Getting to and from Crete

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Getting to and from Crete - we show you how to travel to Crete

Getting to and from Crete

Constant Change. Transport schedules to and from Crete may vary. The following information is liable to change. Always check the fine details with your travel agent and your transport carrier. The information below is a summary only and cannot replace your own detailed research.

Getting to and From Crete By Air


There are two international airports in Crete:

Heraklion Airport Information

Nikos Kazantzakis Airport Heraklion HER  - located in the central north of the island. Flights arriving direct from international destinations, Greece & Europe. Located 4 km from the town of Heraklion.

Check flights to Heraklion here

Chania Airport Information

Daskalogiannis Airport Chania CHQ - located in the north-west of the island. Flights arrive here from Athens and also direct from Europe. Located 14 km from the town of Chania.

Check flights to Chania here

How to choose which airport to use in Crete - depending on your travel plans

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.

Athens Airport

Athens Airport Information

In Athens, the airport Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport ATH, is a very modern and comfortable facility.

Check flights to Athens here

Athens Greece - Evzone guards the tomb of the unknown soldier

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.

Include an Athens tour here.

Getting to and from Crete
by Air

All flight information is variable due to seasonal offerings by airlines.

  • Flights from Athens. The main air companies flying into Crete are Olympic Airways and Aegean Airlines. Most carriers throughout Europe will connect with these flights in Athens
  • Flights from Thessaloniki. There are flights from Thessaloniki in the north of Greece to both Heraklion and Chania with Olympic Airways, duration is one hour and 15 minutes.
  • Flights from Dodecanese - some flights from Rhodes to Heraklion, and from Karpathos to Sitia in summer, with Express Air or Minoan Air
  • Flights from Cyclades - some flights from Thira Santorini, Mykonos and Paros to Heraklion in summer with Express Air or Minoan Air
  • Flights from Cyprus - some flights from Larnaca to Heraklion with Cyprus Airways and Aegean Airways (via Athens)
  • Flights from British Isles- routes and airports change each season. Generally, British Airways, Aegean Airlines, Easyjet, Ryanair and Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines fly from London to airports in Crete
  • Flights from Austria. Air Berlin fly from Austria to Chania and Heraklion.
  • Flights from France. Air Berlin fly from Basel Mulhouse Freiburg to Heraklion. Smartwings, Transavia and Aegean fly direct from airports in France to airports in Crete
  • Flights from Poland. Ryan Air flies from Poland to Heraklion and Chania
  • Flights from Germany. Ryan Air and Condor fly directly from Germany to airports in Crete
  • Flights from Switzerland - Swiss Air, Aegean and FlyNiki fly from Switzerland to Heraklion and Chania.
  • Flights from Scandinavia. Fly Me travels from Sweden to Chania. Sterling travels from Scandinavia to Chania. Norwegian travels from Oslo to Heraklion.
  • Flights from Hungary. Wizz Air travels from Budapest to Heraklion.

Getting to and from Crete - by Sea

Ferry information for Crete and the Greek Islands

The ports of Crete from east to west are Kastelli-Kissamos, Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos and Sitia.

Greek Flag on Ferry by Aewolf

Getting to and from Crete by ferry

The most travelled sea routes to Crete are from Piraeus (port of Athens) to Chania or Heraklion.

Check schedules Pireaus to 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.

Check schedules Pireaus to Chania

The main ferry companies for this crossing include Minoan Lines, Anek Lines, and Hellenic Seaways.

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.

For up-to-date-information always check with your travel agent or the ferry company directly.

Pireaus - Port of AthensPireaus - Port of Athens

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.

Pireaus Port Departure Map

Map of Pireaus Port showing departure points for major ferriesMap of Pireaus Port showing departure points for major ferries

Santorini to Crete

Getting to and from Crete - ferries from Santorini (Thira)

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.

Turkey & the Dodecanese to Crete

Crete Ferry

Ferries from the Dodecanese and Ferries from Turkey to Crete

See detailed Q&A about these ferries to Greek islands and options to travel to Crete here

Connecting from Europe by Coach

Bus icon

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 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 Kythira.

Connecting to and from Crete
by Rail

Getting to Crete by rail

Getting to Greece from Europe by train gives loads of options and flexibility. Cheap deals are available from Rail Europe or you could try a Eurail pass which includes ferry passes for Crete and 27 other Greek islands.

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

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

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 This service can also connect you from Corinth to the Athens Airport.

Map with Airports & Ports in Crete

Question & Answer - Crete Travel Q&A

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.

Anastasi & Apostoli - authors of We Love Crete

"We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the team at We Love Crete. Evíva!"

Contact us with further questions or feedback. We love to hear about your travels in Kríti and Greece. Let us know of any updates or additions, errors or omissions. Help us make this website the best it can be. Kaló Taxidí!

About the Team

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