Getting to and from Crete - we show you how to travel to Crete
There are two international airports in Crete.
Flights arrive from Athens just about every hour in summer. The duration of the flight from Athens to either Chania or Heraklion is about one hour.
There is a small airport at Sitia JSH, which is due to expand its services. This is located at the north-east of the island. It accepts flights currently from all over Europe. 1 km from the town of Sitia.
In Athens, the airport Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport ATH, is a very modern and comfortable facility. The airport is located 27 km from the city and is well serviced by buses and the metro. With these services, getting to and from Crete is easy.
More information for an Athens stopover here including highlights, transport and accommodation.
The ports of Crete from east to west are Kastelli-Kissamos, Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos and Sitia.
Click here to see a map with the ports of Crete marked.
Getting to and from Crete by ferry
The most travelled sea routes to Crete are from Piraeus (port of Athens) to Chania or Heraklion. The duration of the crossing can be from 6 to 12 hours and in summer there are many different ferries to choose from daily. At other times, it is best to check the schedule.
The main ferry companies for this crossing include Minoan Lines, Anek Lines, and Hellenic Seaways. For up-to-date-information always check with your travel agent or the ferry company directly.
Ferries from Italy to Greece. Ferries travel across the Adriatic into the Ionian from Trieste, Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi in Italy into Corfu, Igoumenitsa and Patras in Greece. Other Greek islands in the Ionian can also be accessed. Ferry companies include Superfast Ferries, Minoan Lines, Anek Lines, Medlink, Bluestar Ferries, My Way Ferries and Hellenic Mediterranean Lines.
Connections from Igoumenitsa. Coaches connect to Athens from Igoumenitsa. See coach travel details below.
Connections from Patras. Coaches connect to Kalamata and other major towns in Peloponissos, and Athens. Rail also connects to Athens, travelling along the beautiful Gulf of Corinth. See rail travel details below.
Ferries from Thessaloniki to Crete. Ferries leave often and travel to Heraklion via Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, Tinos, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios, Thira (Santorini) . GA Lines
Ferries from Athens-Pireaus to Crete. Ferries leave from Piraeus, the port of Athens, pictured above, to Chania or Heraklion. The main ferry companies for this crossing include Minoan Lines, Anek Lines, and Hellenic Seaways.
Ferries from Peloponissos to Crete. From Patras coaches travel to Kalamata, where ferries travel to Crete via Kythera. From mainland Peloponissos, at Gythion and Neapolis, ferries also leave for Kythera and Crete. These ferries arrive in the west of Crete, at the port of Kastelli-Kissamos. Departures are less frequent than from Pireaus, however it gives the opportunity to see the beautiful Peloponissos. Anen Lines.
Ferries from Cyclades to Crete. In summer it is possible to island hop to Crete via Milos and Thira (Santorini) to Crete with Lane Lines or GA Lines. From Santorini, special fast ferries are scheduled in summer between Santorini and Chania and Heraklion. GA Lines, Sea Jets, and Hellenic Seaways.
Hellenic Seaways run the fast hydrofoil FlyingCat IV from Santorini to Heraklion daily in summer.
Ferries from the Dodecanese and Ferries from Turkey to Crete
Getting to and from Crete may involve coming overland across Greece. For the bus sector of your journey to Crete, you will need to use the local Greek coaches.
Coaches in Greece are run by regional collectives, called Kino Tamio Eispraxeon Leoforon or KTEL. Each region has its own service, timetables are displayed at www.ktel.org and each regional website.
Your ferry from Italy may dock at Patras in the Peloponnese and from there you can take a coach to Athens or a coach to Kalamata or Gythio, then a ferry to Crete via Kythera. Athens is the more direct route, with more regular coaches and ferries, but it there is so much to explore in the Peloponnese and great island-hopping across from Gythio to Kythera...
Getting to Greece from Europe by train gives loads of options and flexibility. Cheap deals are available from Rail Europe.
Getting to and from Crete may involve coming overland across Greece. For the train sector of your journey to Crete, you will need to use the local Greek trains. Trains in Greece are run by the Hellenic Railways Organisation Οργανισμός Σιδηροδρόμων Ελλάδος OSE. Informations, services and timetables are displayed at www.ose.gr.
Trains linking the port of Patras with Athens via Corinth travel along the Bay of Corinth, the journey takes about three and half hours. Other trains on this route stop at each town, making the journey much longer. Be sure to check which one you would like whilst planning your trip.
Getting to and from Crete - the Metro
From Athens to Pireaus or the Athens Airport, you may wish to take the metro underground train. It is called the Attiko Metro after the wider region of Athens, Attika, and information and timetables can be found at the website www.athenstransport.com/english
Getting to and from Crete - the Suburban Railway
From central Athens to Athens Airport you may wish to take the Suburban Railway or Proastiakos. Information and timetables are available at the website www.proastiakos.gr. This service can also connect you from Corinth to the Athens Airport.
As you can see, there are many ways of getting to and from Crete, for a one-stop visit or to incorporate Crete into your Greek trip experience.
If you have a travel question about Crete please check the Q&A here...
If you have a question about ferries from Turkey or the Dodecanese Islands such as Rhodes please check the Q&A here...
If you have any suggestions or questions about getting to and from Crete, please contact us - see the form on the Contact Us page.