From Halkidiki down to Crete and everywhere in between, stunning Greece boasts varied landscapes, outstanding natural beauty and some tip-top attractions. Coastlines are jewelled with secluded coves and lively shores, while inland, you can uncover traditional towns and hidden gems.
The best way to see it all? With a hire car of course!
Here’s our guide to some of Greece’s most scenic drives…
Starting in Tsilivi in the north of the island, head south along the coast towards the capital, Zante Town. Driving out of the lively resort, passing hotels and tavernas along the way, you’re soon surrounded by lush green landscapes and dense olive groves. Vine-covered villas dot this route and you might catch a glimpse of local farmers going about their day.
Once you hit Zante Town, you’ll be surrounded by quaint shops, pavement cafés and plenty of watering holes to grab yourself some refreshments. Take some time to wander the cobbled Old Town, before continuing south along the harbourfront and onwards to Vassilikos.
The Vassilikos Peninsula is one of the island’s hidden gems and when it’s only a 30-minute drive from Zante Town, it’s well worth checking out. Here, there’s more than a handful of beaches to see and they’re relatively untouched so have a wild and rugged feel. Parking is free in this area, so simply rock up and explore!
Top tip: Road signs in Zante can be a little unreliable, so it’s best to have a map or sat-nav to hand. You might not mind getting lost here as much though, as the scenery is simply stunning!
Driving from the port city of Heraklion to Spathi and back will take you around three hours. Factor in some sightseeing time and a pit-stop along the way and you’ve got yourself a day trip!
Spathi is the island’s highest mountain, which is surrounded by rocky crags and an otherworldly landscape. Once here, you could tackle one of the many hiking routes or just take it easy at the bottom and explore the hidden churches and caves. Griffon vultures glide above these peaks, so keep your eyes peeled and see if you can spot these fascinating creatures.
Top tip: Don’t miss out on a visit to Lyrarakis Winery, which is around half way along this route. This family-run vineyard has been producing wine for decades and it’s the ideal place to stop for a tour and takeaway tipples!
Kos: Kos Town-Kefalos
If you’re up for exploring the whole island of Kos, you’re in luck, as from north to south, it only takes one hour to drive! Heading south from the capital, Kos Town, you’ll soon be out of the bustling streets and into the more rural areas of the island. Cruise along the main road that links north to south, passing through quaint villages and some hidden gems worth stopping for.
First, you’ll stumble upon Asclepeion, a captivating complex of ancient Greek healing temples. Snap pictures of this fascinating site and take in the countryside views. You’ll then pass the charming village of Asfendiou which sits on the slopes of Mount Dikaion, before arriving at Plaka Forest. It’s animal paradise here and you’ll see hundreds of peacocks and lots of friendly cats roaming around together.
Top tip: Some of the roads in Kos can be particularly narrow, so when you’re choosing your hire car, go for something that’s small and compact to make things easier on the roads!
Halkidiki’s unique shape offers up a whole world of day trip opportunities. Simply pick your peninsula then set out for a day of adventure! Starting out from Polygyros, the capital city, head south along the western peninsula.
The journey only takes around one hour but with a few pit stops along the way, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. Your view from the window will consist of vast olive groves and mysterious mountains out in the distance. Take a quick detour to sun-drenched Kalyves Beach, before continuing west then south along this thin slither of land. Why not head to the peninsula’s most southern point while you’re here? The quaint orthodox church of St. Nicolas can be found stretched out on a headland and it boasts stunning views across the glistening Aegean.
Top tip: Try to avoid driving on a Friday in summer, as roads are much more congested with city slickers from Thessaloniki heading to the coast for the weekend.
With our new Hotel Delivery service, you can request a hire car and have it brought to your hotel in as little as one hour! That means, no pre-planning at home beforehand, no queuing to pick up a car from the airport and no time wasted in resort trying to find a car hire provider.
Plus, if you’ve got kids in tow, it will most certainly come in handy when it comes to planning days out. You can be as spontaneous as you like and decide what you want to do and where you want to go up to one hour before heading out. If the weather’s looking a bit cloudy, why not give the pool a miss and head out on the road? It’s totally hassle-free!
Ready to explore Greece?
Posted: 16th Jan 2020.