How to arrive in Crete – Boat or Airplane

In the aftermath of the economic restructuring which resulted on account of Greece being hit by somewhat of a financial crisis, the likes of Crete, Greece’s biggest island, remain very popular among visitors. If anything, more tourists seem to be pouring in, perhaps seeking to take advantage of what they would have believed to be much cheaper prices.

If this majestically beautiful, vast island is indeed on your radar as a possible tourist destination you’re seriously considering, the question of how exactly to get there would naturally cross your mind. So you’ll probably know by now that there are basically two major options, which is by boat or plane. Which option should you choose?

In recent times, most visitors just seem to be going with the popular option of flying in directly by plane, but what might surprise you most is that charter seems to be the preferred method of flying in. Being such a popular destination among Europeans and travellers passing through Europe, charter flights are pretty common. They’re mostly abundant over the period running from April right up until the end of October, with more flights available to the island’s capital Heraklion, than Chania. I just thought to mention Chania as an entry port because it’s also pretty popular for arriving charter flight visitors.

Even if you plan to hit Chania, it’d probably be best to arrive in Heraklion, unless you plan to leave the capital city of the island to the last day to explore, prior to your departure. The flights arriving to Heraklion are significantly cheaper than those heading to Chania…

Scheduled flights are probably a better option though, because charter flights won’t always be cheaper and there’s not much in the way of flexibility, with elements such as extra baggage and discounts for children, etc.

I don’t know if we can call it an issue, but the only “issue” with the scheduled flights arriving from international destinations is that nearly all of them will have you transiting through Athens. You then need to take a scheduled domestic flight into Crete, landing either in Heraklion or Chania.

Landing in Athens brings into focus the other option through which to head into Crete, which is by ferryboat. The ferry departs from Piraeus, with very good public transport connection routes to the port.

You can also take a ferryboat from Italy, but seats sell out pretty fast so advance booking is essential, particularly in the European summer.

Another ferryboat option is that which departs from Peloponnese, as well as one from the Cyclades, and during that April-to-October period there are boats also available from Santorini.

Either way, once you arrive on the island, you’ll need a car to get around with a more than satisfactory degree of freedom. Rental Center Crete has a location at the Heraklion Port if you want to arrive by boat, but otherwise flying in gives you a wider variety of options at which to pick up your rental, including some locations in what can be the precarious areas of Lassithi and Rethamno.

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