Are you looking for the The Ultimate Greece Roadtrip? Taking in beautiful beaches, stunning mountains, the most historic sites and sampling the best Greek food? Join us as we embark on the The Ultimate Greece Roadtrip from Athens to the Peloponnese, Meteora, and back to Athens!
Getting stuck on trains in the depot, being attacked by crazy dogs on the road, picking oranges straight from the trees, quiet open highways and twisting mountain roads, all amidst some of the most breath-taking landscapes we've ever seen... it's fair to say we found the ultimate Greece road trip!
Greece is mostly well know for island hoping but did you know 80% of Greece is covered by mountains ???!!!!...trust us if you are looking for mountainous gateway for holidays ...Greece should definitely top the list !
Follow our lead for a nice circular route .. you can easily cover it in a week's time!
We only decide to hire a car on the evening of our amazing day in Athens, opting to pick it up the following morning from the airport. And our eventful trip starts before we even get there!
Catching the train from Monastiraki, we're sure we're on the right train and so sit back and start to read about some places we can head to on our way to Kalamata where we're staying for the next few days.
But way before we're due to reach the airport, there is an announcement in Greek and nearly everyone gets off the train, other than us and a couple of other confused looking travellers.
"This is definitely the airport train?" we ask each other. Confident in our collective agreement, we decide to sit tight as the train doors close and it starts to pull away. Seconds later the train is plunged into darkness though, and after a minute or so stops in a depot... looks like this is the end of the line! We are all now panicked ...no phone signals to call for help, " Let's try the train telephone line " passenger says ... Hmm.. not working !.. we are stuck !!!!
After a few minutes the driver comes down and spots us... telling us to sit tight and then we're taken back to the station we should have got off at!
All sorted and we are all set to start our roadtrip!
Read our full Athens blog... Athens in a Day… How to Make the Most of Your Visit
The Peloponnese region of Greece would be an island if not for the 2 road routes connecting it to the mainland.
Driving from Athens means we need to cross the Corinth Canal, one of the modern marvels of Greece!
Having read about it on our eventful train journey this morning, we stop at the roadside retail park and get out to stretch our legs. The canal is an amazing sight to see, and watching the daredevils bungee jump from the bridge makes Paul feel a bit dizzy!
Our next stop is the romantic city of Nafplio. With a harbour front, castle in the sea and mountain fort overlooking the city, it's an idyllic place!
And the drive there is great too. Coming off the motorway we take the small rural roads through the countryside, passing miles and miles of olive and orange trees. Some so close we stop and Sneha picks one from the tree!
One of the best roads we drove in Greece was the EO Argous Tripoleos from Nafplio to Kalamata, and it was a complete surprise to us!
Checking the map we see 2 routes... one back on the motorway, or one which looks more scenic. It's got to the be scenic route...
The road follows the coast out of Nafplio through some smaller towns and villages, with nice views of the sea. But it's when we start heading into the mountains where it gets really good.
The road gets steeper and steeper as we twist our way up the mountain, our little 1L hire car (nicknamed Trojan) struggling to make it up at times!
As we reach the top we see a parking layby so pull in... and wow! The views back down the mountain overlooking the Argolic Gulf are incredible!
There are 3 small shrines at the top too... something we've seen quite a lot here in Greece and on previous travels around Europe. We later find out these are dedications to people who have lost their lives on the road... part to remember them, and part to warn other drivers of the dangers of the road.
Entering the Peloponnese from Athens meant we had to cross the Corinth Canal... leaving the region in the north at Patras means we cross the Rion-Antirion Bridge. And it's just as impressive as the canal was!
The bridge is one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the World, and driving over it is quite an experience!
Read our blog on the Peloponnese... The 10 Best Places to Visit in the Peloponnese, Greece
Once across the bridge and on the way to Meteora, the scenery has to be seen to be be believed!
The motorway is high up in the mountains, and we're treated to the most stunning views all around. And as the sun starts to set the sky lights up in orange and red, making the whole area look like another world altogether!
As darkness sets in we leave the motorway behind, taking the twisting mountain roads on our way to Meteora.
We make a final stop to stretch our legs and admire the views down the valley in the final daylight, before we descend in total darkness and miss out on what we can only imagine would have been more incredible views in the daytime!
Read our blog on Meteora... Visiting Meteora and Exploring the Ancient Monasteries
Drive to Athens
The final leg of our journey is just as eventful as our first!
Leaving Meteora in darkness at 5am to get back to Athens in time for our flight home, we almost don't make it very far after the motorway seems more like a rally track!
Hitting quite a large bump going a little too fast, our little car takes off and crashes back onto the road... luggage going everywhere and us nearly being fling from our seats!
Note to selves... the motorways in the north don't seem quite so good as in the south!
The road network doesn't seem complete either, and we have to leave the motorway soon after sunrise and join the mountain roads again... nice final views of our time in Greece!
But as we're driving on the empty roads, suddenly a pack of wild dogs run out from the bushes into the road! We slow down trying to avoid them, and they then start to race us and try to attack the car!
We're not sure what to do... we don't want to drive fast and risk hurting them, but we want to get away and not be attacked!
They keep up a good speed as we try to get away, and after a minute or so they start to tire and drop back, leaving us to make our escape and reach the airport just in time for check-in!