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Crete Map and Travel Guide

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Greece Map Showing the Location of Crete--and Why You Should Go
greece map, location of crete

Map of Greece showing the location of Crete

James Martin, Europe Travel

Why Go to Crete?

Crete is my favorite Greek Island. It's packed with rural charm, famous archaeological sites, seaside towns with fabulous seafood, caves of historic significance and more.

Our little guided tour will take you on a walk through the deep and inspiring Samaria Gorge, a visit to the best of many archaeological sites in Greece, a walk in the countryside with a stop at the famous cave where Zeus was said to have been born, and you'll spend a bit of time in the cities.

The amazing thing is that all of this is available to do on inexpensive public transportation. There's really no need to rent a car and drive on Crete's narrow and winding roads, an enormous bus can do it better--and often cheaper.

How To Get to Crete

Most people get to Crete by Ferry. You can take a ferry from Piraeus (the port of Athens) directly to Crete. It takes about 9 hours on standard, lumbering but romantic ferries--but around 6 hours on the newer ferries. The ferries are timed to arrive early in the morning to Crete, so you can save the cost of a hotel by sleeping on one. Get there early, as the place can get confusing and complicated with all the motor traffic arriving. Allow for some flexibility in your sailing, ferries can be canceled in case of very bad weather.

You can choose ferries that land in Heraklion, Chania, or Rethumno. The boat to Chania actually lands in Souda port, a short way from Chania. Ferry lines serving Crete are Minoan, ANEK, and SuperFast.

Crete is also served by three airports. Heraklion is served by Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, Chania is served by Chania Airport, also known as the "K. Daskalogiannis" airport, and the new and smaller Sitia Airport.

How Long Should I Spend in Crete?

The short answer is a week or more. Crete is Europe's slow lane, and there's a whole lot to see. It's also pretty far from anywhere else, and you don't want to take 4 hours to get to a place you're only planning on staying for two days.

When is the Best Time to Go to Crete?

Summers are full of tourists, and the paths are narrow. Opt for the off-season, but not too far off or you'll find fewer ferries and ways to get around. For weather and historic climate charts for the capital city Heraklion or Iraklion, read on, or skip ahead by using the links below (mousing over them to see the titles).

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