Exploring Paxos beautiful landscapes by car, motorbike or boat is a popular way to get around. Even if you’re used to driving in other places, you need to be well aware of things like weather conditions, narrow roads and different road rules before you begin on your journey.
Paxos is quite a tiny island, and you can actually explore it on foot if you break down your trip into specific days for specific locations. However, if you do want to drive around to cut down your time taken, you can do that too.
The most important thing to know is that you drive on the right-hand side of the road in Paxos. Here, the vehicles have the driver’s seat on the left. This can be hard to manage if you come from a country where you drive on the left side of the road.
Some of the roads may be somewhat steep and you will come across some hairpin bends as well, so if you are not confident behind the wheel, you may want to hire a taxi. The roads are not very busy and there is not much traffic otherwise, so driving around is not much of a hassle here. However, keep in mind that there are several gravel tracks, especially if you are exploring places that do not feature on the usual tourist sight-seeing spots, and these may pose a challenge to your driving skills.
Paxos has diverse terrain, meaning that roads are often narrow and hilly. When you are on the main roads, remember that you are on a single lane road in either direction. There are no barriers in the middle of the road. Secondary roads are single lane for both directions. It’s important to allow plenty of time, go slow and pull over if traffic wants to pass from behind you or from the opposite direction.
The roads may not be very well lit, so avoid night driving unless you are ready to keep a cautious eye out for vehicles coming from the opposite direction. Also remember that you are expected to honk the horn when you are about to take a blind turning so that anyone coming the other way is pre-warned. Pay attention to the sound of horns too so that you can be forewarned as well.
The important road rules that apply here are:
- Stay on or below the legal speed limits indicated on road signs. The maximum speed on any open road is 60 km/h. The maximum speed in urban areas is 30 km/h. Adjust your speed as conditions demand.
- Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts or child restraints at all times, in both front and rear seats.
- Do not drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in Paxos, Greece.
- Signposting follows standard international symbols and all distances are in kilometers (km).
- Driving while using a hand-held cellphone is illegal in Paxos, Greece.
- It is illegal to pass other cars where there is a white line marking the middle of the road. The white line indicates that it’s too dangerous to overtake.
Of course, you should follow normal traffic safety rules and avoid driving when you are tired or sleepy.