Crete: Getting there

The island of Crete

Crete is located on the southernmost part of Greece.
There are multiple options of getting to the island from the mainland by air and by boat. The island also has its public transportation system, so getting around without a car is fairly easy as long as you are visiting the biggest cities. Remote villages in the south require most of the times to rent a car as getting the timetables correct by bus is a nighmare.

By Air

Most travellers to Crete will fly into the city of Heraklion (Iraklion), to the Heraklion International “Nikos Kazantzakis” Airport. Heraklion International is Crete’s busiest airport with an average of 45,000 flights per year. Where there is no direct flight from your location to Crete, a lot of passengers will fly into Athens and then take a connecting flight into Heraklion or Chania airport – thanks to year-round air service between the two cities. Other carriers also provide flights to Heraklion throughout the year from other cities such as Rhodes, Kos, and Kithira. Seasonally during the summer months, carriers and charter airlines offer flights to Heraklion from many major European cities.
The second most visited airport on Crete is Chania International “Daskalogiannis” Airport. Chania is frequented by travellers who are heading to western Crete. Much like Heraklion, Chania has seasonal flights operating from cities across Europe as well as annual flight service from cities in Greece. It is about a 20-minute drive from the airport to the city of Chania, and bus service runs 7 times a day from the airport to the city.
Sitia has a small community airport, Sitia Airport which only serves domestic flights. Passengers can fly into the city from Athens as well as Rhodes, Karpathos and other Greek airports. Crete’s airline, Sky Express is based in Heraklion and offers low-cost flights to and from Crete as well as other cities in Greece.

By Boat

Year-round there are at least two ships (Minoan & ANEK lines) per day making the trip from the port city of Piraeus to Heraklion, and during the summer seasons, the trips increase to three voyages per day. In the high season, other ferries run between Crete and the other Greek Islands including Rhodes, Karpathos and Kassos (starting from Siteia city most of the times).
Boat service is much less expensive than airfare. However, unlike air travel, boat service takes much longer with a trip from mainland Greece to Crete averaging about 10 hours. All the above ships start from Heraklion port. From Chania city, there is one every day that departs around 9 pm to Pireaus and vice versa.


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