My daughter and i are traveling from Athens to explore the peloponnese. We only have 3days to get back to Athens. So we are thinking about rentina car at Athens airport when we leave Athens to the pelo. Anyone know if this safe? How are the roads to and from Athens, and how easy is Airport to find? tx
It is always difficult to answer a question like this, because it is dependent on your comfort level with driving. If you are pretty savvy, and it doesn't bother you to drive in unfamiliar, congested areas, then go for it. Greece is notorious for having the worlds worst drivers(maybe not the case), but they have been doing alot of road work over the last years and highways connecting major towns are modern four lane roads and safe. Once off those, the roads vary from a typical two lane to a wide single lane. The Greeks however interpret all roads as having three lanes, one for each direction and the middle for those in a hurry. Signs may be an issue, being able to recognize place names in Greek can sometimes be a struggle, although newer signs have names in both Greek alphabet and ours. Buses are an easy option, but will limit your travel due to schedule.
We rented a car and drove from Athens south to Nafplio and even to Olympia. No problem once we were on the major highways, but getting from Athens hotel to the highway was awful. The second time we arranged for the rental company to meet us at the hotel and drive us in the rental car to the outskirts of Athens. This was much better. The cost was minimal and well worth the convenience. Once outside of Athens we made a few wrong turns but nothing major. Check out Mike Barrets Greece travel guide web site for info on rental companies and arrangements. We used his info and had no problems. Hope this helps.
Very few what we would call highways in Greece, mostly around Athens. Last summer we drove from Athens to Nafplio, no problems. We then went from Nafplio to Mystras, which was predominately good road. From Mystras to Olympia didn't appear too far on the map, but given all the switchbacks and mountains what I thought was a two hour trip was four hours. Driving from Olympia to Delphi was fine.
Be prepared for some white knuckle travel, however. Most of the roads are wide two lane "highways", and there are definitely lots of hills/mountains and switchbacks in the Pelo where you will undoubtedly at some time get behind a truck and have to pass. The Greeks are crazy drivers, and pass on curves three across a two lane highway - you basically learn to drive hugging the side of the road, leaving the middle of the road for passing cars. I also believe the accident rate in Greece is one of the highest in the world. I was glad my husband did the driving....
The website Lisa recommends is by Matt Barrett. It's a great site........http://www.greecetravel.com/index.html