Driving in Greece

Ready for a road adventure in Greece? Navigate the picturesque yet challenging Greek roads with ease with this comprehensive guide to driving in Greece. Designed for drivers of all levels, this resource provides essential information to ensure a safe journey. Master local driving regulations, accurately interpret road signs, and discover effective strategies for parking in busy areas. Obeying speed limits and driving with vigilance are also covered, giving you the knowledge to enjoy a memorable and safe driving experience as you traverse Greece’s diverse landscapes.

Let’s start with defensive driving. This means always being alert and prepared for unexpected events on the road. For example, watch out for scooters weaving in and out of traffic, especially in cities like Athens.

Understanding the traffic laws in Greece is crucial. You need to know that the legal blood alcohol limit is lower than in many other countries, only 0.05%. It’s also important to remember that seat belts are mandatory for all passengers.

Reading road signs can be tricky, but don’t worry. Signs pointing to archaeological sites are brown, while signs for national roads are green. Blue signs guide you on local roads.

Parking in busy areas such as Athens or Thessaloniki can be a challenge. It’s a good idea to use parking apps like ParkAround to find a spot.

Finally, obey the speed limits. They are usually 50 km/h in cities, 90-110 km/h on open roads, and 120 km/h on highways. But always pay attention to local signs that may indicate different speeds.

By following the advice in this guide, you’ll navigate Greek roads like a pro and have a fantastic driving experience.

driving in greece

Defensive Driving in Greece

Knowing how to drive defensively is very important when driving in Greece. This is because you need to stay safe, even though Greek drivers may not follow the rules exactly. Defensive driving means staying aware and ready to deal with hazards before they happen, and adjusting your driving style to avoid accidents.

In Greece, driving styles can be different, so tourists and others who aren’t from Greece should be extra careful. Greek drivers may take a more relaxed view of the rules, which can be surprising if you’re not used to it. Defensive driving here means always being on the lookout, leaving enough space between you and the car in front, being ready if other cars stop quickly, and expecting things like drivers not stopping at pedestrian crossings or using their hazard lights in unusual ways.

Getting good at defensive driving will help you feel safer on Greek roads. This can help reduce the number of car accidents, making it safer for everyone who’s driving or walking.

Understanding Traffic Laws of Greece

When driving in Greece, it’s really important to practice defensive driving. Why is that? Well, the traffic laws in Greece can be strict, and you also need to pay attention to how the locals drive. For example, you need to be extra careful when looking at road signs because they are in both Greek and English, and sometimes they’re hard to see or not there at all.

Remember, you’re driving on the right side of the road in Greece. It’s very important to drive the speed limit to avoid heavy fines and to stay safe. In the city you should not drive faster than 50 km/h, on open roads keep it under 110 km/h and on highways the limit is 120 km/h. But remember that some local drivers may not follow these rules as closely, so be prepared.

If you’re visiting from another country, you’ll need an International Driving Permit to drive legally in Greece. This is to ensure that you know the driving rules that apply in Greece.

Also, everyone in the car must wear a seatbelt – it’s the law. If you don’t wear one, you could get a hefty fine. More importantly, wearing a seat belt is an important part of defensive driving. It’s one of the best ways to protect yourself in the event of an accident.

Read more: Road rules and safety – Greece

highway in greece

Driving on Mountain Roads

Driving in the mountains of Greece can be tricky. The roads often twist and turn, and you may find yourself going up or down very steep hills. You need to keep your eyes open and drive carefully to handle these sudden turns and changes in elevation. In Greece, you’ll find that some roads are in great shape, but others, especially in less traveled areas, can be rough and less predictable.

If you’re approaching a steep hill, make sure you’re in the right gear and keep your speed even to prevent the car from stalling. Slow down for sharp turns and be prepared for cars coming the other way that you may not see immediately. It’s important to drive defensively in the mountains because it’s harder to see far ahead and you have less time to react if something happens.

The weather can also change quickly in the mountains, making roads slippery or hard to see. Drivers need to adapt quickly to these changes to keep themselves and others safe.

Interpreting Road Signs

When driving on the winding mountain roads of Greece, you need to be careful and pay attention to the road signs. These signs help to keep you safe and ensure that you follow the local traffic rules. When you’re driving, it’s important to look for signs that tell you how fast to drive, when to give way to other cars, and other rules to follow.

Most road signs in Greece are in both Greek and English, which makes it easier for foreign drivers to get around. Traffic lights use the standard red, yellow and green colors. But remember that some drivers in Greece may start driving when the light turns yellow instead of preparing to stop. You’ll see posted speed limits, and they’re taken seriously. You should not drive faster than 50 km/h in cities and 120 km/h on highways. Yield signs, which look like upside-down triangles, remind you to be careful when you’re at intersections or roundabouts.

