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Forums » Greece » Athens to Corfu

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GJLeo

Athens to Corfu

by GJLeo »

Greetings,

I am planning on surprising my wife with our second trip to Greece this May.  Last time we were in Athens/Delphi-Meteora/Santorini.  This time I was thinking of something either further north; Corfu to Thessoloniki, or further South; Peloponnese and Crete.  I've been to Crete and Corfu, both, and found them to be wonderful.

At this time, I am under no constraints as to an itinerary and destinations.  I would like to include Athens for at least a couple of days, probably on the tail end, as my wife considers herself to be Athenian after our last trip!

If we were to drive from Athens to Corfu.

  (1) what is it like for a foreigner to be driving these days on Greek highways?  I have driven the northern areas years ago...mid seventies...and found they were nice.  But times change.

  (2) What would be a pretty route to drive?  Could we start on the northern part of the Peloponnese, cross over and head north up the coast, or fairly close to the coast?  Are we better off going up through Kalabaka, then heading west to Igoumenitsa?

  (3)  If we drive, it would be nice to take a path that includes some beautiful countryside with maybe a stop or two of significant interest.

Crete, of course, we would fly then rent a car, under the assumption they haven't built a highway across the water yet.  Do you have thoughts and helpful hints?

Jack

ps...is the middle of May even a good time to go to the north, temperature-wise?

 

 

 

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Road Crazy

RE: Athens to Corfu

by Road Crazy »

I can't answer many of your questions, but I can answer a couple.

Driving in Greece is something of an adventure, but if you are a comfortable driver at home, you'll be fine there.  The major highways are like the interstate at home and well-signed.  It's a little dicier on smaller highways, which are usually one lane each direction plus the intermittent passing lane.  Greeks are pretty creative about the passing lane - like, if there hasn't been one for a while, they just pull on out, and people going both directions just hang to the right side of their lanes and let them do it.  This is slightly unnerving, but you quickly get used to it.  You may even find yourself doing the same thing.  However, a number of "highways" are more like small country roads, sometimes so winding and narrow that you can only go about 35, and occasionally the condition of the roads isn't optimal.  All in all, however, I didn't have any trouble driving there.  However, let me make one essential recommendation:  GPS.  While the highways are well marked in Latin characters, in smaller places things are marked in the Greek alphabet, and in towns/cities the street names are often on the sides of buildings, where they can be hard to spot.  I would still be driving around Nafplio looking for my hotel if it weren't for GPS.


Then, about the weather.  I didn't go north of Meteora in May, but it was quite warm, sometimes up into the low 80s.  So I would not worry much about it being cold, although I wouldn't travel without a jacket.

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GJLeo

RE: Athens to Corfu

by GJLeo »

Thank you.  Are there any routes you, or anyone,  would recommend?  I am still in the infancy stages of my planning, even which part of Greece to go. :-)

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Road Crazy

RE: Athens to Corfu

by Road Crazy »

My travel on the Pelopponese was limited to Nafplio and environs and Olympia before crossing over the bridge near Patras to go up to Delphi and Meteora. Nafplio is a pretty town with many nearby attractions, including Epidauros, Mycenae, Nemea, Corinth, and Tiryns, among others.  Lots in the way of ruins to see in that area, and in the case of Epidauros there's an amphitheatre in excellent condition that is still used for performances.  Don't miss that one.  The drive from Nafplio to Olympia was interesting, to say the least.  It appears to be a major route crossing the middle of the Pelopponese, but it's all narrow two-lane roads, very winding in parts, and in a couple places it narrows to short one-way bridges where you must wait for oncoming traffic to cross before you get your turn.  The driving was hairy enough that I thought it surely couldn't be the route tour buses took, but then I started passing tour buses going the opposite direction - yikes!  At least by that point I was through the worst of it.  In general there wasn't a lot of traffic on the road, for which I was grateful.  Olympia was lovely and the site is terrific.  I think I would have gotten a lot more out of it with a guide, so if you visit, I would consider getting one.
 

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Road Crazy

RE: Athens to Corfu

by Road Crazy »

I had another thought, too.  If you have in mind to take a rental car from the mainland to Corfu, be sure to check as to whether you are allowed to take it on a ferry.  Many rental companies do not allow their cars to be taken on ferries.

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GJLeo

RE: Athens to Corfu

by GJLeo »

Good point; I hadn't thought of that.  Last time we rented a car on Corfu, put it on a ferry and took it across for the drive eastward.  A good thing to ask.

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jackab

RE: Athens to Corfu

by jackab »

I am sure it will be fun time for you and your wife because Athens to Corfu is a great region to have fun because when I will be there with my wife I enjoyed long drive with her and lots of other exciting things to do that make this tour long lasting in my memories. I am happy to see your post that you also going there with your wife to have fun. 

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GJLeo

RE: Athens to Corfu

by GJLeo »

What route did you take, Jackab?

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GJLeo

RE: Athens to Corfu

by GJLeo »

The header on this should probably be changed by now, but this is the thread that started my conversation so....

We will be arriving in Athens late May, and in a couple of days we will rent a car to head down to Nafplion, which I am very much looking forward to.  After two nights we will drive to the small village of Kyparissi, on the east coast of the Peloponnese.  Our friend, who lives in Kyparissi, suggests we should drive down the coast from Nafplion, arriving in Leonidio, the turning up into the mountains and winding our way on down to Kyparissi.  He says it is a beautiful drive.  He has also lived in Kyparissi for twenty years!

I know there is a more mainline highway taking a person through Sparti, a faster route.  I would rather do the coastal route, providing a GPS will be informative, even on the smaller highways.  Have any of you used a GPS on the less traveled roads?

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Road Crazy

RE: Athens to Corfu

by Road Crazy »

I'd fool the GPS by putting in the name of a nearer town on the coast - say, Leonidio - and then change the GPS to Kyparissi once you get to Leonidio.. That way it will put you on the coastal road, and from that point it should keep you there.  From my adventures the few times I got off the map, I think the GPS does just fine on smaller routes and out-of-the-way places.

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