One of the many winning features of Greece is that it’s a small country (just 132,000 km2), with communities spread all over and an amazing four-fifths of the landmass taken up by mountains. Not just that but, pretty much wherever you find yourself, you’re unlikely to be more than 1-1½ hours from the sea. All of which means that Greece is perfect for road trips and hopping between destinations.
The best bit is that a road trip in Greece can be enjoyed pretty much all year round, allowing you to make the most of 10 months of sunshine and discover the lesser-known wonders of the Greek mainland. And if your heart is set on the Greek islands, there are road trips and itineraries you can enjoy in Crete or you could build a multi-day island-hopping itinerary.
Why go on a road trip around mainland Greece?
There’s probably no better way to get to know Greece. You get to enjoy cities like Athens and Thessaloniki before being introduced to the mountains, lakes and rivers you’d otherwise never know were there and spend time with locals going about their daily lives in small towns and villages.
We’ve designed road trips that let you travel all around Greece. Fancy seeing the highlights of the mythical Peloponnese in one go? Well, we’ve got an itinerary that takes you to the ancient sites of Epidaurus and Olympia, spend time in the romantic towns of Nafplio and Monemvasia and explore olive-rich Kalamata, castle-strewn Mani and the eye-wateringly beautiful Voidokilia beach. It ticks all the boxes and more.
And what about following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Philip of Macedon in the heart of Ancient Macedonia? Or living the best of Thessaloniki before launching yourself onto the beaches of Halkidiki and the slopes of Mt Olympus, between visits to wineries and waterfalls, going birdwatching on lakes, and exploring some of the most interesting towns and villages in Greece? There’s all that and much more in our road trips and itineraries around northern Greece, including an itinerary that takes you to the fascinating city of Kavala (where east literally meets west) and Thassos (Greece’s northernmost island).
You’ll also find theme-based itineraries, such as our 15-day myth-filled family road trip around Greece (hot on the Heels of Hercules and his 12 Labours). You get to tick off many of the world’s greatest archaeological sites and discover some of Europe’s best-kept landscapes and the wineries of Nemea.
Road trips and itineraries on Greek islands
On Crete, we take you around the Chania region and show you all the fun you can have in spring and autumn on Greece’s biggest island … hiking gorges, olive-picking, wine-tasting, village-hopping (don’t worry, there’s also beach time).
And elsewhere on the Greek islands, we have multi-day itineraries in Skiathos and island hopping on Andros, Tinos and Syros (three Cycladic islands you can easily reach from Athens).
What is driving in Greece like?
Travelling around Greece by car is much easier than you might think. The motorway network has been significantly upgraded in recent years (the main routes have tolls), making driving in Greece mostly hassle-free. The Athens-Thessaloniki Ethniki Odos A1 motorway is part of the European E75 route. And stretching right across northern Greece is the Egnatia Odos (A2), taking you (from east to west) to Ioannina, Grevena, Veria, Thessaloniki, Kavala and Alexandroupoli.
Heading into the Peloponnese, the Olympia Odos (A8) links Athens, Corinth and Patra and the Moreas Highighway (A7) runs from Corinth to Kalamata. Meanwhile, running up the west coast of Greece, the Ionia Odos goes from Patra to Ioannina and includes the super-impressive Rio-Antirrio bridge (Europe’s longest cable-stayed suspension bridge).
So there’s only one thing for it. Find the route that matches your mood and let our itineraries or road trips in Greece do the rest.