driving in crete

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 3:48 pm
Location: central England

driving in crete

Postby katharine » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:52 pm

Last June we had long discussions on this forum about changes to driving rules and enforcement. I'm about to come over to Crete, has anything actually changed, or has life continued as normal? I expect the answer is that nothing has changed, but just in case, could one of you regular drivers over there post a warning.
many thanks

Posts: 193
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 12:35 pm
Location: East Crete

Postby Hudson » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:11 am

Can't say I've noticed any difference here in the East.

Speed traps still in the ususal places, driving standards not improved but probably no worse than London or M25 and local motorcyle cop still drives his bike while drinking coffee/smoking cig.

I suppose a matter of keep eyes open and drive a bit defencively and you shouldn't have a problem.

Caution: notice the word shouldn't

Posts: 2435
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:13 pm
Location: Akrotiri

Postby paulh » Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:22 am

Agreed....same exactly here around Chania....maybe a few more motorcycle helmets worn if anything

Posts: 798
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 12:13 am
Location: Malia

Postby lshall05 » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:55 am

When we were over at the end of September we definitely saw a lot more people using their helmets and there seemed to be more driving locally (mainly tourists) that had the helmet(s) attached to the bike/quad in case they decided to go out of Malia.
Living in Crete!!

Posts: 12417
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:05 am

Don't forget that if you see locals breaking the law it doesn't necessarily mean that you can get away with it. Virtually every local has contacts who can make any tickets disappear. You probably don't. This is not a tourist thing. Greeks caught breaking traffic laws outside their own area usually also have to pay the penalty.


Posts: 798
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 12:13 am
Location: Malia

Postby lshall05 » Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:17 am

We know a british couple who will drive from their house (in the hills) to the pub (in Malia), have quite a bit to drink and then drive home. It's not something that they would do over here, but they see locals doing it (usually for short distances within their own area) so they think it's ok to do it as well!! One day they'll get caught!
Living in Crete!!

Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 3:48 pm
Location: central England

Postby katharine » Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:14 pm

........ or one day they'll get dead! Hopefully not taking too many other people or mountain goats with them.

Posts: 725
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:56 am
Location: Chania

Postby allan » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:37 pm

Slightly off subject but my Greek step-daughter will be 18 in two weeks and as a Birthday present is going to have driving lessons for Motorbike and car (Needless to say she can drive both now anyway....so she thinks... ha... wait till her first lesson)

Anyway, legally, she must have a minimum of 20 lessons for both car and bike, and together with the written exam, tuition, D/Licence fees etc etc the bill will be in excess of 1500 €, no wonder the small envelope has been passed between examiner and driver before now.

I know we could begin a long debate as to the very poor standards of Greek drivers, we have all encountered them, lets just keep 100% concentration when we drive and maybe all will be ok. (Fingers crossed)

Posts: 12417
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:44 pm

Police traps specifically for drink driving are usually set on roads leading away from nightclubs situated outside towns in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings. They know that most Greeks only drink heavily when they go to a nightclub and that they are likely to drive away between 4 am and 6 am. If you avoid these places and times then the chances of being caught are quite small although you might get stopped for some other road traffic offence and get breathalysed. Note that I don't suggest that you should drink and drive.

Most other offences are targeted in sudden purges and again in places where they are most likely to be successful. For example I would expect them to target non-wearing of crash helmets in the roads surrounding the beach area just to the East of the harbour area in Chania since the cafes along the front there are frequented by young motorcyclists .


Wayne d
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 11:04 am
Location: East Midlands

Postby Wayne d » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:44 pm

You do have to have eyes that can see around the next bend.
You need pace notes for the hairpins on the National Road if using it at night.
You need nerves of..........well you need to be nerveless on some of the mountain roads.
If you're a bit tired and are driving westwards on the National Road at night, be aware of the bit of road just before Rethymno. You might be thinking of bed/food/sex.....all sorts when all of a sudden the white lines veer off into the darkness and painted white arrows are pointing directly at you. Keep your nerve (if you've grown any) and carry straight on. You will be okay as long as you or your passenger don't panic.

All that said I love driving on/in Crete. It's proper driving. You may not be doing speeds you can on open roads in the UK but at least the roads are............open!!

Posts: 1978
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:57 pm
Location: Apokoronas

Postby SatCure » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:59 am

I hired a car* in Georgioupolis a couple of weeks ago and saw no difference in the driving. Having said that, I've never really seen anything wrong with the driving, although I find it amusing that Cretan/greek drivers need to follow a white line. That's not so bad when it's the "hard shoulder" line but on the "B" roads** where there's only a central white line, it creates an interesting dilemma.

*(I use the term "car" loosely. It was a Hyundai Accent automatic with bald tyres and broken - unusable - rear seat belts. God knows what else was wrong with it - I didn't dare look - but it had a 0-60 time of "eventually, but only downhill". I was surprised to discover that it had anti-lock brakes. It was only later that I realised the vibration was caused by buckled discs and not ABS).

**("B"? More like "F").

Site Admin
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: Chania, Crete

Postby Carolina » Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:15 pm

Some tourists of ours were stopped last week and fined for not wearing a seat belt... 350 euros.
If the fine is paid within 10 days it is halved.

Take care & don't forget to belt up... they are enforcing these new fines.

Posts: 31
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 1:10 pm
Location: Maldon, Essex & Kalo Horio, Crete

Postby Hooly » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:37 am

I was stopped on the way from Heraklion Airport to Agios Nikolaos a couple of weeks ago having arrived in the early hours.

It was on the straight bit of road coming out of Malia towards the Sissi/Milatos turn off and at 2.45am a shadowy uniformed figure loomed out of the dark waving a torch indicating that I pull over. In the lay by (ish sort of area) were about 10 policemen. One opened the door, looked at us & asked "Are you tourists?", to which we obviouly replied in the affirmative. "Please drive on" was the instruction.

There were as I was coming home on Sunday, similar to my July visit, a batch of Plodos by the traffic lights on the National Road coming out of Ag Nik. They had several cars pulled over & I would assume that seat belt checks could have been the cause, as there was not much road to get enough speed up before their check point. Unless of course you are Greek!


Posts: 464
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: North East UK/ex Rethymnon

Postby Kathleen » Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:56 pm

Some friends' German neighbours received a hefty 800Euro fine after being caught speeding and not carrying the correct documentation (licence, Passport etc.) in their German registered car in the Rethymno area.
I am never happy about carrying my passport around but have now resorted to keeping a colour copy in my old style UK licence just in case, it has to be better than nothing.
Can't say I have noticed any difference at all in the way folk are driving, though I did think the speed traps were less evident in the couple of weeks we were there this month.


Retired in Crete

Postby Retired in Crete » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:08 pm

Kathleen wrote:I am never happy about carrying my passport around but have now resorted to keeping a colour copy in my old style UK licence just in case, it has to be better than nothing.

"old style UK licence"?

Kathleen you're nicked!

I believe that an old style UK licence is just what it says it is - a licence to drive in the UK and, strictly speaking is not valid in Crete or, indeed, anywhere outside the UK. When these licences were issued, if you wanted to drive abroad you went to the local AA Office and they would issue you with a International Driving Permit which had a passport type photograph in it.

The current "credit card" type licences are EEC licences (as shown by the "ring of stars") but issued by the UK.

As for driving in the east forget it - just seen two kids nicked for not wearing seat belts on their skateboards!


Return to “General Discussion & News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: moggieman and 31 guests