Getting around on Crete is not the same as on other Greek islands, mainly, due to the long distances between cities, villages and beaches. Nevertheless, the public transportation system, consisting only of buses, is well organized with a quite extensive network that allows you to get to your desired destination with great comfort. On the northern part of the island, there is a highway connecting Agios Nikolaos to the east with Kissamos to the west via Heraklion, Rethymnon and Chania. The remaining part of the road network from Aghios Nikolaos to Sitia town is narrow with steep road bends. On the other hand, the road network of the southern part of Crete is not in the same condition, as this part of Crete is mountainous. The roads are narrow with many hairpin bends that make the driving experience a very exhausting process. Although Crete is a very big island, no matter how you travel from one point to the other, the journey is always interesting thanks to the amazing landscapes and the wonderful sceneries Crete offers to travelers.
Buses are the only form of public transport in Crete. All the buses are operated by a KTEL Company. The bus services are divided into those offered in the western Crete and into these offered in the central and eastern Crete.
Chania and western Crete
With starting point the central bus station in Chania, buses run daily almost everywhere, including Rethymnon, Heraklion, Kissamos, Paleochora, Chora Sfakion, Agia Marina, Agia Triada, Almirida, Vamos, Frangokastelo, Vrysses, Kolimbari, Limnoupolis, Meskla, Voukolies, Omalos (Samaria Gorge), Platanos, Falasarna, Sougia, Stalos, Sternes, Therissos, Souda and other smaller villages of hinterland. The main bus station of Chania is situated at the end of Halidon Street, about a hundred metres on the left of the square. Indicatively, the bus ticket from Chania to Rethymnon costs €6.80, To Heraklion €15.10, to Elafonisi €11.00, to Paleochora €8.30, and to Omalos €7.50 one-way. Bus tickets can be bought inside the bus or at the ticket office at the bus station.
Heraklion and eastern Crete
Heraklion is connected by bus to Rethymnon, Chania via Rethymnon, Kastelli, Ierapetra, Aghios Nikolaos, Sitia, Malia, and other smaller villages of the central Crete. Most of the buses depart from the Bus Station A’, located across the road from the Heraklion port, for destinations along the north coastline including west to Rethymnon and Chania, and east to Agios Nikolaos in Lassithi. The second Bus Station B’, on the outskirts of town at Chanioporta, serves bus routes to the south such as Rogdia, Agia Gallini, Mires, Matala, Anogia, Gortys, Zaros and Festos.
Chania and Heraklion have both an urban bus network that serves the transportation inside and around the city.
You can get from Heraklion to places of significant interest like Knossos archaeological site, to the Heraklion airport, to the port or just travel around the city. Tickets are bought at kiosks before boarding on the bus and the price varies from €1.10 or €1.50 and €5.00 for a day.
You can get around Chania by the city buses with the 13 bus routes. The city is divided into two zones. The zone A includes the following destinations: Agii Apostoli, Agios Ioannis, Halepa, Hrisi Akti, Hospital, Kalliston Hotel, Kato Daratso, Lentariana, M.A.I.Ch, Mournies, Nea Hora, Pasakaki, Pelekapina, T.E.I., and Vamvakopoulo. The ticket price is at the same price for all the above destinations and it costs €1.20 if it is bought outside the bus or €2.00 if it is bought on the bus. The zone B includes the following destinations: Agios Onoufrios, Agia’s Prisons, Galatas, Daratso, Kalamaki, Kampani, Korakies, Kounoupidiana, Navy, Nerokourou, Perivolia, Pithar, Plakoures, Sodi, Souda,Tsikalaria. The ticket price is at the same price for all the above destinations and it costs €1.70 if it is bought outside the bus or €2.50 if it is bought on the bus.
Getting around on Crete on taxi
Taxis in Crete are grey Mercedes. There are taxi stands near tourist points within the cities, at the airports and ports. Of course you can catch a free taxi on the road, while it is running. All the taxi drivers have to use the taximeter, but the taxi fares are normally fixed for specific routes. During the night, the tariff doubles and the taxi driver has to switch on the tariff 2, as well as when he/she rides outside the city limits. We highly recommend you get informed about the taxi cost for your route before getting into the taxi in order not to be overcharged. Taxi rides within cities do not cost more than €5.00. Some of the most usual taxi routes between Cretan cities and taxi fares are presented below:
- Heraklion town to Chania town: €135.00
- Heraklion town to Rethymnon town: €82.00
- Chania airport to Heraklion city: €103.00
- Heraklion airport to Aghios Nikolaos: €50.00
Getting around on Crete by boat
In the southwestern part of Crete, there is no a road network that connects the coastal villages, so, if someone wants to get from one place to another, one should drive up the mountain and then ride down the mountain. For this reason, there are boat routes, operated by Anendyk, a local ferry company, that link the towns along Crete’s southwestern coast in the Sfakia region of Chania. Boats sail daily during the summer, between Paleochora, Sougia, Agia Roumeli, Loutro and Hora Sfakion, in both directions. Gavdos island is also accessible by boat from Paleochora or Sfakia passing by Ag.Roumeli and Loutro, on a daily basis. Some of these boats can transfer also cars. The boat ticket prices vary from €6.00 to €23.30 per person, depending on the destination. You can find all the useful information about the boat timetables and ticket prices at Anendyk website. There are also smaller islands around Crete that can be reached by boat, for example the Spinalonga or Dia island.
A water taxi is an alternative way to travel between Agia Galini, Plakias, Sougia and Hora Sfakion in the southwestern Crete or get to the remote beaches of the southern coast of Crete.
If you want to explore some of the most beautiful beaches you have ever been at, join us on a private speedboat excursion to Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island or to Souda Bay and other Secret Beaches for a genuine Cretan experience overboard.
Renting a car or a motorcycle
Having your own vehicle is the most expensive option of getting around Crete, but at the same time is the most convenient way to go wherever you want, follow your journey plan and make stops at any time. The highways in Crete are well maintained, but if you want to explore deeper the hinterland and the mountainous villages, you should expect narrow roads with many ups and downs. There are car rental companies at the airports of Chania and Heraklion, as well as in all the major cities. Due to the sufficient number of local and international car rental companies in Crete, it is easier to find a really good deal if you book a car well in advance.
If you are traveling with family, or if you are a large group of people, it can be better to travel from one destination to another with a private transfer. Contact us to learn more about our private transfer services.