Useful Information

Crete can be thought of as a large island or small continent, as we have noted frequently on ‘Destination Crete’. For this reason, this section is given over to information that might prove useful to the visitor before – or even during – a stay here. If you need any further information or clarification, please feel free to contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

The Climate

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!

Shopping

Shopping in Crete follows the pattern for Greece generally: though ‘tourist’-shops may remain open 7 days a week (and even on holidays), sometimes until late at night.

How to get there

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 κ.ά. ). 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.

Health

If (God forbid you need medical attention during your stay, you will find proper hospitals in the large cities (see below: useful numbers), and Health Centers in the following villages:

Heraklio Municipality

Agia Varvara:   28943-40100
Arkalochori:   28913-40200, 28910-23013, 28910-23035
Harakas:   28933-40000
Ano Viannos:   28953-40000
Kasteli:   28913-40000
Mires:   28923-40100, 28920-23312

Chania Municipality

Vamos:   28253-40401, 28253-40402, 28253-40403
Kissamos:   28223-40100
Kantanos:   28233-40000

 
Rethymno Municipality

Anogia:   28340-31208
Agia Fotini:   28333-40000 έως 28333-40011
Spili:   28323-40011, 28320-22222
Perama:   28343-40000

Lasithi Municipality

Ierapetra:   28423-40122
Sitia:   28433-40100
Tzermiado:   28443-40000, 28440-22602
Neapoli:   28413-40801, 28410-90830

 

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
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Main Rethymno Office

KTEL Chania-Rethymno
Kefaloyiannis Str.
Tel: 28310 22212
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Main Heraklio Office

Heraklio Port
Tel: 2810 246530, 245020
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Other Cities - timetable information

Agios Nikolaos, Tel: 28410 22234
Sitia, Tel: 28430 22272
Ierapetra, Tel: 28420 28237

 

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
Τροχαία:   28310 22589
Hospital:   28310 87100, 28313 42100

Agios Nikolaos

Port Police:   28410 22312
Olympic Air:   28410 28929
Λ.Α.Ν.Ε.:   28410 26465
Taxi:   28410 24000
Touristic Police:   28410 91409
Traffic Police:   28410 91423
Hospital:   28413 43000, 28410 66000

 

Mountaineering & Natural History Associations

Below you will find useful phone & contact details for more Associations in Crete that are concerned with nature, outdoor activities and other adventures on the island:
 
Heraklio Mountaineering Club

website: www.eos-her.gr
Address: 53, Dikeosinis Str.
Tel.: 2810 227 609
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Contact/Visiting Hours: Monday to Friday, 20:30 έως 22:30

Chania Mountaineering Club

website: www.eoshanion.gr
Address: 90, Tzanakaki Str.
Tel.: 28210 44647
Fax: 28210 54903
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Contact/Visiting Hours: Monday to Friday, 21:00 έως τις 23:00.

Rethymno Mountaineering Club

website: www.eosrethymnou.gr
Address: 12, Dimokratias Str.
Tel.: 28310 57766
Fax: 28310 57766
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Heraklio Hiking Club

website: www.pezoporikos.gr
Address: 25, Averof Str.
Tel.: 2810.344588
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Contact/Visiting Hours: 20:00 - 22:00

Naturalist Club of Heraklio

website: www.fysi.gr
Address: 46, Kornarou Square, 1st floor
Tel.: 2810 224667
e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Contact/Visiting Hours: Monday to Friday, 19:00-22:00

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