I am going to Crete and to the village of Margarites near Rethmynon. Is it easy to drive in Crete? Are the roads good? Please advise as. I am going in a few days.
You might find this thread useful! (as well as somewhat funny in parts!)
The main E75 highway along the north coast is a great road. Like a dual carriageway, good surface and plenty of signs. Best road I've driven on in the islands. other roads can be somewhat variable, and frankly at height in the mountains, somewhat scary in places. If you're at all worried, stick with the north coast :-)
The scale of the map given with our car hire was of a high resolution. It would only take about five minutes to travel the width of your little finger on the 50K roads. This caught us of guard when compared to our Canadian maps.. On the minor roads watch your speed limit, look out for goats, farm equipment, rocks, and people. In some of the towns the road may narrow to a single lane the same with some bridges. These areas have a low speed limit and should not be a real problem. The link given is very good.
If you have driven before out of Europe or in south Italy, then you will not have major problems. Greek drivers don't respect road rules, but because Crete is very mountainous and the roads have many turns, you can't go fast and its an experience altogether!
You didn't say where you start from, I assume it's from either one of the two airports. Anyway you stick to the northern highway untill you reach Stavromenos near Rethymnon. That part is easy eachway as it is the best road of Crete.
Then turn towards Magnisia, Viran Episkopi etc till you reach Margarites. It is really an easy ride to the countryside, only 20min after you turn from the highway. It's not at all mountainous at that particular part, and it's not scary at all. It is very enjoyable to be honest.
You will see that keeping an average speed of 60 kph is the most safe speed to drive the twisty roads of Crete
Don't be alarmed if someone is stuck behind you trying to overtake you. Take your time, the local drivers just know what the road better, so they want to overtake you asap.
If you are interested in achaeological sites, there is one very interesting in Eleftherna, 5 min away from Margarites.
Thank you so much. I am arriving at Chania airport. Your comments take away some of the worry I had about the drive but now I am looking forward. About how long should it take from Chania airport to Margarites?
Chania airport to Rethymnon is about 1h, and about 30 min from there to Margarites. Don't enter the town, just drive past it, and turn at the exit of Stavromenos, (it is after the signs you'll see "Sfakaki" on the highway).Edited: 21 April 2014, 10:01
Thanks. Just to clarify, do I not enter Rethymnon town.
Yes Do not enter Rethymnon, continue on the highway, you'll see the town from above,and exit at Stavromenos exit which is right after Sfakaki.
Just watch out for one thing - If a Greek driver is overtaking someone while he is heading towards you, he will expect you to move over towards the ditch to let him past. Whatever you do, don't stand your ground expecting him to pull in!!! He will expect you to make room for 3 cars abreast if needs be (you, going your way, plus him and the guy he is overtaking coming towards you!!!)
what is the speed limit along the E75 and can i push it a little