How to take the ferry to Crete, schedules, fares and recommendations for public transportation services. Find the most necessary details; Connected routes with departures and frequency, Accommodation options with real-time availability and helpful tips for transfer opportunities on Crete!
Are you planning a trip to the beautiful island of Crete? If so, one of the best ways to get there is by taking a ferry. Not only is it a scenic and enjoyable way to travel, but it also allows you to bring your own car or motorcycle, making it easier to explore the island at your own pace. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at taking a ferry to Crete and what you can expect from the experience.
First of all, there are several ferry companies that operate routes to Crete from various locations in Greece. Some of the most popular companies include Anek Lines, Blue Star Ferries, and Minoan Lines. Depending on where you're coming from and what time of year it is, you may have different options to choose from. It's a good idea to do some research ahead of time to find the best route and company for your needs.
Once you've chosen your ferry company and route, it's time to book your tickets. You can usually do this online but keep in mind that some companies may require you to pick up your tickets in person at the port. It's also a good idea to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel season, to ensure availability and avoid any last-minute stress.
On the day of your departure, make sure to arrive at the port with plenty of time to spare. You'll need to check in and board the ferry, which can take some time depending on the size of the vessel and the number of passengers. Once you're on board, you can relax and enjoy the journey. Most ferries to Crete have comfortable seating areas, restaurants, bars, and even entertainment options like movies or live music.
One of the biggest advantages of taking a ferry to Crete is the flexibility it offers. You can bring your own car or motorcycle on board, which means you'll have your own transportation waiting for you when you arrive. This is especially convenient if you're planning to explore the island's many beaches, villages, and historical sites. You can also bring your own food and drinks on board, which can save you money and ensure that you have snacks and refreshments for the journey.
Another advantage of taking a ferry to Crete is the stunning scenery you'll see along the way. As you sail across the Aegean Sea, you'll have panoramic views of the Greek islands and the Turkish coast. If you're lucky, you may even spot dolphins or other marine life swimming alongside the ferry. This is a great opportunity to take some photos and soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere.
All in all, taking a ferry to Crete can be a wonderful way to start your holiday on this beautiful island. With its flexibility, comfort, and scenic views, it's an experience that's sure to be memorable. Just be sure to plan ahead, pack accordingly, and keep an eye on any potential issues that may arise. Happy travels!
All year round there are ferries running to Crete from Athens (Piraeus port), while from May to October there are frequent ferries from Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Karpathos and Rhodes.
Ferry ports in Crete
Passenger ferries running from the Greece Mainland to the Cretian ports of
Getting to Crete by ferry is one of the best ways to experience your vacation in Greece this is because you will get to witness some of the great scenery when you are also traveling.
In the chapters below, we'll try to give you the necessary information on how to get to Crete.
From where you can get an overnight ferry to Crete
- From Piraeus to Heraklion: 6,30-9,00 hrs (depending on ferry type)
- From Piraeus to Chania: 6,30-9,00 hrs (depending on ferry type)
- From Athens/Piraeus to Sitia (via other Cyclades islands): Approx. duration of 19 hours
- From Gythion port to Kastelli/Kissamos: 7,00 hrs
From where you get a day ferry
The most traveled sea routes to Crete are from Piraeus (port of Athens) to Heraklion or Chania and are the best choices for tourists.
Give a departure port and a date and find all possible ferry connections!
Note: Each year and depending on the period, there may be more or fewer connections to or from Crete. The biggest shipping companies (ferry operators) announce the new ferry schedules by the end of December and the rest of them by January-March each year!
Schedules & frequency
- Minoan has 1 daily night route from Piraeus to Chania by ferry Phaistos Palace. Dep. 9,30 a.m with arrival 9,15 a.m next day
- Minoan sister ferry Kydon Palace departs late in the afternoon from Chania and arrives early in the morning in Piraeus
- The Anek-Superfast Ferries consortium also has a daily service from Piraeus with overnight on Elyros ferry and arrival at 6 in the morning in Chania
- The other Anek-Superfast ferry (Blue Galaxy) departs from Chania at 10 p.m and arrives the next day in Piraeus at 6,30 a.m.
Heraklion Itineraries (Ferry schedules to Crete)
- The same 2 leading shipping companies serve Heraklion and Piraeus daily
- They are evening departures and last from 7 to 9 hours
- Arrivals in Heraklion and Piraeus are between 6 and 6.30 in the morning
- There is a weekly departure (usually every Tuesday) from Gythio (Peloponnese) at 4,15 p.m which arrives at the port of Kissamos at 11 in the evening of the same day
- The return from Kissamos to Gythio usually takes place every Wednesday at 8 in the morning with arrival in Gythio at 3,15 at noon
- Usually every Thursday there is 1 additional departure at 08:00 from Kissamos to Kythira (arrival 12,30 p.m) and Piraeus (arrival at 7 p.m).
Prices may change by season, so take an optical canvassing via our search engine to receive the latest call of the Ferry to Crete with real-time availability.
Book early enough
If you are going to travel to Crete by car or spend the night in a cabin or your trip is within the peak seasons (Weekend, Orthodox Easter, Holy Spirit holidays, July-September, national holidays, etc.) we recommend that you book your ferry tickets several days before you arrive in Greece. Some travelers who did not make a reservation arrived in Greece and stayed at the port for several days until they found a ticket available!
If you do not like this kind of hassle, read why you have to Book your ferry to Crete early enough, on the next page.
Accommodation on board
Book your ideal accommodation options on the ferry to Crete and arrive fresh and rested to your destination! Comfortable armchairs, business class comfort seats, outside and inside cabins or economy deck chairs. There is a range of accommodation options to choose for a day or night ride to or from Crete.
