For your safety, you need to remember a few special rules for drivers in Crete. You will not find them on official websites and resources, but they will help to avoid conflicts and accidents.
Driving on the main roads
The main road on Crete is the highway from Kissamos to Sitia. Although it is very wide, you must be careful about it and not exceed the speed limit. Generally, the maximum allowed speed on this Crete highway is 90 km/hr.
Specificity about driving in Crete – overtaking
A synonym for driving in Crete is overtaking. If you rent cars here, be prepared for vehicles behind you flashing and you have to drive in the half lane.
Because of the particular popularity of overtaking on Crete roads, you need to remember a few common rules of driving here.
- Use the emergency lane to let the driver behind you pass.
- Be sure to turn on your turn signals and wink your headlights as a warning sign to overtake. It can be dangerous to drive without this.
- Safety is more important than speed. If you are driving on a narrow road with sharp turns, do not overtake other Crete cars and do not let vehicles behind you.
Driving on mountain roads
Since there are many mountainous areas on the island, a large part of the roads is in the mountains. Sometimes there is a danger of rock falls on these roads. But since there are few cars on many of the mountain roads, you can drive at your own pace and not rush anywhere.
Mountain Roads in Winter
If you are traveling to Crete in winter, you should make a special point in your travel preparations to pay attention to the weather conditions on the island. Because of the frequent snow and rain, the mountain roads are slippery and dangerous to drive on. Some roads are closed for riding for safety, so monitoring the weather situation will help you better calculate the time.
The speed limit in Crete varies between 30 and 50 km/h in residential areas and is usually 90 km/h on the freeway. These figures can vary depending on the road regions and localities, so pay attention to the circular signs with a red border and a number.
Crete road signs
The road signs in Crete are understandable for foreigners due to the duplication in English, but they are also tricky. The problem is that important road signs are often posted at the exit of the highway, so drivers don’t have time to pay attention to them. Vegetation on road signs also aggravates the situation, but these shortcomings can be remedied by using a GPS navigator, which duplicates information about road signs online.
How to drive safely in Crete
Safety is the first priority on the road. Especially if you are driving in an unknown area with a rental car in Crete. The importance of safe driving in Crete increases even more because the narrow mountain roads with many sharp curves require constant concentration and attention.
Know the potential dangers
An accident on the road can occur not only because of not observing the speed limits and overtaking cars on the twisting sections. In Crete, there are two more major dangers beyond the control of the drivers.
Animals can run up and down the mountain roads alone or in flocks. They are not afraid of Crete cars and people, so drive slower, especially on corners, to avoid damaging your rental vehicle and putting yourself in danger.
Another natural danger in Crete is falling rocks in the mountainous area. Pay attention to the weather conditions before driving, because there are almost no nets on the side of the mountains.
Gasoline in Greece, particularly in Crete, is quite expensive. In the last 2 months, the average price of gasoline in Crete has reached about 2 euros per liter. During the same period, the average fuel price in the world was 1.79 euros per liter. Because of the tourist popularity of Greece fuel is more expensive here than in other regions.
Another feature of gas stations in Crete is a short working day: most of them close before 21:00. It is also advisable to have cash with you to plow gasoline because not all gas stations accept credit cards.
What to do in case of an accident
If you do have an accident, call 112. Don’t forget to call the police and report the accident to the car rental service.