Crete Travel Guide

Greece  #2 in Best Greek Islands
Credit

Courtesy of Mustang_79/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getting Around Crete

The best way to get around Crete is via car. There are public buses that connect visitors to the major cities of Heraklion, Rethymnon, Chania and Agios Nikolaos. There are also a few lines that transport visitors to southern cities, but since all public bus timetables are subject to seasonal needs, the service may be too sporadic for those on vacation. You can rent a car in any major city as well as at Heraklion International Airport (HER) and Chania International Airport (CHQ). If you plan to do a lot of exploring, keep in mind that the island is larger than it may appear; you can avoid spending excessive amounts of time behind the wheel by planning your itinerary in advance.

Driving in Crete, however, can be challenging depending on where you are. In the major cities along the northern coast, there are usually road signs in Greek and English. However when visiting more remote areas, especially in the more rural south, travelers are likely to run into unpaved roads lacking signs. Travel experts strongly recommend driving very cautiously among mountain roads and seeking advice from locals beforehand if possible. 

Car

You'll find rental agencies in the larger cities as well as at both the Heraklion and the Chania airports. Although U.S. driver's licenses have been known to work in the past, save yourself the worry by obtaining an International Driving Permit before you leave the states. An international driver's license can help you avoid any miscommunication at rental agencies or if you get into a sticky situation on the road. To rent a car in Crete, drivers must be 21 years of age. You can apply for one here.

Bus

KTEL bus service offers transportation between Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos. Buses also connect the major cities to smaller towns on the southern coast. Depending on the length of your trip, fares can range anywhere from €2 to €11 EUR. Service between major cities in the north is more frequent than those heading south since roads on the southern coast aren't as developed.

On Foot and By Taxi Once you're in one of the major towns, you'll find that, as far as transportation goes, your feet should suffice. However, if you find yourself growing weary or need to get somewhere fast, taxi cabs are available. Just be aware that drivers have been known to forget to turn on their meters, so you should always agree on a price before getting into the cab. Before hopping into a cab, it's also a good idea to write down the address of your destination to avoid any confusion as multiple places in Crete tend to have the same name. It's also common for taxi drivers to pick up hailing passengers if someone is already in their car to double up on fares. If the driver doesn't ask ahead of time if it's alright, then politely alert the driver if you prefer not to share the cab with other passengers. 

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