Horse drawn carriage in Hania



There are various ways of reaching Crete, the easiest being to fly direct to Hania or Heraklion airports. If you require an extended duration, you can fly to the international airport in Athens then take the domestic flight to Crete. You may prefer a more scenic route and slightly cheaper way to the island, then the bus from Athens is very enjoyable. The more popular means is by ferry, many travel between Europe and mainland Greece with connections to neighbouring islands. Also see driving below.

Airport at Hania - Chania - Xania

Heraklion Airport



  • By air direct from UK destinations and the rest of Europe: A variety of travel companies for schedule package holidays including your flight. Or flight only direct from the UK with tickets allocated through an assortment of travel companies or bucket shops. Charter flights are frequent but have fixed outward and return dates. There are a lot more flights to Heraklion than to Hania, making them often cheaper (and not as heavily booked) as flights to Hania. Although, now that Ryanair have a base at Hania, their direct flight prices have become very competitive.

  • Fly direct to Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport: Scheduled flights direct to Athens Airport Sparta operate several times a day with main airlines Almost all scheduled international flights transfer through Athens where you must take a scheduled domestic flight to either Hania or Heraklion. These are relatively frequent approximately 6 a day to Hania and more to Heraklion. These are run by other companies beside the national carrier Olympic Airways

  • From Crete Airports: Crete has two international airports, the Ioannis Daskalogiannis airport in Hania which is situated on the peninsula of Akrotiri, 13 km from the town centre. The are no bus services as yet from the airport to the city. Taxis to Hania cost around 15 Euro  this includes a small airport surcharge. Check-in time is about 45 min. for domestic flights and 90 min. for charters.  The Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Heraklion is situated about 4 km from the city centre. There is now a regular bus service to the city centre as well as taxis, it is advisable to ask for the cost of the journey first or that the driver turns the meter on. Both of the airports are military. The whole year around there are scheduled flights, whereas in the summertime the airports are extremely busy with charter flights. 
    If you arrive in Heraklion and wish to continue onto Hania or Rethymnon you will have to go to the KTEL bus terminals in the city. There are a few terminals so make sure that you tell the taxi driver you destination. Buses leave every hour during the day and the trip to Hania takes around 2 hours. There are no buses after 8.30 pm (your only alternative is a taxi, costing about 90 Euros as the journey to Hania is 140 kms. Car Hire is best pre-booked.

Ferry Schedules

  • There is a regular ferryboat service from the port of Piraeus to Heraklion and Hania. Ships depart every evening around 8.00 or 8.30 (times vary depending on the season) you will arrive early morning around 5.00 or 6.00 am. The ferries are  modern and cheaper than flying.  Avoid weekends where possible and especially high season as the ferries are extremely busy.  If you want a cabin it is advisable to book in advance. The main ferry companies are ANEK and MINOAN LINES.

  • Several shipping companies connect Italy Ancona, Bari and Brindisi with the  Patras and Igoumenitsa on the mainland. 




Driving from Athens via the port of Piraeus. Only use a reputable hire car company, these will include all insurances and extend your car hire if needed.

Driving from the UK taking the ferry from Italy to Greece takes about three and a half days. Check all insurance's and regulations with regards to driving through Europe. Plan your route carefully, considering the toll roads, which can be very expensive. Make sure you have your driving license and are properly insured to cover Europe. It is also worth checking other regulations regarding driving through Europe and always carry a warning triangle, spare light bulbs etc.




Distances around the island are considerable so some form of transportation is required. The majority of the roads are asphalt, but the road structure is very curved and often the camber on the older roads is angled in the wrong direction and can be dangerous. More than half of the roads are narrow, with steep and sharp bends, with the exception of the northern main National Road. As the weather is hot and dry for most of the year, following a rainstorm the roads are very slippery and you have to drive with all due care and attention. Do check you have comprehensive insurance as some companies only give you third party.

  • Cars are available for hire all year from a number of outlets.

  • Scooters and motorbikes are available but again all precautions must be taken, including the Greek law of wearing crash helmets. You must be aware that the roads are rough and often slippery in the wet.

  • The bus services are frequent with services daily to most all areas, information is available from the KTEL.  Guided tours around the island are also available during the summer season and are very reasonably priced.

  • There are a number of Taxis that will take you to all parts of the island and inform you of the fare to your required destination.




 More Crete pages
: Intro to Crete : About Hania & West Crete : Cretan People : When to Come : Getting Here
: Greeks on Holiday : Its All Greek To Me : Weather :



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