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Athens rental car suggestions needed

We're planning to rent a car in Athens, tour around, and return it at the Athens airport. We'd like to get the car in Athens, hopefully at our hotel (www.avahotel.gr) and drop it off at the Athens Airport. Can anyone suggest a car rental company? Thanks!

Bob

Posted by
2866 posts

Unless you are intimately familiar with Athens I don't recommend you try to drive inside the city. The streets are very confusing with lots of unexpected one-ways. Parking is impossible and traffic is a nightmare. Any reason you can't just use public transportation? But if you do still choose to rent be sure to go to your local AAA office to pick up an International Driving Permit, no test required.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks. I'm not planning to drive the car around Athens. I'm going to leave Athens and hit other sites (Delphi, Napflion, etc.). I was hoping someone could suggest a good rental car company.

Bob

Posted by
2583 posts

Lee is exactly right, Bob. Driving is a hassle you don't want AND don't need. Most of the streets you want to take, to get to the ancient sites etc, are No-Car streets/lanes. I stay about 50 yards from AVA ... and that street is such a tight squeeze! You can get there and then get out, and that's IT. DO look at a good map ... do you have a guidebook?

Here is a VERY simplified map; your hotel is #63 -- it is insanely convenient, you are 5-15 minutes walk from almost everything you will want to see.
http://www.cretetravel.com/Athens/Athens_mini_guide/Athens_map.htm

The TAN streets/lanes are the pedestrianized ones. The Yellow supposedly are open to cars, but most of them are about 10-12 feet wide and one-way, with few markings and of course, no parking available.

When you are ready to go to the airport, you can have your hotel get you a taxi (at a charge of €50 or so)... or hail one yourself (about €35). Or roll your bags about 15 minutes up Amalia avenue (see the red-dotted line) to Syntagma Square. There you can hop the X95 Express Airport bus right on the corner (3.2E) that goes every 20 or 30 minutes 24/7... takes less than 1 hour, outside of rush hour. OR you can catch the Blue Line Metro to thew airport (10€ for a 2-person ticket); takes 45 minutes. Me, I like the bus ... ... no need to take steps or escalators down or up, it's the Last Stop in either direction, so there is no rushing getting on or off. Also, the luggage situatio is easier because the whole central part of the bus is a "luggage Pen". Easy-peasy.

Posted by
2866 posts

I remember last year someone came up with the name of a rental agency in Athens that was located very close to the National Highway so getting lost on city streets in an attempt to leave town wouldn't be a problem if you rented from them. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the company, but if you contact Dolphin-Hellas Travel or Fantasy Travel in Athens they might know it or be able to find out for you. Also, try asking your hotel concierge.

Posted by
448 posts

Bob - We have used Sixt in many countries. They will usually drop the car off at your hotel and give you directions out of town.

We have also used Carjet (didn't use pre-pay option) on a few occasions and didn't have any problems. In some locations, they don't allow drop off at a different location.

If you don't want to research locations yourself, the best option is what Lee suggested - call the travel agencies or your hotel and ask for their advice.

Posted by
290 posts

Bob, we rented from Hertz-they have locations at the airport and Pireaus. Also, check out Swift at: www.greektravel.com/swift They will pick you up at your hotel and drive you out of town before you take over.

Posted by
8 posts

We arranged online with swift/avanti, and will have the car delivered to our hotel on April 7 so we can drive out -- then will return it to the airport at the end of our trip. If you haven't yet found an agency, I will send you a note when we return to let you know how it went! From our emails, they seem very friendly!