Greece through a windshield

A trip to the Greek countryside is best taken by car.

Greek jeeps 390 (photo credit: OFIR ADANI)
Greek jeeps 390
(photo credit: OFIR ADANI)
A trip to the Greek countryside is best taken by car. Some of the mountain roads offer challenging driving and during the winter, it is advisable to also have chains to put on the tyres. You should rent a vehicle in one of the major cities, as there are no rental agencies in the villages.
Our group travelled in four jeeps, with a radio communications system through which our guides explained everything from the geology of the landscapes we encountered to the etymology of place names, frequently based on mythology or Greek history.
There are many routes one can take, at differing levels of difficulty; some of the mountain roads are just wide enough for a car and have a cliff on one side and a precipice on the other. It is certainly not a trip for those afraid of driving through difficult terrain, and would probably not be enjoyable for those who do not enjoy driving as an activity.
It is absolutely essential to embark on such a trip with a GPS or a detailed map, as in the inner regions you can drive for long stretches without encountering a single person.
During the winter months, you may be greeted in the mornings by ice on the roads, making chains on the tyres and a vehicle with all-wheel-drive necessity rather than a luxury. The heated car is also a welcome refuge from the cold weather in the mountains, where temperatures dip below zero degrees centigrade during the night and early morning hours.
One can also take a tour bus, but the nicest views are seen from roads where the steep curves are simply prohibitive for buses.
It takes a certain adjustment to realize that driving is not just a method of getting from point A to point B, but actually part of the experience. To avoid driver fatigue, it is best if there is more than one designated driver during the trip. Remember that for such a trip, every person intending to drive needs to have an international driver’s license.
Bon voyage!