Crete is the largest of all the Greek Islands bursting with sites of historical interest (thanks largely to its place in the history books as the center of Minoan civilization) plus a load of just great places to visit. The island is a marvelous combination of mountains and valleys, fertile plateaus, beaches and caves so it’s well worth hiring a car to truly explore this charming island.
There are two international airports which serve the Island of Crete – both on the northern coastline of the island. Heraklion is the major airport located just 5 km from the capital city and Chania airport is further west along the northern coastline just 10 km from the city of Chania. Car hire options are available at both airports with a variety of companies including;
- Alamo (Heraklion only)
- Avis (Heraklion and Chania)
- Dollar (Heraklion only)
- Europcar (Heraklion and Chania)
- National (Heraklion only)
- Thrifty (Heraklion only)
- Auto Europe (Heraklion and Chania)
- Budget (Heraklion and Chania)
- EasyCar (Heraklion and Chania)
- Hertz (Heraklion and Chania)
- Sixt (Heraklion and Chania)
Whichever airport you fly to you won’t be very far away from plenty of fabulous places to visit and things to see and do – it’s less than a 2 hour drive between the two centers.
Attractions Out and About in Crete
- Samaria Gorge – this National Park is one of the most popular attractions on the island, close to Chania. While Crete has a variety of gorges running through the fabulous White Mountains, this is the longest measuring 16 km although the popular hike through the gorge actually measures around 13 km (plus the 3 km walk to get to the entrance to the gorge). This truly is a beautiful experience.
- Elafonissi Beach – is a beach with a difference, more akin to the Caribbean than the Mediterranean. It lies 76 kilometers west of Chania, this beautiful peninsula is a protected area where you can paddle out for miles without it getting deeper than your knees (great for families) and the beautiful white sand has a real pinkish glow thanks to millions of crushed pink sea shells, particularly along the shoreline.
- Monasteries – there are dozens of fabulous monasteries dotted around the island, the oldest and one of the most popular being the 11th century Katholikon, the ruins of which can be visited at Akrotiri, just a short drive from the city of Chania.
With so many truly awesome sights and places of interest the island of Crete is just waiting to be explored, a hire car really is a must to get the most out of your visit. Check out a variety of websites to make sure that you get the best deal possible including: