A road trip through the island of Crete,
Doesn’t sound that difficult, does it? What does one need? A car – of course – and maybe the slightest idea of where to go. Though that last one isn’t even that crucial. Normally. O how I wish it was this simple. As you know, I recently travelled to Crete and discovered that driving the island isn’t as simple as you’d thing. Therefor, I have some tips for a Crete road trip:
1. Know the unwritten rules
Did you know on Crete you have to drive on the emergency lane if a faster car wants to pass you? I didn’t either. Luckily my travel companion did, because she read a travel guide with the rules of the road beforehand. And no, it’s not an official rule, it’s just something they do. So be sure to check the local driving habits before getting behind the wheel.
2. Check your car
You’re gonna need a rental car, for sure. And people renting them to you like to make money. Now I’m not saying this is always the case, but there certainly are situations where very scratch will be on you. So be sure to check which damage was already there when you got the car. Also check the gas level and brakes. Better safe than sorry. Also: make sure your car is fit for the roads you’re about to drive.
3. Download an offline region on Google Maps
This feature actually saved my life when I was on Bali so of course I did it again on Crete. It’s fairly easy: in your Google Maps app there’s an option to download offline area. You click it, select the area you want downloaded and click download. Make sure there’s enough space on your phone, because it can take up quite some.
4. Don’t trust Google Maps
What what, you just told me to download… yes, I did. And it’s a great app, but it isn’t always right. Google Maps will send you the quickest way, but it won’t always see what the best roads are. That’s how we ended up on a sandy road in the middle of nowhere with no one to be seen within three kilometers. Those kilometers took us half an hour as well, because the road was so rocky and slippery. On the way back, we found out there was an asphalt road just a couple hundred meters longer that was so much quicker. Long story short: trust your gut.
5. Keep calm
No, this is not one of those overused memes. This is the truth. Because driving in foreign countries can be pretty stressful on its own, it definitely is on an island where they’re not too keen on living by the rules.
Well, that’s it. Good luck! And remember, we made it so you definitely will.