Ways to travel to Crete: What is the easiest way to reach Crete island? How to Get to Crete from Europe (England, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey ect)?

Getting to Crete by air from within Greece

Both Iraklio and Hania are linked to Athens by 4 to 7 flights daily on Olympic (801 8010101 or 210 35 50 500; olympicair.com) or Aegean (801 1120000 or 210 62 61 000; aegeanair.com). Olympic also provides daily flights from Rhodes to Sitia (eastern Crete, almost year-round), and to Iraklio (again most of the year) Very-good-indeed Astra (8017007 466; astra-airlines.gr) flies direct a few times weekly from Thessaloníki to Iraklio, with once piece of checked luggage included in fares (up to 15 kilos, very reasonable overwight charges).

Sky Express (skyexpress.gr) offer links from Athens plus Rhodes, Mykonos, Kos, Samos and Santorini to Iraklio, plus Athens and Preveza to Sitia, but in our experience they are to be avoided by holidaymakers except as a last resort. Baggage rules (just 13 kilos per checked bag on the cheapest fares, only 3–6 kilos carry-on allowed) are strictly enforced with measuring tape and scales, and hefty overweight charges wipe out any savings compared to using a competing airline.

Transfers in Crete

From Hania airport, about six daily buses ply to and from town but a taxi (€20) is a more likely option; from Iraklio, a public bus goes into town until 11pm, otherwise a taxi (€14); Sitia has only taxi links (€8) to town, though this may change once the new terminal gets more traffic.

Getting to Crete by sea within Greece

Ferries or catamarans call at Hania (from Athens; anek.gr), Iraklio (from Athens, Cyclades islands and Rhodes; anek.gr; hellenicseaways.gr and minoan.gr) and Sitia (from Rhodes on ANEK). However catamrans from the Cyclades (there are no longer any slow ferries except ANEK from Santorini and Anafi) are so exorbitant that you’re better off flying.

At Iraklio (the only Cretan port of call for cruises, thanks to nearby Knossos) and Sitia, the town is a moderate walk inland; the port for Haniá is Soúda, about 6 miles/10km east (regular buses or taxi into town). Except for Iráklio, no Cretan port has any significant amenities or information available.

Getting around in Crete

Public Transport

Buses (interkriti.org and ktelherlas.gr) along the north coast between the main towns are frequent, but scarcer heading through the hills and to the south coast

Taxis

These are plentiful, taking up to four passengers each, with the cost thus shared reduced to nearly that of a bus ticket

Walking

Crete makes an excellent spring/autumn hike destination, with recognised trekking routes concentrated in Hania’s Lefka Ori (White Mountains) and Iraklio’s Psiloritis range; Loraine Wilson’s The High Mountains of Crete (Cicerone, £16.95) is the definitive guide – a revised edition appeared in late 2015.

Rent a Car in Crete

Car hire: in Crete, this can be expensive, especially on spec at airport arrivals. Beware especially of one-way charges (e.g, pick up at Hania, drop off at Iraklio) –these can vary from a reasonable €35 to an exorbitant €80. Even picking up at Iraklio airport, and then dropping in Iraklio town, will attract a charge (under €20, hopefully). Of the consolidator sites rentalcars.com, carrentals.co.uk, travelsupermarket.com and comparecarrentals.co.uk have proven the most competitive for online booking.

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