Public transportation services
Road network in Crete
In Crete, the road network is fairly widespread and reaches every corner of the island. The cities along the north coast of Crete (Agios Nikolaos to Kissamos / Kastelli via Heraklion, Rethymnon and Chania) are connected by a modern motorway which is constantly improving. The speed limit is 100 km per hour. However, extra attention is required on narrow roads in the rest of Crete (there are only 1 or 2 lines per direction). Particularly in mountain regions, the roads are winding and can be very narrow. New, wider roads are also constructed to the Messara area in the southern Heraklion district (Festos, Matala, Timbaki, Kokkinos Pirgos), as well as the Viannos area.
Public transportation services on Crete
The only possible transportation is by bus, Crete has no trains! The main bus company (KTEL bus organization) is surprisingly very good and efficient. It is based in Heraklion town with further main bus stations in Agios Nikolaos, Rethymno and Chania.
There is hourly service along the main northern coastal road but much less frequent buses to the inland villages and towns on the south coast especially out of season.
Many of the larger resorts have bus ticket offices or booths but if not, or if you join the bus last minute, there will be a conductor on board to take your fare. There is plenty of room in the under-floor lockers for luggage and the conductor will place your bags in there for you.
Public bus services on Crete
- The green intercity buses (operated by KTEL Organization) connect Heraklion with most cities and villages of Crete. The coaches are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned.
- Timetables vary between quiet and busy season, so check your route and timetable, see the link to bus details below. There are luggage storage options in most city bus terminals/stations.
There are 2 Terminals that depart buses to 3 destinations.
- Destination 1 departs from Terminal A: Connect Heraklion with towns and villages on the west and south-west of Crete (Chania, Rethymno and connections to Imbros, Sfakia, Kastelli and other places)
- Destination 2 departs from Terminal A also: Serve the towns and villages on the north coast east of Heraklion (Chersonissos, Archanes, Sitia, Agios Nikolaos, Lassithi Plateau and other places)
- Destination 3 departs from Terminal B: From Heraklion to Anogia, Rogdia, Agia Galini, Mires, Tymbaki, Matala, Phaestos, Gortys, Zaros, Agia Galini and places in between
Bus Terminal A: opposite the harbor's parking, in Leof. Nearchou Ave (walking distance).
Tel.: +30 2810245019, +30 2810245020, Details
Bus Terminal B: in Chanioporta, 44 Leof. 62 Martiron (to arrive here you may use the urban bus from the harbor by arrival)
Tel.: +30 2810255965, Details
Urban Blue Buses are serving the city of Heraklion from early morning until late evening.
- Urban Lines serve Heraklion city, the airport, the harbor, the archaeological site of Knossos and the nearby suburbs.
Stations: All around the city
- Tel.: +30 2810220795, +30 2810226065, Details
- Bus Terminal / Station: 75 Kidonias and Kelaidi str., near to the old Market of Chania
- Destinations from Chania: Rethymno, Heraklion, Falasarna, Elafonisi, Paleochora, Omalos (Samaria Gorge), Chora Sfakion, Seitan Limania, Botanical Park, Chania airport, Stavros, Kissamos/Kastelli, Kolibari and other smaller villages
- Tel: +30 2821093306, +30 2821093305, +30 2821093052, Details
From Souda port to Chania city: Departures every 20 min.
- Chania to Souda port: Take the urban bus (front of the Main Market). Departures every 20 min.
- Tel.: +30 2821098115, +30 2821093345, Details
- Bus Terminal / Station: Igoumenou Gavriil 1, Rethymno 741 00, near the sports Hall “Melina Merkouri”, west of the castle/fortress.
- Popular destinations from Rethymno: Chania airport, Chania, Heraklion, Chora Sfakion, Plakias, Agia Galini, Preveli, Arkadi
- Tel.: +30 2831022212, +30 283122659 (same for local buses), Details
- Get the local bus to Kissamos KTEL Station and from there to most Crete destinations.
- Bus terminal / Station in Kissamos: Kampouri str.
- Tel.: +30 2822022035, Details
Note: All above information for Crete was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice.
The lowest end of Greece and Europe. The birthplace of civilization all around the world. The island with consecutive alterations of sceneries attracts visitors and offers a trip to yesterday.
Crete is the crossroad between East and West, Africa and Europe.
Cretians are famous for their hospitality, their love towards the country and the preservation of customs.
High mountains like Psiloritis, Lefka Ori, and Dikti, beautiful beaches washed by the Cretan and the Libyan Sea. Fertile grounds where the famous Cretan citrus fruits are cultivated. The endless olive groves produce the fine Cretan olive oil, while also known as the Cretan wine from the island's vineyards. Everywhere you turn your sight, you will see historic monuments that reveal the island's history.
Administratively, Crete is divided into four prefectures (Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, Lasithi). All prefectures or if you wish, all towns and villages, are ideal for touring. They all have unseen beauties and important sites to see.
All around Crete you will find luxurious hotel units, apartments, and rooms to let, which in combination with the exemplary hospitality of people, create the idyllic conditions for unforgettable holidays. As for entertainment, all you have to know is that music and dancing have a long tradition on the island. In the homeland of "lyre" and "mantinada", you will have the time of your life drinking "raki"!
One day excursion/cruise from Crete
A beautiful ferry excursion to the most romantic island in the world, SANTORINI. Enjoy the most spectacular view of Caldera, the mixed colors of the sea, sky and sun, as well the unique architectural style.
- 1-Day excursion to santorini from rethymnon (2 weekly departures)
- 1-Day excursion to santorini from heraklion (Daily departures)