There are many ways to arrange a visit to Crete. Many travel companies organize package holidays to all the major resorts, and some minor ones as well. These are great if you like being looked after from being collected at the airport, taken to your hotel, and having various activities arranged for you.
Both private individuals and companies rent out houses and villas all over the island. If you’re happy with arranging flights and transport, this is a great way for independent travelers to get to Crete.
Self catering holidays are also available in most areas.
There are both charter and scheduled flights direct to Crete for package holidays and independent travelers. The two main airports are at Heraklion and Chania. Flights operate daily from Athens to Crete. If you want to fly to Crete from outside Greece you may be able to get a direct flight, or you may have to fly via Athens.
Ferries connect Crete with other islands in the Aegean and with Piraeus (the main port of Athens), Kalamata and Thessaloniki on the mainland.
Whichever method of transport you use, if you’re planning to travel in the high season, you might be safer booking your tickets in advance.
Crete is a large island, and there is a reasonably good bus service to most places. But if you want your freedom to come and go as you chose, then you’d be better off with car hire.
There is great competition for car hire, but do go to a reliable source. The main road is the east-west National Highway which runs along the north coast. This is a good modern road, but if you plan to go to some out of the way places, you might be best hiring a four wheel drive vehicle and and make sure you get full insurance. This means comprehensive insurance, collision damage waiver, and no mileage charges (this one often catches people out).
A word about journey times. If you’re going anywhere away from the main roads, remember that Crete is very mountainous, and the roads are often not very well surfaced. Allow for an average speed of about 15mph (25kph).
This map shows you where the places in this section can be found (use the red markers to help zoom in). You can use the controls to zoom in and out of the map, and you can move the map around by holding down your mouse button and moving the mouse around. Try the Satellite view too.