The following is a guest post by Fiona Hilliard who usually advises people about car rental Crete on award-winning blog Today though, she has taken some time out to share her top tips for driving in Crete…

Crete is the perfect place to drive as it is home to a wonderfully varied set of scenic routes that are just waiting to be explored. A brief word of warning though - when you drive in Crete, you should always take things SLOWLY and employ caution at all times – driving in a strange place requires alertness, but in Crete this is a MUST!

Danger! Danger! Dry Roads:  Seasoned drivers say there is no such thing as good quality roads in Crete. A large improvement was made to surfaced roads in Crete following road projects several years ago, but the level of grit/traction on many of these roads is still way below what many people are accustomed to. Worryingly, some of these road surfaces have mostly become polished by daily wear and tear, especially at dangerous parts such as corners.

Tip: Plan longer stopping times and lower your speed on corners.

Rockslides:  If driving in hilly or mountainous terrain, be careful of rocks which have fallen down onto the road. These roads are especially dangerous after rain or when goats play in the hills. Drivers should always be alert and check the road surfaces ahead.

Drive on the Hard Shoulder:  On roads where there is a paved lane, you should make like a local and drive on this part of the road to let other drivers pass or overtake you, whether you are driving behind or if other drivers are in the opposite lane, overtaking another car that is approaching you – just watch for the other drivers doing the same. You won’t find this information in the rules of the road, but it seems to come natural to locals, so go with the flow!

Double Check Red Traffic Lights:  Just because your traffic light turns green, it doesn’t mean you should be the first to get away from the lights. Instead, ensure that the oncoming traffic has stopped at their red light, once you know it’s safe, by all means take off.

Stick to the Speed Limit:  Locals seem to have a hard time sticking to official speed limits, but this doesn’t mean you can’t he a good, law abiding citizen. In Crete, the official speed limit is 90kmph on highways, 70km/h outside built up areas and 50 km/h inside built up areas such as towns and city centres.

Slippery roads:  Standing water on old road surfaces means you have to allow much more time to slow down for stopping. You may also have to drive at slower speeds than you would usually use for corners/winding roads.

One Way Streets:  Look out for people driving or riding motorbikes the wrong direction on one way streets. This happens mostly in towns and villages but is a danger nonetheless.

Wild Animals:  Giddy goats, pigs, piglets and sheep are a common site on country roads.

Tip: Lower your speed and they will usually move aside. If they are accompanied by a shepherd, he/she will normally try to move their animals out of the way for you, patience is a virtue – you might as well sit tight and enjoy the scenery while the animals cross the road.

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At September 07, 2012 8:44 AM David from said...

Knowing the trail and route conditions of the places you plan to visit, including the traffic laws, can certainly save you a lot of hassle. The better prepared you are, the safer and more enjoyable your journey will be.


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