Tips for renting a car on Lesvos – and why we think you should!
Greece is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and the Greek island of Lesvos lives up to that hype! As the third largest Greek island, there’s a lot to see and do so we’d really recommend hiring a car so you can explore and discover all the delights of Lesvos at your own pace. Here are our top tips to help you plan your Greek island adventures!
Why rent a car?
Lesvos is 1,633km2 and has a coastline of 321 km ( 199 miles), which makes it a big island but still manageable in terms of exploring. It is jam-packed with amazing historical sites, picturesque fishing ports, fairytale hilltop villages, magnificent waterfalls and beautiful beaches. There’s a reasonable bus service and of course, local taxis, but for freedom and flexibility we really recommend renting a car for a few days.
Getting the best deal
Fortunately Lesvos is one of the most reasonable Greek islands in terms of accommodation costs, eating out prices and for car rental. In the peak months of July and August, it is more expensive but the early and late seasons of April-June and September into winter are very reasonably priced and those are the best times of year for exploring! Always shop around, and make sure you ask for a discount. It’s often good value to rent for a week rather than pay a daily rate, and sometimes a deal can be done for cash too! Most rental firms require drivers to be 21 years of age and have had a valid license for two years. Sometimes there are surcharges for adults under 25 and over 75.
Starting Points - Airport v Accommodation
There are two options if you want to rent a car to explore the island, both are simple and easy to do. The first option is to rent a car from the airport when you land. The airport at Mytilene is just outside the town and right by the sea. Most of the rental car companies are very happy to deliver a car to the airport for you and most will have a representative at the airport ready and waiting for you if you pre-book. They will show you to your car ( helping with any luggage) and complete any paperwork with you. Most companies also provide decent road maps of the island. Mytilene is the busiest town on the island so after you’ve driven out of it, you’ll find the roads everywhere else to be relatively quiet! If you want to know more, don’t be afraid to contact Real Lesvos for good driving instructions from the airport, we would be more than happy to point you in the right direction, not to mention, we also have all the insider information!
If you have a transfer by bus or taxi booked then you may find it simpler to be driven to your holiday hotel or villa, and then relax there and rent a car from your accommodation. The Real Lesvos in-resort concierge is happy to help organise this from anywhere on the island. Hire car firms will deliver the car to you on the day of your choice or you can collect from any number of local offices around the island.
Drive times and navigation
Google maps works well all over Lesvos although due to the mountains, the coverage can sometimes be patchy. Driving times and distances are fairly accurate which makes it easier to plan your days out - although as there’s a lot of unexpected scenic spots make sure you add in additional time for impromptu photo breaks, coffee stops, etc! There are plenty of fuel stations in Greece, although like everywhere at present, fuel is relatively expensive. Most are manned and the attendants will fill up the car for you. Many of the stations accept credit cards although it can be good to have cash just in case.
Driving and parking
The majority of roads on Lesvos are paved and of varying quality. Please take care as the road edges on secondary roads can be very uneven.. Yield to local traffic where you can - road markings are often unclear or non-existent but the locals know the expected priorities at each junction! Roads can be narrow in places so having a smaller car can be preferable. Parking areas are often rough ground without marked bays and a bit haphazard!
Planning your itinerary on Lesvos
Renting a car on Lesvos will give you freedom to plan the best itinerary ever and see an amazing amount of this beautiful island! To make sure it feels like a holiday as well as a road trip, Real Lesvos can help you plan a two or three centre holiday if you prefer or even just book a couple of overnight stops. This way you can soak up the culture and see the rich diversity of the island from the pine forests and sandy beaches to the mountains and waterfalls, to the rocky coves and olive groves.You can have coffee in shady village squares, see sunsets from Byzantine castles and hike to hidden waterfalls. It’s also the perfect way to do some beach hopping, cruising round, dipping in the turquoise Aegean waters and maximise your visits to the white sand, red sand, golden shingle, rocky, busy and deserted beaches around the coast!
The Real Lesvos team are very happy to help you plan routes around the island and having your own rental car will give you the freedom and flexibility to experience even more of this amazing place!
If you have any questions or want to share your experiences of hiring a car on Lesvos please let us know!