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Renting a Car to go to Nafplio from Athens

My son and his fiancé are interested in renting a car to drive from the port of Piraeus to Nafplio to enjoy the day and evening there stay overnight and get up the next morning and go to Mycenaean for a couple of hours before driving back to the port to return the rental car and jump on an afternoon ferry to Naxos. Is this an advisable idea? They will be in Athens already for a couple of days (flying from Germany-so no jet lag) the first week in August. My son will have just graduated from law school and taken the bar and is 25 years old. He studied abroad during his undergraduate time and traveled to multiple countries every weekend so a savvy European traveler. He has never rented a car in Europe though. He has read Rick’s book and he says it is an easy drive. But I was wondering if anyone who has done it since the pandemic has an opinion. Thanks.

Posted by
2856 posts

YEs, it is an easy drive, on Greece's most modern intercity divided highway ... they must just be aware that the first week of August will be High Season in Greece, and much more highway traffic than when I've usually gone (late May). If they plan this, they should browse booking dot com -https://www.booking.com/district/gr/nafplion/nafpliooldtown.html - or other agency NOW, if they hope to get an Old TOwn moderate-price room (& weekends even more challenging).

NAFPLIO certainly will reward a 1.5 day trip-- this photo albm from RS contributor and ace photog "stanbr" http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094108982/ shows highlights of Old Town beauty, and nearby ancient sites. (BTW, enroute, just over Corinth Canal 15 miles, is an "overlooked Gem" -- ANCIENT NEMEA.... "Sacred Games runner-up to Olympic" - also had Games every 4 years -- it has been beautifully excavated, authentically restored, and in July holds its 8th Revived Nemean Games, attracting competitors world wide - http://nemeangames.org/ - a stunning stadium, temple colums, a superb small museum.. and NO crowds. 5 miles off highway, can be enjoyed in under an hour.

The only BIG Challenge will be getting away from Athens traffic; to explain see this excellent map - http://euro-map.com/karty-grecii/peloponnes/podrobnaya-turisticheskaya-karta-peloponnesa.jpg - ( click & it gets huge - use side-slides to navigate). The big toll-ways are Green. U can see a GREEN Road goingN from Port and connecting to GREEN road westbound out of Athens to connect with GREEN road along shore... after that it's smooth-sailing, but that first bit is a HEAVY truck-route, After taking it outbound, on his return, he can decide whether to also take it inbound. (We were heading for airport in 2019 but took the South route by missing the turn and it was no fun) He may decide to go the Long way to Pireaus, on the North beltway, then the big GREEN ROAD straight N-S to port. I would advise candid discussion with car-rental people on best choice.

Posted by
60 posts

Thank you so much for your detailed reply. I have passed the info on to my son and he really appreciated it.

Posted by
2856 posts

Glad that it was helpful, SDW. And BTW I hope that your son has an International Driving Permit -- In Greece they are still required of non-EU drivers. Even if he got one some time ago, as I recall they are only good for a year. I'm hoping that he's still in the US... since the law school is here... so tell him he has to stop by AAA, takes 20 minutes costs about $25, a bit less if he has 2 passport-size photos with hm.

Posted by
984 posts

I thought I recently read that Greece has dropped the International drivers permit requirement. Might be a good idea to confirm that before spending money on something that is no longer required.

Posted by
2856 posts

YEs, I saw that too... but on same day, saw an observation from someone actually in greece that they were asked that day for their IDP.. so maybe the govt hasn't gotten the word efficiently (surprise!).

Posted by
125 posts

I want to add we used was Athen's Car Rental. Long story short, there is a lot of car rentals with similar names. They were very gracious after our mix up with our car today. We happened to get 2 reservations by mistake. We ended up paying the E65 because it was our fault. It was a confusing mixup. So make sure you book with and confirm with the same rental company. I'm not a fan of booking through a 3rd party anything when it comes to travel. I prefer to book direct if I can.

Posted by
125 posts

BTW, when we booked the car they took our California driver's license and our passport without hesitation.