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Are there any local driving rules in Crete?

The interpretation of Greek driving laws, tend to vary slightly between the islands. When driving in Crete it’s important to think of the following:

  • Motorists drive on the right side of the road; vehicles coming from the right have right of way unless otherwise signposted
  • If there isn’t much (or any) room to overtake, fast drivers will expect you to pull over onto the hard shoulder to let them pass; be mindful of the hard shoulder ending suddenly
  • On most city streets, parking is generally free if you can find a space; in some places you’ll need to buy a parking ticket from a local kiosk
  • You can only use your horn in towns in cases of immediate danger

What’s the speed limit in Crete?

The speed limits in Crete are:

  • 50km per hour (30 mph) in built-up areas
  • 90km per hour (56 mph) on the highway

The speed limits can vary in other areas, but they are usually well signposted (Crete and the rest of Greece complies with internationally recognised traffic signs).  

Things to watch out for in Crete

When you first pick up your car, driving in Crete can be daunting. You should aim to drive defensively paying particular attention to overtaking, cars pulling out from side roads without stopping, as well as vehicles driving in the middle of the road.

The roads themselves can vary in their state of repair, with the highways usually in fairly good condition. The main highway in the north runs from Agios Nikolaos to Kastelli via Heraklion, Rethymno and Chania. In places the road is a dual carriageway, is can be narrow in places and have sharp bends.

In the south, you’ll find that mountainous roads often turn into long gravel dirt tracks. When driving in the south, a Sat Nav can be very handy as maps aren’t always particularly reliable. You should also add extra time on to your journey to take into account the winding nature of these roads. 

Tips for driving in Crete

Driving in Crete is very different to driving in the UK. Here are some quick tips to bear in mind:

  • Watch out for mopeds; drivers will typically try to overtake you from the right
  • Cars behind you that want to overtake will typically flash their lights to signal; pay attention to this and let them pass when you can
  • Goats are everywhere in Crete and feed next to the road; be prepared to find them wandering in the road, even on the highway
  • Watch for pedestrians walking in the street in towns; often pavements are small or non-existent
  • The roads aren’t maintained regularly, often with potholes; they can also be worn down and slippery in wet weather
  • You can’t always rely on the white lines in the road; they often end without warning, with local drivers also crossing over them without any kind of signal  
  • Road signs can be difficult to read; often these are covered in overgrown bushes or graffiti
  • Pay particular attention in towns at night during the weekend; often they’ll be plenty of revellers spilling into the street

How much does car hire in Crete cost?

Pricing information to be completed by Thomas Cook.

Hiring a car with Thomas Cook…

There's a variety of cars available to suit your holiday requirements and budget with free theft protection (TP) and collision damage waiver (CDW), look no further than Thomas Cook for your car hire to make the most of exploring Crete. 

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