I like to think that I can drive in pretty much any city and feel comfortable relatively quick. There have been a few cities where that was really put to the test (like Cairo) but, overall, I try to adapt to the driving styles and habits.
My Biggest Pet Peeve About Driving in Greece
While driving in Greece can get pretty hectic with some of the driving patterns of locals, that is not the thing that drives me crazy the most. Though, I have had some “discussions” with some of those drivers inside my head while driving Greek city roads. 🙂
The Law About Traffic Circles and Roundabouts in Greece
No, my biggest pet peeve about driving in Greece relates to traffic circles and roundabouts. As someone who is a visitor in the country, I totally recognize that the country has their own right to make whatever laws for the roads that they want. But, as someone who has driven all over the world, I find the Greek law about traffic circle etiquette to be incredibly short-sighted and even dangerous.
While most places state that the traffic inside a traffic circle/roundabout has the right of way, in Greece it is the opposite. It is the traffic entering the traffic circle/roundabout that has the right of way. Yeah, think about that for a minute! Here it is from Sixt’s website for Greece: “Traffic already on a roundabout has to stop and give way to traffic entering the roundabout.”
There is one in particular that is just ridiculous on weekends. It is near an Ikea and a shopping district and has five entrances from main roads and different stores. After so long, the circle gets full of cars and then no traffic is moving at all! Yeah, that is exactly what you would think would happen and it does happen!
It makes it dangerous because there are many tourists in these areas and they don’t know this law because it is not something that is written out or told when getting a vehicle. So, a tourist just goes around the circle like they would in most other countries while a Greek driver enters the circle thinking that other car will stop. Many accidents happen as a result of this.
Again, I know I am the guest here and it is not up to me to create road laws! But, I just find this particular law about driving in Greece to be incredibly frustrating.
So, add this little bit of knowledge to your travel case before you drive in Greece! Also, remember, if you are visiting Greece from outside the EU, you will need to get an international driver’s permit!