Getting Around in European Resort Areas

Writer: Steve Dinnen

Arriving at the ferry terminal at Aegina, Greece, for a week of vacation, I face a logistics problem—how to get around. Footwork won’t do; the island is the size of Ankeny. Community buses run on their schedule, not mine. Taxis are cheap, but hailing one from a remote beach might be difficult.

Across from the ferry lie several auto rental shops. I don’t need a car—t’s just me—and it’s always hard to find a parking spot. A two-wheeled scooter won’t do—stability issues. What about an ATV? They’re easy to operate, can squeeze into any parking spot, and are thrifty on fuel (gasoline here is $7.90 a gallon). And affordable: 40 euros a day credit, 25 euros cash.

Off I go, at the cash rate and with a helmet. I’ve seen way crazier drivers than here, but the roads are kind of twisty and no-shoulder cliff sides have few guardrails. That said, renting an ATV seems a credible option for any island in Greece, or Italy, or resort area anywhere in Europe. I would not recommend them for the mainland, or even a large city as speeds are higher and there is way more congestion. Opt for a passenger car there; you’ll have luggage to haul, anyway.

Check local and national regulations. My ATV people seem to have winked away the law that says renters need both a U.S. license and an International Driving Permit that the American Automobile Association issued. I carried one for years and was never once asked for it. I finally quit, and wham, that was the first thing they asked for in 2017 when last I visited Greece.

Age matters, too. They supposedly will not rent a car to anyone over 70 in Croatia, or 75 in Greece or Ireland. In France, some agencies will rent a mini car to a 21-year-old, but you’ll have to wait until you’re 24 to get a compact, or 30 for a luxury vehicle. Ahh, the French. But the Europeans are developing a soft spot for Americans and now offer cars with automatic transmissions with little if any upcharge to manual transmissions.

You May Also Like

Rocky Economy Continues in 2023

By Steve Dinnen Well, 2022 was a crummy year for investments. The Dow Jones ...

Lauridsens are Lead Donors for New Hope Campus

From left: Leon Negen, president and CEO of Hope Ministries, and Nix and Virginia ...

Getting a Global Entry pass? Good luck.

By Steve Dinnen Global Entry is a mess. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection ...