How to get to Crete: the complete guide

Plan your trip to Crete step-by-step!

Crete is the biggest and one of the most popular islands in Greece. Thanks to its natural wealth, wonderful beaches and buzzing island life, there are endless things to do and see. For your holidays in Crete, we suggest that you stay on the island for 10 days and visit its main cities and impressive attractions.

There are various ways to reach Crete, as the island has numerous passenger ports and 3 airports that are connected to major Greek cities and islands. Continue reading and discover which is the best way to get to Crete!

Ferry or Flight to Crete?

If you are wondering about how to get to Crete, there are various domestic and international flights to all Crete airports, as well as direct ferry crossings to the island!

  • Even though flights tend to be shorter, traveling by ferry is our personal favorite. Read below more about traveling by ferry to Crete:
  • Ferry traveling is more comfortable, as you can stroll and breathe fresh air at the deck, all while admiring the Mediterranean Sea.
  • You can only fly to 3 cities in Crete. Alternatively, you can travel by ferry to additional locations like Rethymno and Kissamos.
  • Taking the ferry to Crete is a great way to bring along your vehicle and explore the island at your own pace.
  • Traveling by ferry to Crete is an eco-friendly way to cross the Aegean Sea. Learn more about sustainable ferry travel on Ferryhopper.

The Seitan beach in Crete

Amazing, crystal clear waters in Seitan beach of Crete

How to get to Crete from Athens

Traveling to Crete from Athens is quite easy, either by plane or by ferry. The 3 airports of Crete, in Heraklion, Chania and Sitia are directly connected to Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos year-round.

Alternatively, you can catch a ferry from the port of Piraeus to Heraklion, Chania and Sitia. Occasionally, there are sailings to Rethymnon and Kissamos as well.

Ferry from Athens to Crete

You can travel from Piraeus to Crete by ferry all year round. The most popular crossings are to Heraklion and Chania, which are available several times per week. Read below more information about all itineraries from Athens to Crete:

Piraeus - Heraklion: there are almost 2 direct ferry connections per day from the port of Piraeus to that of Heraklion. The ferry companies that usually serve this crossing are Minoan Lines, Anek Lines and Aegeon Pelagos, with large conventional vessels. The Piraeus - Heraklion ferry trip lasts 8.5-10 hr, with the standard ferry ticket ranging from €36 to €82.

Piraeus - Chania: you can easily travel from Piraeus to Chania, as there are up to 2 daily ferry routes. This route is usually served by Anek Lines, Blue Star Ferries and Minoan Lines year-round. Most crossings are scheduled at night, with the duration of the ferry trip being 8-9 hr. As for the ferry tickets, a standard one costs around €48.

Piraeus - Sitia: this route is usually active once a week throughout the year by the ferry company Aegeon Pelagos. The ferry trip from Piraeus to Sitia lasts between 12 and 20 hr and a standard ferry ticket costs around €44.

There are also occasional crossings to the ports of Kissamos in Western Crete and Rethymnon.

If you're worried about the long ferry journeys, bear in mind that traveling on the overnight ferry from Athens to Crete can be as tiring as a good night's sleep. All vessels have comfortable cabins where you can relax, sleep and enjoy your trip!

Tip: you can also travel by ferry from Rafina to Heraklion. This is an indirect ferry route and you need to choose a Cycladic island like Mykonos or Santorini as an intermediate stop.

Flight from Athens to Crete

Catching a flight is another way of getting from Athens to Crete. The Athens International Airport frequently serves flight routes to all airports of Crete (Heraklion, Chania and Sitia). The trip lasts around 1 hr and each Cretan airport is located close to the city center.

Tip: keep in mind that you need to pre-book your plane tickets well in advance to find better prices. Usually, there are also strict luggage policies, especially when it comes to maximum weight and dimensions.

The Vai beach in Eastern Crete

The Vai beach with emerald waters and palm trees

How to get to Crete from Santorini

The best way to get to Crete from Santorini is by catching a ferry from Athinios port to the port of Heraklion. There are up to 3 daily ferry crossings that are served by Seajets, Minoan Lines, Fast Ferries, and Aegeon Pelagos, mainly in summer.

The duration of the Santorini - Heraklion ferry ride ranges from 2 to 6.5 hr, depending on the type of vessel (conventional or high-speed). The price of a standard ferry ticket starts at €25 and can reach up to €95.

Note: there are no direct flights from Santorini to any airport in Crete. Flight routes have Athens as an intermediate stop.

How to get to Crete from Naxos

You can easily travel by ferry from Naxos to Heraklion in summer. The ferry companies Seajets and Minoan Lines operate on this route 1-2 times per day with high-speed ferries. The Naxos - Heraklion ferry ride lasts about 4 hr and a standard ferry ticket starts at around €79.

Note: as of now, you can’t travel to Crete from Naxos by plane. All flight routes have Athens as an intermediate stop.

How to get to Crete from Mykonos

Traveling by ferry from Mykonos to Crete is another way to reach the island from the Cyclades. Mainly in high season, there are at least 3 daily ferry connections from the port of Tourlos to the port of Heraklion, served by Seajets, Minoan Lines and Fast Ferries.

How long does it take to get to Crete from Mykonos? The duration of the trip ranges from 4 to 5.5 hr, depending on the type of vessel and ferry company you’ve chosen. The price of a standard ferry ticket starts at €80 and can reach up to €119.

Note: flying directly from Mykonos to Crete is currently unavailable. All flights have Athens as an intermediate stop.

How to get from Rhodes to  Crete

           Rhodes is an excellent point of departure for visiting Crete, as there are direct ferry routes and flights. In summer, there are weekly ferry crossings from the main port of Rhodes to the ports of Heraklion and Sitia.

The Rhodes to Crete ferry connections are served by Aegeon Pelagos and ferry tickets to both destinations cost around €26. The duration of the trip from Rhodes to Heraklion is around 15 hr and from Rhodes to Sitia almost 11.5 hr.  

   Note: there are direct flights between Rhodes and Crete. The duration of the Rhodes - Heraklion flight trip is about 1 hr.  

 Hiking trail of Samaria Gorge in Crete

Hiking through  the imposing Samaria Gorge

Getting to Crete from other islands

The most convenient way to reach Crete from other islands is by boat. There are many islands near Crete such as Kythira, Karpathos and Kassos. On our Map of Ferries, you can find all available ferry connections between the ports of Crete and other Greek islands, and plan your next island hopping in Greece!

Traveling to Crete from abroad

If you're wondering how to get to Crete from other countries like Canada, the UK and the US, you'll need to check whether your departure airport connects to Crete.

Generally, there are regular direct flights to Crete from all over Europe and numerous countries around the globe. Keep in mind that you can also fly to Athens or other Greek destinations like Rhodes and then catch another flight or a ferry to Crete.

Book ferry tickets to Crete

Find the best way to get to Crete with Ferryhopper. On our fare search engine, you can check the Cretan destination ports, available ferry routes and their respective timetables. Compare prices and book ferry tickets to the island of Crete online without hidden fees!