CRETE was once the center of Minoan civilization and is a history buff’s paradise, with several archeology sites and a 4,000 year-old palace. A mountain range runs through the middle of the island, creating valleys, gorges, rivers and agricultural plateaus. Although its capital, Heraklion, has over half a million people, parts of the island are still quite pastoral. The vibe for travelers runs the gamut from mega luxury resorts and charters to rustic family-owned properties in the interior. Day trips to the uninhabited islands and to Gavdos Island can be arranged at the nearest port.
General Information about Crete
THE CRETE REGION is composed of the island of Crete and the islets surrounding the island of Crete. Most of the islets are uninhabited and are great for secluded day trips. Gavdos Island has around 150 residents, and very basic facilities for tourists.
AIRPORTS are in the cities of Heraklion and Chania. Both are international airports with daily flights from the UK and Europe. Crete is serviced by many local and major carriers, from Aegean Airlines and EasyJet to KLM and Lufthansa. Literally everyone flies there. I typically use Momondo to book tickets, but I’ve also signed up for Travelzoo‘s alerts and Scott’s Cheap Flights.
THE MAIN FERRY DEPARTURE POINTS are from Chania and Heraklion. Less serviced are the ports of Agios Nikolas, Kastelli, Rethymno, and Sitia. There are a lot of ferry booking companies out there. You can use the search feature on Let’s Ferry to plan your itinerary and pre-book tickets. You can also purchase tickets in any main town, especially near the port.
ISLAND HOPPING from Crete is super easy, because it has two airports and six ports, and it’s possible to get to the Dodecanese and the Cyclades. According to openseas.gr, it’s possible to get to the following islands from Crete, but you should always check the ferry schedule before making plans. From Crete, it’s possible to get to the following islands: Anafi, Andros, Antikythira, Chalki, Ios, Karpathos, Kasos, Kythira, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Santorini, Tinos
OTHER TRAVEL INFO: This blog post has some good information on the islets around Crete, including how to get there
I’ve written a full blog post on some cool vacation rentals on Crete that you can read here. But here’s a teaser…