The Greek island of Astypalaia is known for its unique butterfly shape and its amazing beaches. Many people visit the island to enjoy a great relaxing time on one of the many sunbeds waiting for you. If you are heading to Astypalaia as well you might be wondering about one thing: what’s driving in Astypalaia like and do you need a car?
In this article, we’ll find the best answer for you and arm you with knowledge about what it is like to drive around the island of Astypalaia. We’ll also give you some alternatives to renting a car and tips on getting around the island. So are you ready to book an insanely cheap flight and enjoy a sunny Greek vacation?
Read More: Top Things to do in Astypalaia
Driving in Astypalaia
Astypalaia is a small island. Its total size is less than 100 square kilometers. As such it’s super easy to cover distances on the island by car. It takes just over 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive between two of the farthest points on the island.
In Greece, people drive on the right side of the road. If you are from a country where this is not usual it might take a while to get used to. The speed limit is 50 km/h in towns and 90 km/h on roads. In Astypalaia there are no highways only roads between cities. Even then, most parts of the roads are limited to slower speeds than 90 km/h due to bends.
How hard is it to drive in Astypalaia?
The island has some small mountains but generally speaking it’s fairly easy to drive in Astypalaia. There are no serpentines and dangerous mountain roads waiting for you. You will find an asphalt road between the main towns and the airport as well.
Make sure to keep in mind that as you drive into towns the road gets narrow and hard to navigate. This is probably the hardest part when it comes to driving in Astypalea. If you pay attention and drive defensively we are sure you’ll have no problems.
As you leave the main town areas the roads will become gravel roads at most places on the island. This is especially true for gravel roads leading to beaches. Make sure you always check the route on Google Maps beforehand as there can be some (only one or two) hairpins as you descent to the beach.
Is there free parking in Astypalaia?
Yes, you will find plenty of free parking spots in Astypalaia. This is especially true near beaches and places of interest. Although most of the parking spaces will be gravel, they are totally fine to leave your car. We’ve not really encountered any crime on this small island but to be safe never leave out any of your valuables in the car parking.
Car Rental in Astypalaia
We’ve come to the question of renting a car in Astypalaia. If you ask us a car most definitely comes in handy when you are visiting the island. It will give you the freedom to check out the different beaches and attractions at your own pace. You can book a car in Astypalaia at our partner’s page.
Almost all of the cars come with AC, but actually, make sure it works before you rent the car out. Being stuck on a Greek island with a car that has no AC is not a great experience. You’ll most likely rent a manual car. A small island like this has a very limited supply of automatic rentals. Keep this in mind if you are not comfortable driving a manual.
A great way to save money is to not rent for the full duration of your stay. If you think about it this makes sense. You can grab a taxi from the airport and you will spend at least one-day exploring Astypalaia town and the nearby beaches anyway. Even saving one day on the rental can be nice.
What to know before renting a car in Astypalaia?
- Always make sure you can take the car off-road as there are many gravel roads in Astypalaia
- Rent a car with AC
- You’ll most likely end up with a manual car
- Consider renting a pick-up or 4WD car
- Get the top insurance level
- Don’t rent for the full duration
- All rental companies are in Astypalaia town and not at the airport
- If you want to have the car ready at the airport you have to arrange that with the rental company
- Don’t drink and drive. Not only is it illegal in Greece but also dangerous.
Do you need to rent a car in Astypalaia?
We always recommend renting a car out of pure convenience, however, you should always consider the costs. It’s a small island and you can easily get around with a taxi. There is even a small bus service during summer between the main towns. This can save you a good bit of money. Just keep in mind that if you take a taxi 4-5 times a day, that might run up to car rental costs. So plan ahead and rent accordingly if you need to.
An alternative to Astypalaia car rental: Rent a Scooter
We are always very hesitant to recommend moped rentals on a vacation. They are surely a great way to get around Astypalaia, especially considering the small size. However, they can be extremely dangerous. Only choose this option if you feel confident in your ability to ride a scooter safely, especially with a passenger. Other than that, it’s a cheap alternative.
FAQ on Renting and Driving a Car in Astypalaia
No, Astypalaia is one of the easier places to drive in Greece.
The few asphalt roads are well kept. However, there are many gravel roads off the main road.
Yes, you will be able to park free near all the attractions and beaches.
Yes, there is a bus service running during the summer months.
It comes in very handy, but there are affordable taxis as well.
There are only a few automatic rentals in Astypalaia. As such you should expect none to be available unless you book way in advance.
Yes, almost all are equipped with AC. Check if it works before you take the car.
Yes, mopeds are available and cheap to rent. Just make sure you can stay safe on them.