Getting here/Flights

Arriving by air

Airports in Crete

There are two international airports in Crete: Heraklion airport or Kazantzakis airport and Chania airport or Daskalogiannis airport

 

Heraklion Airport ( HER – Kazantzakis)

Our international airport connects Crete to a world through flight, providing you with daily regular and charter flights from mainland Greece and Europe. The gateways to the North and South Shores and main towns of the island are only a 20 to 90 minutes drive from the Airport. To visit the Heraklion International Airport online, please click here

Heraklion airport access: There are regular buses between Heraklion airport and Eleftherias square (town centre); tickets should be bought before boarding. A taxi into the town takes 10-15 minutes and costs 12-14 euros.
Parking: There is a paid parking, just across the road, opposite the airport entrance.

Airport facilities: Cash/ATM machines for cash advances and withdrawals, exchange booth to Coffee and snacks are available, as well as a sit-down cafe/restaurant. “Duty-free” shop and giftshops.

Left luggage: Tel: 2810-397129, 397136 (info 24hrs).

 

Chania Airport ( CHQ – Daskalogiannis)

The international airport of west Crete connects the island to a world through flight, providing you with daily regular and charter flights from mainland Greece and Europe. The gateways to the North and South Shores and main towns of the island are only a 20 to 90 minutes drive from the Airport. To visit the Chania International Airport online, please click here

Chania airport access: At Chania airport there are only a few, infrequent, buses – a taxi is the best option if you are not renting a car. A taxi into the town takes 20 minutes and costs 14-16 euros.

Parking: There is a paid (quite expensive) parking, running in front of the airport building. Long term (lower cost) parking is available a few hundred metres before the airport gates. The long term rental place offers pick up upon your arrival, taking you with their van to the parking lot.

Airport facilities: Cash/ATM machine for cash advances and withdrawal. Coffee and snacks are available. “Duty-free” shop and giftshops. Tel: 28210-63245, 83800.

 

Flying to Crete via Athens

All flights to and from Athens arrive and depart from the new Athens airport named Eleftherios Venizelos at Spata, to the north-east of the city.

Read information about the Athens Airport at the airport website “Eleftherios Venizelos” with useful information about airlines, real-time arrivals/departures, parking. Tel. 210- 3530000.

 

Arriving by sea

“The journey is the thing”

An excellent way of enjoying the journey to Crete is fly to Athens and then catch the ferry from Piraeus (Pireas) – the port serving Athens.

The new Athens airport makes this a slightly slower process because it is further from the port, but it’s worth the extra time for a still-romantic way to travel. A trip to Greece has long been associated with the idea of approaching the island of your dreams, early in the morning, standing on the deck of one of those famous ferries – an enthralling and gentle way to arrive at a promising destination.

 

Thus, some suggestions to help you get the best out of your sea voyage.

Sailing from Piraeus to Heraklion or to Chania (Souda) takes about 5 – 8 hours on standard ferries. These overnight ferries arrive at their destination between 5.30 and 6.30 in the morning.

Tickets can be bought in advance for all ferries directly from the ferry companies, your travel agent or via Leading

Accommodation On Board Ship

Deluxe cabins are a treat (spacious, well furnished with TV, refrigerator and some double beds available) First class cabins are down a notch in decor and space, but still provide a good compact hotel-room-on-the-water.

There are outside cabins with windows (much to be preferred) or inside cabins (cheaper), available with 2, 3 or 4 beds. Travelling alone, you can pay about 50% extra to have the cabin to yourself. All cabins have a shower and toilet.

Heavy or Large pieces of luggage can be stored in a  special lorry-luggage room, just outside the boat – ask as you board (it’s a good idea, avoiding carrying your entire luggage to the cabin). Even though porters take you and luggage to your cabin, you do have to haul it – often up steps, escalator if you are lucky – to the equivalent of the second or third floor of a building, before you reach the reception.

If you choose a more economical fare you can buy a simple ticket and sleep wherever you find it most comfortable – or talk and play cards, watch TV with fellow travellers. Viewing passing ships from the decks or the occasional distant lights from an island is another pastime. There are Pullman style seats available. A simple ticket allows you to use and enjoy most of the ship (sometimes a bar area or two are reserved for first and deluxe class passengers) – there is no such thing however, as “deck class”, so you do not have to spend the night out on deck!

Food on the ships is satisfactory. There are both self service and full service restaurants – slight difference of prices.

Board Early

You can if you wish board the ship a couple of hours before sailing and enjoy the experience (providing the ship is already in port and previous passengers have fully disembarked). In fact at Piraeus this gives you a good opportunity to explore the area, perhaps have something to eat, visit churches and wander around the port with views of ferries and their signs to various destinations, their “clocks” displaying the departure time.

These large ships carry passengers and all manner of vehicles and if you board close to departure there can be a rather crazed and unnerving rush of people, trucks, cars, motorcycles and all manner of moving items to battle with! It would be a good idea – a very good idea, to board early.

Slumber and Relax in Your Cabin

If you feel you’d like to avoid being woken and turned out of your cabin at five or six o’clock the next morning (the ship may have “arrived” even earlier), speak to the most authoritative person at the reception desk, when you board, ask them if you can stay in the cabin a little later. If you are going straight to a hotel when you arrive, this makes sense, as they may not have your room available until later in the morning. Most of ferry companies are happy to let people hold onto their cabin as late as they’d like.

Favourite Sea Companies & Vessels

On the route to and from Heraklion in Crete, Minoan Lines as well as ANEK Lines high-speed ships are of the newer ferries. They include amongst their facilities a cinema, internet cafe as well as a swimming pool and music club. Interiors are reasonably comfortable. Cabins – of course especially the deluxe categories – are very pleasant indeed. The new Superfast XII ferry (Joint Venture with ANEK Lines) is also an interesting addition.

On the route to and from Chania (Souda) in Crete, ANEK Lines high-speed ships provide an excellent trip.

Weather and Ferries

Important note: The ferries sail when the weather is considered suitable and stable conditions are predicted. If the weather is bad, sailings will be cancelled (not often – but there are a few such days every year), and you should be accommodated on the next available sailing.

Advice: Allow flexibility in your schedule when travelling by ferry as part of an ongoing journey. If delayed, see some of the sights of interest you may have missed!  The shipping companies are prone to changing which ships they use on any given route – so as always, call to check if you want to book on a particular ship.

Pireaus – Heraklion, Pireaus – Chania  or vice versa

As Crete is well served by ferry, there are at least two daily departures from Pireaus (near Athens) to Heraklon year-round and three or four per day in Summer.

There is at least one daily departures from Pireaus (near Athens) to Chania (Souda Port) year-round and two (not during all months) per day in summer.

Find timetables, prices and availability for ferries and make your reservations online by visiting the ferry companies’ websites or just contact Leading.

 

Whether you travel here by air or sea a world of adventure awaits you in Crete.  Please contact us if you have any questions about your travel plans 00306973316616, info@leading.gr.

Don’t forget your travel documentation if you are visiting from outside of Greece!  Visit the Greece National Tourist Organization of Greece (E.O.T.) click here for more information.