It’s very important to obey the rules of the road in Greece, not only because it’s the law, but also to ensure your safety. Make sure you know what the different signs and symbols mean so you can avoid breaking the law and paying fines.

Parking Insights and Tips

When driving in Greece, it’s really important to not only pay attention to road signs, but also to understand where you can park without getting a ticket. Finding a parking space, especially in the busier parts of the cities, can be difficult. You need to know what the local parking signs mean.

In the city center, you’ll usually find paid parking lots marked with blue lines. To park there, you need to buy a ticket from a nearby machine or use an app like AthensPass.

If you’re renting a car, be sure to ask if parking is included with your rental. Some hotels or car rental companies may have a special spot for you. Remember, you can’t park closer than 15 feet to a corner or 45 feet from where buses stop. You will be fined if you do. Also, stay away from fire hydrants and make sure you’re not blocking the street.

Car Rental Guidelines

To have a hassle-free car rental experience in Greece, it’s important to know a few key things. If you’re from outside the EU, you’ll need to bring an International Driving Permit along with your regular driver’s license. Greek car rental companies usually require that you’re at least 21 or 23 years old to rent a car. If you’re under 25, you may have to pay a little extra.

If you’re driving in Greece, follow the local traffic rules to stay safe and avoid getting fined. Depending on where you want to go, there are different types of cars to choose from. If you’re going to be in the city, a small car might be best, but if you’re going to be in the countryside, a larger car might be more suitable. It’s a good idea to book your car early, especially when there are a lot of tourists visiting, to get good prices and make sure you get the car you want.

It’s also very important to read and understand the rental agreement, especially the part about insurance. This will help you enjoy your trip without worrying too much. This way you can relax and really enjoy the sights and culture of Greece while you’re driving around.

Speed Limit Enforcement

In Greece, they take the rules of the road seriously, especially when it comes to how fast you can drive. The authorities make sure that everyone obeys the speed limits because it helps keep everyone on the road safe. They use a variety of ways to keep an eye on drivers, including speed cameras at key locations and police who regularly check the roads. In cities, traffic lights can detect when cars are speeding and help slow them down.

Educating drivers about why it’s important to drive within the speed limit is part of enforcing these rules. The goal is to help drivers understand that controlling their speed is critical to everyone’s safety. If you speed, you’ll pay a big fine. This is a way to discourage people from driving dangerously.

When driving in Greece, remember that obeying speed limits and traffic signals isn’t just a good idea – it’s a must. These rules help prevent accidents and make it safer for everyone, whether you live in Greece or are just visiting. Driving carefully through Greece’s beautiful countryside is important for the safety of all travelers.

Essential Driving Items

When driving in Greece, you need to have a few important things in your car for safety. You must have a reflective jacket and a warning triangle to use in an emergency. It’s also mandatory to have a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher in your car.

If you’re coming from a country outside the European Union, remember that you need an international driver’s license to drive in Greece, in addition to your home country’s license.

If you have children with you, children under 4 years old must be in a child seat and older children who aren’t yet 135 cm tall must be in a booster seat or other type of restraint. Another important rule is to stay below the legal alcohol limit for drivers, which is 0.05%. This is to prevent accidents caused by drunk driving.

Finally, if you’re renting a car, the rental company will ask for your international driver’s license before giving you the keys. This is to ensure that everyone driving on Greek roads has the correct paperwork.

Restricted Areas and Rules

If you’re planning to drive in Greece and have all the right equipment and an international driver’s license, there’s something important you should know about getting around in the big cities. In Athens, for example, there is a rule that only cars with odd or even license plates are allowed into the city on different days. This helps keep traffic and air pollution down.

There are also places in city centers where you can’t drive at certain times of the day, and you’ll see signs telling you that. Be sure to obey these signs or you could be fined. Be especially careful in the old parts of town, where usually only people who live there or delivery trucks can drive, unless a sign says it’s okay for others.

If you’re driving on toll highways, such as those from Athens to the Peloponnese and Athens to Thessaloniki, make sure you have enough cash or a toll pass. Driving in the countryside can be very different from driving in the city, so pay attention to how the locals drive and what the roads are like.

And one more thing: don’t honk in places where people live, or you could get a fine. It’s all about keeping things peaceful and respectful.

Dealing with Fines and Tickets

If you get a traffic ticket in Greece, it’s important to pay it quickly to avoid extra charges. Greek officials take traffic rules seriously, and if you don’t obey them, your fines can get higher and you could face legal problems.

