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Car rental in Greece- Athens to Ermioni (Peloponnese)

I am in the early stages of planning a trip to Greece. From a high level it would be fly into Athens (stay 2 nights) ....pickup a car (one way rental if possible) and drive to some destinations in the Peloponnese (total of 4 or 5 nights)....drop off the car if possible in the Ermioni area ....and take the ferry from Ermiori to Hydra (spend 3 or 4 nights)....then ferry to Athens, spend a night and fly back to the US

The main concern is the car rental. I have done some reserach and really don't see a great way to do a one way rental basically from Athens to Ermioni.

I'm early in the planning process so I can flex but in general I like the set up of my trip in that I can see the great sites on the Peloponnese, have some quality time on a Greek Isle and see a few sites in Athens

Has anybody done a trip like this in Greece and have any ideas on how to make the car rental part work?

Posted by
1382 posts

We went to Greece in May of this year. Landed at ATH, flew to Milos for 3 nights, then upon return to ATH rented a car with Athens Car Rental. Drove to Nafplio, then on to the Mani peninsula and later on, Delphi, back to airport to return and taxied to Athens for 3 nights.

I suggest doing Athens at the end, to save time and logistics. If you really want Hydra, I'd ferry there and back first, then drive from port of Piraeus upon return- I think if you use ACR, they will allow return at the airport (or the port, then taxi into the city, but I'd pick the airport. I think it's faster)

The Peloponnese is wonderful, I have a TR under that forum if you're interested. Let me know if you have more questions via PM.

Posted by
5748 posts

In April 2018, we did our 1-way rental just the opposite direction. Arrived in Athens, ferry to Hydra, then ferry to Ermioni, where we rented from Pop’s Car Rental. After driving around the Peloponnese for several days, we turned it in at the Athens airport. They made it simple, and the price was the best of any rental company we checked.

If they’re still operating as they did 4 years ago, you should likewise be able to rent in Athens and return it in Ermioni.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you both ! These are some great ideas that I will look at. I think I can make this work !!!

Posted by
5 posts

We just returned from this: Athens ~~ Mykonos ~~ Santorini ~~ Athens ~~ Hydra ~~ Ermioni (pick up rental car) —> Nafplio (Mycenae) —> Kardamyli —> ~~ Keffalonia ~~ —> Nafpatkos —> Delphi —> Athens (return car). It took a month, but I wish we had planned two.

We went by ferry from Hydra to Ermioni, rented our car there, and returned it at Athens airport. We used Pop's Car, recommended in the Rick Steves book. If you stay at the Sofitel you can leave your car with the hotel valet on the return then walk to your departure gate from the hotel next morning.

One glitch was cancellation of our Hydra ferry, forcing us to depart Hydra a day earlier and pick up a night in Ermioni. But Ermioni wasn't bad.

Your plan sounds good for a two-week trip. Maybe reverse it and use the Sofitel if you want to avoid the one-nighter in Athens. This allows you to get accustomed to driving while in the placid Peloponnese, and avoid driving in Athens altogether. Also, your time schedule from Hydra is tight and there are two ferry trips involved. A weather cancellation could kill you since there are no flights from Hydra, only boats.

Posted by
20 posts

We are planning a similar trip for June and plan to pick up our rental car from Athens Car Rental before driving directly to Delphi, Olympia, and Pylos. Like you, we plan to spend a few days on Hydra and have been told by ACR that we could drop the car off at Piraeus port (with a drop charge). I don’t know how easy it will be to meet them at Piraeus gate E-8, and would appreciate input from those who know the area, but at this is our current plan. Hope this helps!

Posted by
2 posts

Don't use Swift Car Rental as recommended by RS. They don't drive you out of the city as advertised. Our experience was terrible...requested a compact for a week of driving in small towns, was issued a sedan (similar to a Chrysler 300). In fact, we were issued two sedans (the battery died on the first one as they were delivering it to us). Second car was hit in a parking lot in Arachova because of its size. PM me if you want more specifics on this terrible company.