You’re in for a fantastic time when you visit Crete. You’ll want to visit our delicious restaurants, shopping destinations, and famous historical and archaeological sites. The natural beauty of Crete is breathtaking, and the beaches are unlike any other in the world. You will come to love our beautiful island and you might not want to leave to go home.
Renting a car is absolutely the way to go when visiting our island. If you’re ready to take care of that step, we invite you to check out our catalog of all-inclusive priced cars with no hidden fees or surprise surcharges and our comparison of the compact car vs the larger cars.
What to expect when renting and driving in Crete
There are potentially many differences between driving on this island and your home nation. Being prepared before you go makes the rental transaction go smoother and makes driving there more fun. Here are some of the differences you can expect to come across.
These are possibly going to be a bit slower than you are used to driving. Plus, they will be in kilometers and not miles per hour. To convert, if needed, remember that 80 kilometers equal 50 mph.
Highway speeds are under 60 mph at 90 kph or 55 mph. It is a lot slower than many highway speeds around the world.
For the most part, the roads are well maintained, especially in the mountainous regions.
Often called overtaking in different countries of the world, passing in Crete might differ from what you’re used to. The roads are relatively narrow, including the national highway. That means that you will have to pass by entering the opposite direction lane. You will be passed in the same manner whether there is a solid white line or not.
Drivers, when passed, are expected to pull over to the shoulder of the road to give the passing vehicle more room to get by. Just be careful another car is not parked on the shoulder of the road when you move over to let the other driver pass.
It’s not uncommon for tourists specially to pull over to the side of the road to see something gorgeous or get their directions figured out.
There are some unique aspects of driving you to need to know about before you head off to Crete and drive. The first aspect is that most gas stations close by 9 p.m. So do not wait to get your tank filled. Some gas stations near the airports are open 24 hours, but you may not be near them to take advantage of those hours.
The second aspect you need to be aware of is that some of these gas stations do not accept credit cards. Make sure to have some cash on you, or you may be in a bit of trouble when you are trying to get back to your hotel.
These are not limited to just humans. Driving in some parts of Crete might not be like driving in your familiar city back home. Sidewalks are not that common in some areas of the country, so watch for people or animals crossing the road. This is especially important during the peak tourist seasons.
If you’re only used to big-city driving, you might be in for quite a surprise by this, but animals are often left by the side to feed on the grass that grows there. These animals range from pigs to sheep to goats, so be careful as you drive.
Like in most cities, traffic can be fairly congested in the major cities. There are lots of people who own cars on the island, and they like to drive them. Traffic can become slower, especially during peak tourist seasons, as so many more people are on the roads, enjoying the beauty of our island.
Those summertime drivers are often like you, a fellow traveler who rented a car to see the island.
General road tips
When you see a car behind you flashing their lights, they are not asking you to stop. They are telling you they want to pass, and you should move over and let them. Then, watch out for rocks and gravel tend to end up on the roads for various reasons. Keep a sharp eye out for those hazards.
You might experience bikes and mopeds passing you on the right.
These are just some of the things you can expect when renting a car and driving in Crete. It won’t take you long to get used to the driving culture of Crete, and once you do, you’ll be so glad you took the time and made the choice to rent a vehicle. There’s a lot to experience here in Crete, and doing so on your own schedule at your own pace is the perfect way to do it.