Car Hire In Crete - Four of us will be traveling to Crete in early March for two days and two nights. Should we rent a car in Crete? Because of the timing of flights and where we want to stay, we are considering flying into Heraklion and out of Chania.
We are interested in the culture and look forward to seeing Old Town Chania and possibly Old Town Rethymnon, but aren't sure what else to visit. What is the best way to get from Heraklion to Chania? Will renting a car make this easier? Thanks. This site is great!
Yes, renting a car will definitely get you the best experience of Crete. You will be able to experience the culture in the small villages in that time-frame which wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Your alternatives are the local buses, which are great and would easily transport you between the capitals of Heraklion, Rethymnon and Chania, or pre-booked transfers. Transfers would be affordable because of the size of your party, if split four ways.
The island of Crete is 260 km by 60 km so there is a lot of country to explore. It is safe and easy to drive around. We would suggest renting a car to make the most of it.
Trip Ideas Guide: You may wish to purchase our e-book which gives an alternative route in the west of the island – and amend this route to suit your timetable.
We would suggest, depending on the arrival time of your flight, driving directly to Rethymnon, staying in the Old Town and exploring the history of the old town, before driving the next day by back roads through the countryside and beach villages to Chania. In this way you will see both historic Venetian towns, a historic monastery, some local villages, an inland lake and beautiful beaches.
We suggest an itinerary below, feel free to change it to your needs.
Arrive Heraklion Airport
Pickup hire car
Drive to Rethymon via national road 82 km
Swim at Agia Pelagia or Bali Beaches en route
Explore Old Town
Stay Casa dei Delfini
Drive from Rethymon to Chania via country roads
Visit Arkardi Monastery – Thronos – Mirthios (Amari Valley) – Armeni – Episkopi – Kournas – Georgioupolis 93 km
Coffee at any of these villages – to soak up the atmosphere
Lunch at Lake Kournas or Georgioupolis in a local taverna
Drive from Georgioupolis to Chania 40 km
Explore Old Town
Stay Alcanea Boutique Hotel
Drive Chania Town to Chania Airport 15 km
Drop off hire car
What we love about Rethymnon are the little cafes and restaurants surrounding the tiny Old Harbour, the narrow streets such as Souliou street for shopping.Visit the fortezza, see minarets and mosques, Venetian doorways and Loggia. The small fountain is one one side of a tiny central square - good for people watching. The beach is less than 500 m to the east of the old town along the esplanade.
Learn traditional cooking at Veneto Restaurant and Hotel, for a wonderful atmosphere try Avli Restaurant (entrance pictured above) or Veneto Restaurant (pictured below).
Find traditional music in the local tavernas. Seek out some authentic Cretan music and you will understand so much more about the culture of this island. Mesostrati Taverna often have live music. Nightlife abounds, as there is University nearby, this is a lively town.
Car hire in Crete is available from Chania to Heraklion or other drop off destinations. We love the meandering lane ways of Chania and the interesting boutiques, jewellery studios and local artefacts such as the knife makers street, known as Maheradika, knives are part of Cretan history and pride.
Sit by the harbour for a sunset drink with view across from the lighthouse, try a traditional taverna in the back streets, and stroll around the Venetian limani taking in the atmosphere late at night...
We suggest a shopping trip along Zambeliou Street and dinner at Tamam taverna, which is especially good for vegetarians.
These are just some ideas about an itinerary with car hire in Crete - see our other trip ideas here...
Kalo Dromo! Good Luck on the Road!