Renting a Car in Skopelos Greece: Your Local’s Guide for 2024

Renting a car in Skopelos can give you a lot more freedom and flexibility during your time on the gorgeous Sporades island. It can help make getting to lesser-known beaches, villages, and hiking trails easier, and it means that you are not at the mercy of public transport schedules. 

Whether renting a car in Skopelos is worth it or not for you largely comes down to your personal preferences. It depends a lot on your itinerary, where you are going to be staying in Skopelos, and what you hope to do during your time on the island. 

You are in good hands here as this guide has been written by someone who actually lived on the island and knows it like the back of their hand. Here, we will address any questions and concerns you may have about renting a car in Skopelos and driving in Greece in general. 

Do you need to rent a car in Skopelos? 

Renting a car in Skopelos

Whether or not you need to rent a car in Skopelos is the million-dollar question. During the peak summer months, a bus runs between all of the main towns and beaches on the island at regular intervals from around 07:00 am until around 22.30 pm. 

The bus runs from Skopelos town (the main port town/Chora) to Glossa (the island’s second village) and vice versa. En route, it stops at Stafylos, Agnontas port, Panormos, Kastani and Milia beaches, and Elios (for Neo Klima). 

This route covers a lot of the major tourist destinations and beaches on the island. That is, bar perhaps Skopelos most famous and iconic site – the Mamma Mia Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri which is only accessible by taxi from Glossa for around €25. 

If you are only spending a couple of days or a week on Skopelos Island and you plan on spending most of your time relaxing on the popular beaches or doing a couple of hiking trails, you can save yourself some money by just depending on the bus. When you want to visit the Mamma Mia church, you can take a taxi or a tour there. 

However, if you want to venture off the beaten path to secluded beaches and coves, lesser-known villages, and rural locations like the Sendoukia pirate graveyards or the monasteries near Mount Palouki, having a car will make things a lot easier. Similarly, if you are staying in a villa or a country house near Raches, Milia, or on the outskirts of any of the villages, you might find it easier to get around with a car. 

Where to rent a car in Skopelos 

Several independent rental companies have offices in Skopelos town and Glossa. Magic Cars, Rent-a-Car Skopelos, and Blue Dolphin Skopelos are all reputable choices worth having on your radar. 

Discover Cars is a great platform that allows you to compare and contrast quotes and vehicles offered by various companies so that you can secure the best deal. You really ought to reserve your car online in advance to make sure that you have something confirmed – especially if you are going to be travelling during June, July, or August. 

Provided there are still some vehicles left, you technically can just rock up to the island and wander into a rental office. But at the last minute, prices will be at their highest as demand soars, and there will be fewer vehicle options available. 

Most cars on the island (and in Greece generally) are manual. If you want to hire automatic cars, you need to move even faster because those are usually in limited supply and among the first to go.

Click here to check the latest availability and prices for your travel dates. It is a good idea to purchase the necessary car rental insurance at the same time you reserve your rental car so that you know that you have everything organised and ready. 

Costs of renting a car in Skopelos

The costs of renting a car in Skopelos (and to be honest, renting a car in Greece in general) are still pretty affordable despite inflation. Of course, there are some seasonal variations in the prices but Skopelos car rentals are generally reasonable. 

The tourist season runs between May and late September each year so the demand is highest at this time. July and August, in particular, are the most expensive months. 

In May, June, and September you can secure a car rental for 7 days for around €186 a week. This price includes unlimited mileage, collision damage waiver, theft protection, third-party liability insurance (TPL), and roadside assistance. 

In July and August, Skopelos car rental prices soar to around €320 a week. However that still only works out at an average price of around €45 per day which isn’t bad. 

The car insurance policies which are essential for Greece are included in the price of your rental. However, you may also want to pay a little bit extra for full coverage insurance, for your own peace of mind and to know that you are covered for every eventuality. 

Some Skopelos rental companies allow additional drivers to use the vehicle for free. 

Places in Skopelos that you can only access by car 

Renting a car in Skopelos

Renting a car in Skopelos means that you don’t have to plan your day around a public transport schedule. However, it also means that you can travel to gorgeous parts of the island that are not easily accessible without a vehicle. 

Some of the best Skopelos beaches escape the attention of most international tourists. For instance, Armenopetra, known for its unique rock formations, and Limnonari, accessible only via a dirt trail that leads off from Agnontas port. 

Not to mention the remote northern beaches of Perivoliou and Paralia Prigionas. 

The Mamma Mia Church isn’t serviced by public transport and while you can get a cab or participate in a tour, it means that your visit is somewhat rushed, rather than you being able to enjoy relaxing on the nearby Agios Ioannis beach or stopping at any points of interest along the coastal road between Glossa and the church. 

The Gourouni lighthouse marks the northernmost point of Skopelos Island and is a spectacular place to watch the sunset. Again, it is only accessible by car. So too are Glifoneri and Glisteri beaches close to Skopelos town, and the hiking trails on Mount Dafni. 

Generally speaking, renting a car in Skopelos allows you to have more of an adventure. You can drive around remote parts of the island with no set plan, stopping here and there when you see a hidden shrine, a woodland monastery, or a hiking trail that catches your eye.

While Skopelos island continues to fly somewhat under the radar as a Greek island travel destination, some areas can get a bit crowded in the height of summer. With a car, you can get to rugged central parts of the island where there is not a soul around.  

