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Where to rent car to visit Meteora

First, thanks to everyone who posts and answers questions on the forum! I have been reading it the last few months and have used the information to plan our 4 days before and after our RS Greece tour.
We will be arriving in Athens on April 7, spending two night in Athens and then traveling to Meteora for the next 2 nights, then returning to Athens to start the tour. We are still debating about whether to take the train or drive. If we decide to drive should we bus back to the airport to rent a car or is there somewhere in north Athens that we can get to on the metro, rent a car, and not have to drive thru town. Thanks!

Posted by
1 posts

Best thing to do in our experience is to take the metro from Syntagma or the closest station to you in Athens and head to the airport to pick up a rental car. That way you can avoid the horrendous traffic in downtown Athens!

Having that said, there are many options to rent a car at the airport, mostly the larger international companies as far as we could tell. Having gone through a lot of forums, skimming to find the best car rental recommendations, we ended up going with one of the most recommended ones on Trip Advisor which was ACR (Athens Car Rental). I can confidently say it was the most hassle free experience we have ever had with renting a car, from booking the vehicle up until our return at the airport. (They meet and greet you at the airport with the rental car at which time you also specify the time and place of return, which is usually at the departures level, as far as they told us, so that you can be on your way as conveniently as possible.). The car was almost brand new, clean and had enough of a punch to take us up the mountain roads on our route. The price they offer is the price you pay, no hidden fees like most car rentals apply. Their prices appeared the same or higher than a few other car rentals we went through, but then noticed that a lot of additions were included in their rates, whereas the other car rental agencies had none and charged extra for every single one of them! Cannot recommend them enough and would of course go with them again if we end up in Greece sometime in the future.

There should be quite a few options to rent a car at the airport, but before anything make sure you read as much as possible about them since everyone knows there are quite a few out there to scam you! As in all things, the cheapest might sometimes end up being the most expensive.

Hope this was of some use to you and helps you with your plans!

Posted by
186 posts

I'm not sure what your comfort level is with driving, but we live in a suburban area and drive in a 'big city' occasionally. We had no trouble driving in and around Athens. What we have done for all of our trips is rent a car at the airport and drive it to the hotel. Choose a hotel that has parking and that way you will not have to eat up precious time going back to the airport for a rental. You can leave for Meteora as early as you'd like, knowing the car is right there with you. When you return, you can either arrange to return the car at an in-town location of your rental company near your hotel or take it to the airport. Yes, you have to pay for two days of rental this way, but it is a small cost in relation to the time you gain.

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks Alexander and stephb for your great advice and suggestions! We really appreciate it!

Posted by
484 posts

We rented a car Athens-Meteora last summer. We rented a car from Swift / Avanti (https://www.greektravel.com/swift/). Advantages of this company:

  • they brought the car to our hotel in the Plaka and did all the paperwork there;
  • they drove us to the main highway pointed in the right direction and got out to let us take over from there;
  • the car was a Opel Corsa in good condition;
  • we dropped the car off at the airport, and they had a representative meet us there to do the paperwork and retrieve the car.

You didn't ask, but I'll offer recommendations for Doupiani House hotel in Meteora (www.doupianihouse.gr); and for Visit Meteora hiking and bus tours (https://www.visitmeteora.travel/).

Posted by
19 posts

darrenblois - thanks for your suggestion about another way to rent a car in Athens, we will definitely keep it in mind as we make our decision. We have already reserved a room at Doupiani House, so glad that you recommend it!

Posted by
959 posts

We took the train from Athens and rented a car once in Meteora. I can’t remember who we rented from though. We visited several Monastery on our own.