Nowadays most visitors seem to come to Crete directly by plane, especially by charter.

There are however a number of other options.

Charter flights

Charter flights from Europe are quite numerous from some time in April until the end of October.

There are a lot more flights to Heraklion than to Chania, making them often cheaper (and not as heavily booked) as flights to Chania.

 

Bear in mind that charter flights are not always cheaper than scheduled flights (especially with kids who rarely get a price reduction) and that they give you far less flexibility in choosing your travel dates. They give you of course the convenience of a direct flight with no stopover in Athens.  

Scheduled flights. Almost all scheduled international flights transit through Athens where you must take a scheduled domestic flights to either Chania or Heraklion.

These are quite frequent (around 6 a day to Chania and more to Heraklion) and run by other companies beside the national carrier Olympic Airlines.

Transiting through Athens is a very large congested city with a high level of air pollution in summer.

It also offers some superb museums and renowned archaeological sites and is worth a stopover, at least once.

You can continue your journey from Athens to Crete by plane or ferryboat from Piraeus. The new aiport in Athens offers good public transort connections to the city center as well as to the port of Piraeus. Ferryboat from Piraeus  

There is a regular ferryboat service from the port  of Piraeus to Heraklion and Chania.

Ships depart every evening around 8.00 or 8.30 (times vary a little depending on the season) and arrive very early morning (5.00 or 6.00 am).

The ships are quite modern, cheaper than flying and can be quite romantic (if they are not too crowded). Avoid weekends and especially the beginning and end of holidays! If you want a cabin it is often safer to book in advance.

The main company is http://www.anek.gr/english/index.html\" Anek lines a company created in the 60s by Cretans who wanted better and safer service to and from the mainland of Greece. and runs daily between Piraeus, Chania, Rethymnon and Heraklion.

Another company, \"http://www.minoan.gr/\" Minoan Lines sails every day to Heraklion.

Rethymnon Lines run ferries to Rethymnon in the summer.World of caution: In winter (but at other times too) the sea is often stormy and it is not unusual for the ferries to be delayed, sometimes for days, until the storm passes.

If you must return by a specific date go by air - planes will fly in worse weather and are only grounded when winds reach gale forces Ferryboat from Italy Several shipping companies connect Italy (Venice, Trieste, Ancona, Bari, Brindisi) with the mainland of Greece (Patras and Igoumenitsa).

The fastest service to Patras is provided by \"http://www.superfast.com/\" SuperFast Ferries. It is slightly more expensive than other companies.

It is preferable to book your passage in advance in the summer season.Ferryboat from the Peloponnese and the Cyclades  Miras Ferries run a service connecting the South Peloponnese (Gythion, Neapolis or Kalamata) to Kastelli (45 km west of Chania).

Timetables are rather erratic but it is an option if you want to spend time on the Peloponnese or simply avoid Athens.From April to October you can also get boats from Santorini (and other Cycladic islands) to Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos. land to Greece

Traveling to Greece overland has virtually stopped since the disintegration of former Yugoslavia. The alternative through Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria takes so long that it is not worth thinking about unless you want to visit these countries.

The only option if you want to come by car or bike is by ferry from Italy.Arrival on Crete Chania airport The airport of Chania is situated on the peninsula of Akrotiri, 13 km from the town centre.

There is no bus service from the airport to the city.

Taxis to Chania cost around Euro 15 (including a small airport surcharge).

Check-in time is about 45 min. for domestic flights and 90 min. for charters.Heraklion airport The airport of Heraklion is situated about 4 km from the city centre.

There is now a regular bus service to the city centre as well as taxis (insist on the driver turning the meter on).

If you arrive in Heraklion and wish to proceed immediately to Chania or Rethymnon you must go to the \"http://www.ktel.org/en/index.asp\" KTEL bus stop in the city. Heraklion has several terminals so make sure that you tell the taxi driver where you are planning to take the bus to. Buses leave every hour during the day and the trip to Chania takes about 2½ hours.

There are no buses after 8.30 pm and your only alternative is a taxi, costing about Euro 90.

It seems expensive but it is a 140 km journey. Try to share with others.Souda (the harbour of Chania) Souda harbour is situated 7 km east of Chania.

There is a regular city bus service.

If you arrive very early by ferry from Piraeus you will need to take a taxi or go have a coffee in one of the cafes situated just outside the harbour enclosure to wait for the day to start.

If you arrive by ferry in Heraklion or Rethymnon you will arrive in the centre of town.