Endlessly beaches, old Venetian cities, castles and palm trees, wild canyons and unique archaeological sites, cosmopolitan resorts and traditional recipes that climbed to the top of the healthiest Mediterranean diet. Dreamy labyrinths with exquisite architectural examples of Venetian and Ottoman domination in the old cities and harbors of Chania and Rethymno. Magnificent seashores, as well as awesome beach bars for more crazy situations and dynamic nightlife for all tastes.
The modern accommodation facilities offer security and comfort to those looking for carefree family moments. The natural beauties of the Crete island, the shallow sandy beaches, the theme parks, the history and culture areas and the countless activities offered make the holidays in Crete Island unforgettable.
Crete is an ideal destination for family holidays. Crete, the largest island in the country, is not accidentally one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world.
How to get to Crete Island
The island has three significant airports, Nikos Kazantzakis at Heraklion, the Daskalogiannis airport at Chania and a smaller one in Sitia. The first two serve international routes, acting as the main gateways to the island for travelers. There are daily flights from Athens airport by Olympic Air, Aegean Airlines and Athens Airways. During the months of July and August Astra Airlines flies from Thessaloniki to Heraklion and Chania. From April till early November charter airlines fly directly to Heraklion and Chania from many European airports. The airport at Heraklion also has daily flights to Rhodes which takes 1 hr. There are daily flights between Athens and Heraklion.
In the summer, there are daily catamarans (hydrofoils) from Heraklion to Santorini. The trip takes about 2.5 hours. Hellenic Seaways and SeaJets offer these sailings. You can also go to Crete by ferry from the Peloponnese (Gytheio) and Kythira island. This ferry lands on the west part of Crete, in Kissamos port.
The main ports in Greece that ferries come into are in Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Sitia, and Kastelli-Kassamos.
Public transportation is fairly frequent and timetables quite trustworthy. Bus drivers usually divert from their marked routes to enter little villages if asked to do so. Bus services along the north coast and towards the south coast are excellent, reliable, frequent and cheap. Most of these Bus services are run by Kino Tamio Eisproxeon Leoforon, KTEL, which are groups of families which individually run their own bus companies. This, in turn, creates a much more homely environment for Cretans and tourists and these families provide excellent service and show off their great deal of pride.
The road network leads almost everywhere. Hiring a car is easy, as long as you have your driving license with you. Taxi services are another way to get around Crete, but can be quite expensive. They are, however, very accessible and you will find taxi stands in the center of virtually all villages, towns and cities. Greek taxis all work under the Greek State and the Taxi driver must always charge by the meter price which he must turn on as soon as you get into the cab.
Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Especially mopeds are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go – for example the twisted narrow streets of Rhodes city. An additional advantage is that they are cheap to rent – €10-15 a day is the usual price.
If you start a day-trip with a moped, make you sure you do so on a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves. When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tyres is ok and if the brakes work properly. If it is the last vehicle in store, be suspicious – it could be the one that needs a repair badly. Though helmets are not required on the streets, (although you might well be stopped and fines €50 if you are not wearing a helmet on the main roads) it might be a good idea to ask your rent-a-bike for one, especially if you intend to drive on streets with more traffic.
Although Crete is the largest of all Greek islands, you can get around on foot. Especially the countryside in the western part of Crete offers some rough country walking and there are good paths between Chania and Chora Sfakion. These go via forests with cypress, evergreen oak and cypress, various gorges and of course olive and orange groves. This part of Crete is good for walking holidays.