel plans. Be advised that your rental agreement may be nullified if something goes wrong on the boat.
Not all Greek ferries run year-round, and some require advance booking with the make, model, and license plate number of your car hire — due to space concerns. Don’t worry too much about specifics. If you say Chevrolet Spark and roll up in a Ford Fiesta, you’re unlikely to be turned away. Hint: use [YOURNAME456] for the license plate number.