• Crete - Essential Information

    The guide was updated: 2015-05-28

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Bob Linsdell
Essential Information


Crete has an average of 300 days of sunshine a year – one of the best climates in Europe. Generally and for the greater part of the island there exists a temperate Mediterranean climate, although the winter sees snow on the mountains. Broadly speaking, the winter in Crete is relatively mild, spring, autumn and summer are sunny and warm, even hot. The rainfall is concentrated from autumn until spring, highest at the west of the island, lessening as one goes east. The prevailing winds are westerly; in the summer, a wind from the north, the "meltemi", can bring a much appreciated coolness – and ideal conditions for surfing. Further, in the summer (and winter ones too), the Livas (a southerly wind from the African continent) can bring hotter blasts – and sand!
Essential Information

How to get to Crete

Crete is connected with the rest of Greece by air (Aegean, Olympic Air, Skyexpress, Minoan Air) and by boat (Minoan Lines, Anek Lines, Superfast, Hellenic Seaways etc). The island has two international airports (Heraklion, Chania) and a national one at Sitia (Astra Airlines) with connections to other transport hubs in Greece. Chania airport is 12 km from the city of Chania and 68 km from the town of Rethymnon. The airport of Heraklion is but 5 km from the city of Heraklion and 65 km from Agios Nikolaos. Similarly, the two major ports of the island are also in Chania and Heraklion, with four smaller: Kissamos, Rethymnon, Agios Nikolaos and Siteia. In the summer (say between Easter and late October) there are frequent flights between Crete and numerous centres inside and outside Europe. For economic travel, visit the Ryanair (to Chania) and Easyjet (Heraklion) websites. Or search on-line for other charter companies too. Within Greece, and in addition to Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airways, take a look at the timetables and routes of Skyexpress and Minoan Air. Whatever you choose, remember that an early booking can bring substantial reductions in the costs.
Essential Information

Getting Around the Island

In Crete, there operate two main bus companies (KTEL for short). For the centre and east of the island, you need KTEL Heraklion-Lassithi and for the west KTEL Chania-Rethymnon. The two companies work in tandem, so one can purchase a ticket that crosses their nominal border. Tickets can be purchased at the main bus terminals/depots.. and on board. The web-sites of the companies provide the main and local timetables: but it is always worth checking by phone, especially where the more local and quieter routes are concerned (there may be but one or two buses a day). Inevitably the buses cannot cover every hamlet, landmark and beach on the island! So for that sort of flexibility and in order to be able to explore at your whim, then it is better to travel by a rented car. In all major, and some much smaller, locations, you will encounter car-rental companies for your needs: tourist resorts and airports also house outlets. Main Chania Office KTEL Chania-Rethymno Kydonias & Kelaidi Str. Tel.: 28210 93052 email: post@bus-service-crete-ktel.com Main Rethymno Office KTEL Chania-Rethymno Kefaloyiannis Str. Tel: 28310 22212 email: post@bus-service-crete-ktel.com Main Heraklio Office Heraklio Port Tel: 2810 246530, 245020 email: info@ktel-heraklio-lassithi.gr Other Cities - timetable information Agios Nikolaos, Tel: 28410 22234 Sitia, Tel: 28430 22272 Ierapetra, Tel: 28420 28237
Essential Information

Useful Phone numbers

Useful telephone numbers in the cities of Crete are listed below: Heraklio Airport: 2810 397800 Port Police: 2810 244912 Olympic Air: 2810 288073 Aegean: 2810 330475 Minoan lines: 801 1175000 ANEK lines: 2810 222481 Taxi: 2810 210102, 2810 361362, 2810 211212 Touristic Police: 2810 283190 Traffic Police: 2810 247790 General University Hospital of Heraklio: 2810 392111, 2813 402111 Venizelio Hospital: 2810 368000, 2810 408000 Chania Airport: 28210 63171, 63264 Port Police (Souda): 28210 89240 Olympic Air: 28210 53760 Aegean: 28210 63366 ANEK lines: 28210 27500 Hellenic Seaways: 28210 75444 ΑΝΕΝΔΥΚ: 28210 95511 Taxi: 28210 94300, 28210 98700 Touristic Police: 28210 25930 Traffic Police: 28210 25903-5 Hospital: 28210 22000-9 Rethymno Port Police: 28310 22276 Olympic Air: 28310 22257 ANEK lines: 28310 29874 Taxi: 28310 24316, 2810 25000 Touristic Police: 28310 28156 Traffic Police: 28310 22589 Hospital: 28310 87100, 28313 42100 Agios Nikolaos Port Police: 28410 22312 Olympic Air: 28410 28929 LANE sealines: 28410 26465 Taxi: 28410 24000 Touristic Police: 28410 91409 Traffic Police: 28410 91423 Hospital: 28413 43000, 28410 66000
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