Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is a paradise for travellers seeking natural beauty, rich history, and authentic Mediterranean experiences.
So, if you want to explore the island to the fullest, the first thing you need to do is make the best car rental in Heraklion, Crete and start exploring this picturesque island!
However, driving in a foreign country can be challenging, and Crete is no exception.
To help you navigate the roads of this beautiful island safely and confidently, here are five useful tips for driving in Crete as a tourist.
Tips for Driving in Crete as a Tourist
Familiarise yourself with local traffic laws
Before hitting the road in Crete, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the local traffic laws and regulations.
The Greeks drive on the right side of the road and the speed limits are typically marked in kilometres per hour (km/h). In residential areas, the speed limit is usually 50 km/h, while on highways it can go up to 130 km/h.
Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers, while driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited.
One unique aspect of driving in Crete is the prevalence of mountainous terrain and winding roads. Be prepared for steep inclines, hairpin turns, and narrow village streets.
Always obey road signs and signals and be cautious when overtaking slower vehicles, especially on winding roads.
Rent a reliable vehicle
Choosing the right rental car is crucial for a comfortable and safe driving experience in Crete.
Opt for a reliable and well-maintained vehicle from a reputable rental company.
Check the vehicle thoroughly before accepting it, making sure that brakes, tires, lights and signals are all in good working condition. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of any existing damages to avoid disputes when returning the vehicle.
Additionally, consider renting a car with automatic transmission if you’re not comfortable with manual shift, as most rental cars in Greece are equipped with manual transmissions.
Plan your routes carefully
Crete boasts a diverse landscape, from stunning beaches to rugged mountains and charming villages.
To make the most of your time on the island, plan your routes and destinations carefully. GPS and navigation apps can be incredibly helpful, but make sure to have a backup plan in case you lose signal in remote areas.
Also, keep in mind that some rural roads may be less maintained than others.
Take extra precautions when driving on unpaved or poorly maintained roads and be prepared for sudden changes in road conditions.
Be patient and courteous
Greek drivers are known for their assertiveness on the road, but it’s essential to maintain patience and courtesy while driving in Crete.
Use your horn sparingly and avoid aggressive driving behaviours. When encountering narrow roads or tight parking situations in villages, yield to oncoming traffic and be prepared to back up if necessary.
Pedestrians often cross the road without using designated crosswalks, so stay alert in urban areas and near tourist attractions.
Remember that driving in Crete is not just about getting from point A to point B; it’s an opportunity to soak in the island’s culture and hospitality.
Parking in Crete can be challenging, especially in popular tourist areas and cities like Heraklion and Chania.
Look for designated parking lots or garages when possible. If you park on the street, make sure to pay for parking at the nearest kiosk or via a mobile app where available.
Illegally parked vehicles may be towed, resulting in additional costs and inconveniences.
In conclusion, driving in Crete can be a rewarding way to explore the island’s hidden treasures and unique landscapes.
By familiarising yourself with local traffic laws, renting a reliable vehicle, planning your routes, being patient and courteous and paying attention to parking regulations, you can make your driving experience in Crete safe and enjoyable.
So, fasten your seatbelt, grab a map, and embark on an unforgettable adventure through the picturesque roads of Crete!
At RoadCrete you will find the ideal rental vehicle for you to explore the beautiful Crete with safety and comfort.
Choose the vehicle that meets your needs and check-in online to save time and avoid unnecessary hassle!