There are plenty of travel options when planning a trip to Crete and it can be daunting trying to choose between them all. Luckily for you we have put together this helpful article full of top tips to help save you both time and money on your trip to Crete. We will show you how to save money on airport parking, show you how to transfer from the island’s two airports to your accommodation and discuss ferry options.
Airport parking is something that is often overlooked when booking a trip to Crete. Most of us choose to fly to the island and a lot of us decide to drive to our destination airport as it is just so convenient. You can choose exactly when you want to leave and there is no hassle luggage baggage around on public transport. The problem is that most people forget to book airport parking in advance and end up paying up to 60% more than those that book in advance!
Luckily there is a simple way to avoid these higher costs and the stress of not being able to find a space on your arrival – book ahead of time using a comparison website. Parkhero is a great example of a comparison website dedicated to airport parking for travellers from the UK. This easy-to-use website has a powerful comparison tool that takes just minutes to find the best prices on airport parking. If you are looking for Manchester Airport parking, you simply choose the airport from the drop-down menu, enter your travel dates and hit ‘Search’. In seconds you get a list of the available parking services listed from the cheapest to the most expensive. Filter them further by parking type, distance from the airport and customer reviews to find exactly what you are searching for. Simple! If you are looking for a similar website in your own country, you just need to look up ‘compare parking at…airport’ in a search engine.
Flying to Crete
Crete has two international airports that offer excellent connections to mainland Greece and direct flights to many destinations in Europe. There is Heraklion Airport (HER), the largest of the two, in the centre of the island and Chania Airport (CHQ) to the west of the island. Which you choose will either depend on where you are staying on the island or the availability of flights from your departure airport.
Both airports are served by Olympic Air, Aegean Airlines, Ryanair and easyJet, but Heraklion Airport a better choice of airlines. While it may be easier to find flights to Heraklion, keep in mind that it is around a 2-hour drive to Chania in the west, if you are planning to stay there.
You will find a good choice of transfer options available at both airports, which we have detailed below.
Transfers from Heraklion Airport
Taking the bus is a good budget option with an efficient service to the whole of the island from Heraklion.
- The Heraklion City bus runs between the city centre and the airport every 10 to 15 minutes
- Buses run between 6am and 11pm
- It takes around 20 minutes and costs €2 one-way
- You can pay on the bus or buy a ticket at the kiosk outside the airport
If you are not staying in Heraklion and want to take onward buses to your final destination, you will need to make your way to either Bus Station A or Station B. At these stations you will find a selection of regional buses to the rest of the island.
- Bus Station A – lines for Chania, Rethymno, the areas around Lassithi including Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra and Sitia, the coastline northeast of Heraklion, and the eastern of Heraklion.
- Bus Station B – lines for Zaros, Agia Galini, Anogia, Matala, Mires, Phaestos and the east and southeast coast of Heraklion.
A more convenient option is to take a taxi. While this will be a lot more expensive, you will be taken directly to your accommodation and will not need to worry about bus timetables.
- Book online to avoid higher prices and be sure of a spot
- Do not pay cash in advance and insist on using the meter, if you do not book
- Airport surcharges will apply but taxi usually costs €1.20 per kilometre
- Taxi costs are Chania are €150, Malia €41 and Heraklion town €17
If you plan to explore the island beyond the immediate vicinity of your accommodation, it is a good idea to hire a car. This gives you the flexibility to explore where and when you want to and will probably save you money overall when compared to the cost of multiple transfers.
You will find most major rental companies at Heraklion Airport, but make sure to book in advance for the best prices.
Transfers from Chania Airport
Bus transfer is the cheapest way to get from Chania Airport to Chania centre. Buses will also take you to Souda, Rethymno and other villages in the vicinity.
- Tickets cost €2.50 to Chania and can be purchased on the bus or online
- Buses take around 30 minutes
- Frequency depends on the day with schedules based on flights
You can find further bus connections to the rest of the island from the bus station in Chania centre. It is a good idea to book these regional buses in advance and to check the timetable before you leave, as they change by season.
For greater speed and comfort consider taking a taxi, but be prepared to pay a lot more. Taxis are usually better priced than the transfers offered by the hotel.
- Taxi rank located outside the main terminal building
- Best to book online before arrival, as often fully booked during high season
- It takes around 30 minutes to get to Chania and 90 minutes to get to Rethymno
- Taxis are metred and should cost around €25 to Chania and €100 for Rethymno
Hiring a car is a good option if you plan to explore different parts of the island, giving you much more flexibility. You will find desks for the major car rental companies directly at the airport, but make sure to book in advance for the best prices.
Taking the ferry to Crete
It is also possible to take a ferry to Crete and it is a wonderful way to arrive on the island! The views from the ferry are beautiful and you get to combine your trip to Crete with another destination. Tickets range from around €25 up to around €160 depending on which class you choose and how far in advance you book.
Ferries run from Athens regularly during the high-season and take between 6.5 and 13 hours to reach Crete. Faster ferries tend to be more expensive, while slower ones offer a cheaper and more relaxed experience. You will find ferries at Piraeus and Rafina ports.
You can also take a ferry from one of the Cycladic Islands to Crete. Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, and Paros all offer ferry routes to Crete and most land in Heraklion. Again, there are fast and slow ferries available, with fast ones taking between 2 and 3 hours and slower ones taking up to 10 hours.
Ferries disembark at Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Sitia, Agios Nikolaos, and Kissamos on Crete.
We hope you have found this information useful and look forward to welcoming you to our winery! You can find more information about our wine tastings on our dedicated page and find out more about what we do on our Blog.