Requirements for renting a car in Skopelos 

Renting a car in Skopelos

There are a few requirements that you need to meet to be eligible to rent a car in Skopelos. Most Greek rental companies require you to be aged between 21 and 70 and in possession of a full driving license. 

(Some companies may accept slightly older and slightly younger drivers but you may be expected to pay a premium, especially if you are aged 18-21 and have had your license for less than a year). The requirements surrounding International Driving Permits (IDPs) have changed a couple of times over the last few years and may be likely to change again so do check the latest info online prior to your trip. 

EU nationals do not need an International Driving Permit – you only need to show your EU driving license. Since November 2021, the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and Gibraltar do not need an IDP to drive in Greece.

Nor do travelers who hold a full driving license from the EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, or Lichtenstein. If you hold a driving license from another country that is not displayed in the Latin alphabet (i.e. this one), you should apply for an IDP in advance of your trip.  

Note that you may need a credit card for your Skopelos car rental 

Renting a car in Skopelos

You may need to have a valid credit card to be able to rent a car in Skopelos so double-check the small print of the rental company you are considering. This is just for security reasons – in case you were to drive off into the sunset with the car and never return it, or in the event of damage to the vehicle.

A temporary hold may be placed on your card which is immediately redacted when you return the vehicle. Some companies may allow you to hold a debit card on file instead, but a credit card is generally a prerequisite. 

Things to know about driving in Skopelos 

Renting a car in Skopelos

Driving in Greece is, for the most part, not as daunting as a lot of people assume. And what is more important to remember is that driving in Skopelos is a lot different to driving in Athens for example. 

Here, you are driving along pleasant country lanes and coastal roads where there are only a handful of other vehicles on the road at any given time. You are not contending with congestion or chaotic multi-lanes of traffic like you are in major Greek cities. 

Sure, there are some people who speed or take road rules as mere suggestions. Just mind your own driving and be aware of your surroundings and you ought to be fine. 

Still, there are a few key pointers that are specific to driving in Skopelos that are worth keeping in mind. 

Things to note when driving in Skopelos

  • In Greece, you drive on the right-hand side of the road and overtake on the left like in much of Europe.

  • There are some narrow country lanes in the centre of the island – honk your horn when turning a corner to let other vehicles and mopeds know that you are approaching

  • Look out for wildlife. Skopelos is home to dozens of farms (in particular, goat farms). It’s not uncommon to turn a corner and find a farmer leading his herd down the road, or a stray goat that has wandered off from the pen.

  • Some Skopelos roads lead you along the side of a cliff face and there are no barriers at the side of the road – the stretch from Skopelos town to Stafylos is particularly daunting/beautiful/terrifying all at once!

  • Be careful when driving at night – there are no street lights whatsoever in remote central parts of the island.

  • Many rental companies will not allow you to take rental cars onto ferries – worth keeping in mind and checking the small print if you hope to rent a car in Skopelos as part of a wider Greece itinerary where you also visit Alonissos, Skiathos, and the mainland. It generally works out easier to just rent a car in Skopelos and rent another on the mainland.

  • There is a large car park near Skopelos port that is seldom ever full. Check with your hotels to see if they also have on-site parking. Some hotels are located down extremely narrow streets.

  • Be sure to adhere to speed limits in Greece. These are 50 km/h (31 mph) within cities, 110 km/h (68 mph) outside of cities, and a 120 km/h (75 mph) speed limit on highways. 

Check your vehicle carefully when you pick it up and drop it off 

Renting a car in Skopelos

You should always do a few due diligence checks when renting a car in Skopelos (or anywhere). Most Greece car rental companies offer excellent service and are pretty straight – they will not try and scam you or rip you off as tourism is extremely important here. 

Still, it pays to be careful wherever you travel. When you pick up your rental vehicle, be sure to carefully inspect the interior and exterior to make sure that everything is okay with it. 

You will often be asked to sign an inventory checklist that confirms the condition the car is in. Use your phone to take photos of any nick, scratch, or bump on the vehicle so that you have time-stamped evidence of the condition you collected it. 

Do the same when you drop off the vehicle. (This is arguably even more important as you want to confirm that you returned the car in good condition in case of any dispute). 

Some rental companies may have a fuel policy whereby they require you to return the car with a full tank of fuel. Others may not so double-check. (Sometimes if you return the car with only half a tank of fuel, they may bill you for the whole tank). 

Final thoughts on renting a car in Skopelos

Renting a car in Skopelos may not necessarily be essential depending on how long you choose to spend on the island and what you hope to get out of your trip. However, it can make getting around a lot easier, and open up doors to greater adventures on the little island. 

During the summer months, Skopelos car hire prices are still reasonable. If you travel out of the peak season, you will find that a lot of rental providers close throughout Autumn, winter, and spring. 

However, others may be willing to negotiate more economical rates with you. A comparison site like Discover Cars is the best way to search for the best prices and the best deals for your trip. 

Do you have any further questions about planning a trip to Greece or the Sporades Islands? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

You might also find it useful to join my Facebook Group ¨All Greek to Me¨ which exists to help travellers and expats in Greece make the most out of their travels in the country. Safe travels! 

Geia sou! Xo 


Alice Cooper is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

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