The beach of Balos in Chania, Crete

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Ferry to Crete

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Find all the needed information regarding taking the ferry to Crete as well as the characteristics of the regions based on their popularity.

Crete is located in the southernmost part of the Aegean Sea and is the largest island in Greece. It comprises four prefectures - Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lassithi - all of which present a mixture of stunning natural beauty with heavenly beaches and imposing gorges, numerous points of historical and cultural interest, impressive capitals with many nightlife options and scattered picturesque traditional villages.


The ferry Knossos Palace of Minoan Lines departing to Heraklion from Piraeus Port

The ferry Knossos Palace departing from Piraeus to Heraklion

Via Ferry


Being the largest island in Greece, Crete has many ports to serve both residents and visitors. More specifically, six ports on the island receive passenger ships.
The largest is located in Heraklion and receives ferries from Athens (Piraeus) and some islands of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese.
Once a week, a ferry from Sitia, a town in the neighboring prefecture of Lassithi, also approaches the port. The port of Sitia has similar ferry connections to that of Heraklion.
The port of Chania receives ferries exclusively from Athens and the port of Rethymno exclusively from Santorini.
Kissamos is a small port in the prefecture of Chania, which is connected to Athens (Piraeus), Kythira, Antikythira and Gythio.
Finally, the port of Agios Nikolaos in Lassithi mainly receives cruise ships, while local boats depart from there to various areas of the municipality.

Via Plane


Crete has two main airports that receive tens of thousands of visitors all year round - Chania International Airport - Ioannis Daskalogiannis and Heraklion International Airport - Nikos Kazantzakis.
The former serves the eastern part of the island (Chania and Rethymnon), while the latter the western part (Heraklion and Lassithi).
In addition, Sitia has the Vitsentzos Kornaros Municipal Airport, where domestic, direct flights from/to Athens and Preveza land/take off.

Below you will find a summary of what each region of Crete has to offer.



The port of the town of Chania

The Venetian port of Chania

The trademark of Chania is the enchanting old Venetian harbor with its imposing lighthouse, which hosts restaurants serving Cretan flavors and cocktail bars.
Apart from the picturesque Town of Chania, which is bustling with life thanks to its various shops and perky locals, the prefecture is home to some of the island's most renowned beaches, such as Elafonissi, Falassarna and Balos. In the southern part of Chania, one can visit the impressive Samaria Gorge and the medieval Fragokastelo Castle.

Ferry Connections:
• Chania port (Souda): Athens (Piraeus)
• Kissamos: Athens (Piraeus) - Kythira - Antikythira - Gythio



The Minoan Palace of Knossos

The Minoan Palace of Knossos

Heraklion has a sprawling capital city, full of apartment buildings, which hides lovely shops and houses in its streets. The area is famous because, apart from being the largest port and airport on the island, it is also home to the world-famous archaeological site of Knossos. Two more archaeological sites, Phaistos and Gortyna, are located in the southern part of the prefecture, while the Minoan Palace of Malia lies in the northern.
Heraklion is also famous for its plentiful accommodations, many on the deluxe spectrum.

Ferry Connections:
Athens (Piraeus) - Crete (Lassithi) - Santorini - Mykonos - Paros - Naxos - Ios - Milos - Syros - Tinos - Rhodes - Karpathos - Kasos



Preveli Lake in Rethymno

Preveli Lake

Like Chania, Rethymno has a charming and picturesque capital one can stroll and explore through the cobbled streets. It is home to beautiful old houses and a Venetian harbor, which can be admired from the Fortezza Castle, the most impressive historical landmark of the city, perched atop a hill. The Neradje Mosque, the Arkadi Monastery and Ancient Eleftherna are also points of interest in the area.
In the southern part of Rethymnon prefecture is the Preveli Monastery, to which the famous adjacent Preveli beach below owes its name. There, after descending, visitors encounter a fairy landscape featuring a beach, a river and a palm forest - all in one!

Ferry Connections:



The palm beach of Vai

The palm beach of Vai

Famous for its tourist resorts, including the enchanting Elounda with its top-tier hotels, the prefecture of Lassithi is the closest to the Dodecanese. The area is surrounded by several islands ideal for excursions, such as Spinalonga (where the Greek lepers were isolated until 1957), Faros and Agioi Pantes.
In the capital, Agios Nikolaos, visitors can visit the Voulismeni lagoon, overlooked by a small pine forest. Vai Beach, famous for its splendid palm forest, is probably the most well-known in the prefecture.

Ferry Connections:
• Sitia port: Athens (Piraeus) - Crete (Heraklion) - Crete (Agios Nikolaos) - Santorini - Anafi - Rhodes - Karpathos - Kasos - Chalki
• Agios Nikolaos port: Crete (Sitia) - Santorini



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