Here’s what to do when you have to pay fines:

Paying fines:

  • You can pay online, at a post office, or at the office where the ticket was issued.
  • If you pay as soon as you receive the fine, you may pay less.

Handling tickets:

  • Keep your ticket in a safe place because you’ll need the details to make a payment.
  • Get help from a lawyer if you don’t think the ticket is fair.

To avoid fines, make sure you know and obey the rules of the road. If you get a ticket, make sure you know what you did wrong. If in doubt, consult with a lawyer.

Consequences of Traffic Violations:

  • Some violations will result in points on your license, which can lead to the loss of your license.
  • For more serious problems, you may have to go to court.

Remember, it’s very important to pay fines on time. If you wait too long, you could face more fees, have your vehicle impounded, or be stopped from driving. To reduce your chances of getting a ticket, drive safely and know the traffic laws in Greece.

Always be a cautious driver and keep up to date with local driving rules to reduce your risk of getting fines and tickets in Greece.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I see livestock or wild animals on the road while driving in Greece?

If you’re driving in Greece and see livestock or wild animals on the road, slow down immediately and be very careful to avoid an accident. Rather than honking loudly, which may frighten the animals and cause them to act unexpectedly, try to remain calm. If it’s necessary, stop a good distance away and wait until the road is clear.

animals crossing road in greece

These unexpected encounters can happen, so it’s wise to know the local rules about animals on the road. This will keep you, the animals, and everyone else safe.

For example, if you’re driving in rural Greece, where sheep herding is common, you may see a shepherd leading his flock across the road. In such a case, you should stop and enjoy the rural scene and allow the animals to pass peacefully. This patience not only keeps everyone safe, but also respects the local way of life.

Are there any special rules or local customs I should be aware of when driving in the Greek Islands compared to the mainland?

When driving in the Greek Islands, it’s important to know that some driving rules and customs may be different from those on the mainland. For example, you should learn who has the right of way in roundabouts, as it may not be the same as you’re used to.

Speed limits may also change and roads may not be as well maintained. It’s also a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected, such as animals on the road, and to know how to deal with these situations.

Following these local driving tips is not only respectful but also keeps everyone on the road safe.

How do I pay tolls on Greek roads and are there any passes or subscriptions for frequent travelers?

If you drive on Greek highways, you’ll have to pay tolls. You can pay with cash or a credit card when you stop at a toll booth.

toll station in greece

If you travel a lot on these roads, you may want to get an electronic toll pass. These passes, like the E-PASS system, let you get through tolls faster because you don’t have to stop and pay each time. They can also save you money because they usually come with discounts.

Before you buy one, check with the toll company to make sure it works with the type of vehicle you have. This way, your trips will be smoother and you won’t have to wait as long at toll booths, making your travel experience better.

What are the procedures for reporting a traffic accident or emergency while driving in Greece?

If you are involved in a car accident or have an emergency while driving in Greece, here’s what you should do:

  • Call the emergency services immediately on 112. Give them clear information about where you are and what has happened. This will help them get to you more quickly.
  • Then call your car insurance company and tell them about the accident. This is the first step in making your insurance claim.
  • In Greece, you must also follow specific rules for reporting a car accident. This may involve filling out certain forms or reporting to the police, depending on the situation.
  • It’s important to do this because it’s required by law and can help with your insurance claim.

Can tourists participate in car-sharing or ride-hailing services, and what are the rules about these options?

If you’re a tourist and want to use car-sharing or ride-hailing services, it’s very important to know the rules in that area, as they can vary depending on where you are. Make sure you have a valid driver’s license if you’re driving, and make sure you meet insurance and safety requirements.

Always use reputable and legal services to keep you and the drivers safe. Also, make sure you understand how much the ride will cost and what happens if you need to cancel, so you don’t end up with any surprise fees or arguments.


In conclusion, if you’re planning to drive in Greece, it’s important to know how to drive safely, obey the rules of the road and deal with the often steep and winding mountain roads. Make sure you understand what road signs mean, where you’re allowed to park, and how fast you can drive. Drivers should always have necessary items in their car and know where they are not allowed to drive. If you get a fine or ticket, you should know what to do. Being well-informed and prepared makes driving in Greece not only safer but also more enjoyable.

For example, always carry a reflective vest and warning triangle, as they’re required by law in the event of a breakdown. If you’re not sure where to park, look for a blue and white ‘P’ sign – that’s where parking is allowed. Remember, you may need a special permit to drive in historic areas, so check ahead to save yourself a headache. If you do get a fine, it’s usually best to pay it quickly, as there may be a discount for paying early.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently explore the beauty of Greece by car.

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