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Driving In Santorini and Pelopponnese

I wanted to add my comments regarding driving in Greece. We just got back last week and we very glad we rented a car. My husband (71) was the driver and I (67) was the navigator. We rented in Santorini from Santorini Holiday Cars, which I recommend. 2 days for a small car ws 38E and gave us a lot of flexibility to see the whole island. They included a map and were helpful with verbal directions to our hotel in Firostephani. The car was older but we had no problems with it.
Our second rental car was for when we were about to leave Athens. We rented from Swift (which also goes by Economy) per Rick's suggestion and it was very satisfactory and reasonable. We has a Nissan Micro, and they picked us up at the Plaka Hotel right on schedule and drove us to Syngrou with directions straight ahead to the highway towards Delphi. Drop-off was tricky, as we missed a turn and ended upp in the maze of streets in West Athens.. Thank goodness for Google Maps!
Roads can be windy and narrow, and the best way to find your way is to be aware of the next few towns you should be going through, as English signage wasn't always prevalent. If you study a little bit of the Greek alphabet so you know the first few letters of the towns in Greek that's helpful. Traffic was sparse on the roads on the Peloponnese, people were very helpful and we felt safe at all times. A wonderful trip that was too short!

Posted by
2 posts

I wanted to ask a question about driving the Pelopponnese and wasn't sure of protocol for this forum--whether it would be considered a threadjack or if it would avoid duplication?

My question is about driving to hotels in Delphi and Olympia--how to figure out the parking situation and what should be the requirement in selecting a hotel?

When we travel regularly in Brasil and Mexico, we won't stay at a hotel that doesn't have a locked and/or guarded parking lot, and guidebooks are explicit about which places offer parking.

For the Pelopponnese, I am not finding a parking entry in guidebooks, and websites may not even mention parking. So should I assume that auto theft is less of a concern? Do most hotels offer parking onsite/nearby?

Many thanks for any insights.

Posted by
16894 posts

Naismith, Rick's intro to each of those chapters in his guidebook indicate that parking is free and easy both at the archeological sites and on the street (but not where there are double yellow lines painted). See "Arriving"

Posted by
1388 posts

Naismith its probably better to start your own thread to attract appropriate attention.
having said that here goes.
There are lots of hotels in Delphi village. The parking is free on the street but the trick is finding a spot in the village and at the site. There is fierce competition for spaces but they are there.
The main street of Delphi is busy as all traffic has to pass by. We went thorough the town found the site then returned to look for a hotel. Instead of staying on the main street we took the upper road where there was minimal traffic and we were able to park right in front of our hotel.
Because Delphi is perched on the side of a mountain there are no parking lots per say just street parking. Let me restate that I didn't see any parking lots.
Here is my strategy for doing Delphi.
Time your arrival in late afternoon so the place has started to clear from the tour bus crowds. Find a hotel in the village and marvel at the views down the mountainside all the way to the Gulf of Corinth. It is like a river of olive trees. Chances are you will have time to visit the museum and probably the lower site which is open and ungated.
Next morning arrive at the site at opening. This will give you about 2 or 3 hours virtually alone on the site. It’s great for photographs. By the time the crowds arrive you will be at the top of the site and they will all be at the bottom so that buys you at least anther hour. Depart Delphi by noon to go to your next destination.

Olympia is entirely different. It is in a flat area so there is on street and parking lots to choose from.
Here are some images
Olympia Delphi Meteora