The largest island, bordered by three seas at once, is known for more than just its picturesque resorts and beautiful beaches. According to the ancient Greek myths, the island of Crete is the motherland of Zeus, the Supreme God of Olympus, and the place where one might observe the flourishing of the famous Minoan civilization. Each region of Crete provides its visitors with a diversity of historic and natural attractions. Among the most distinguished landmarks of the island are the Palace of Knossos, Zeus Cave, Vai Beach, Lake Kournas, and unique antique temples.
There are three airports on Crete in total which provide service for travelers. The largest airfield stands in Heraklion. If you plan to spend holidays in the romantic region of Rethymnon, you should think of transportation from the airport beforehand.
The air harbor of Heraklion
In a 5-kilometer distance from Heraklion, you can see the building of Nikos Kazantzakis Airport. It is the second-largest airfield after the Athens International Airport in terms of passenger turnover. The largest air hub bears the name of the famous Greek poet, philosopher, and one of the most outstanding figures of the XX century – Nikos Kazantzakis, a native-born of Heraklion.
One established Heraklion International Nikos Kazantzakis Airport in 1937. It had welcomed passenger flights before the Second World War began. The subsequent air connection was restored only at the end of 1946. During the next five years, one finished the construction of a small passenger terminal and a landing strip with a total length of under 2.000 meters. The airfield started to cater to the needs of commercial flights. In late 1960-s, the airport increased the length of the landing strip to 2.680 meters. In addition, its area was expanded with the new passenger terminal and provided with well-developed infrastructure facilities. In 1971, the airfield started to carry out international flights.
At present, Heraklion Airport caters to the needs of domestic, regular international, and charter flights, which carry out passenger and cargo delivery. Over 6 million passengers from around the world annually use its services. The passenger terminal comprises the area of departures and arrivals, which service domestic and international flights. You can see three waiting lounges, a VIP-hall, an airport locker, the parents’ rooms, a postal department, the drugstore, the first-aid post, duty-free shops, currency exchange offices, and a spacious parking lot for 500 vehicles there.
Things you should know on how to get to Rethymnon
Having disembarked from the plane in Heraklion Airport, step-by-step, you get closer to the desired vacation on the marvelous island of Crete. Several possible solutions are matching the question on how to get to Rethymnon from Heraklion Airport: a transfer, a taxi, and a bus from Heraklion to Rethymno. Each mode of transport has its advantages and disadvantages. The choice of transport directly depends on the purpose, the budget, and the availability of the special requirements to travel conditions.
Public transport is the most economical means to travel from the airport in Heraklion to Rethymno. However, one should mention that this route offers no direct buses. Thus, you will have to reach Heraklion Bus Station first. After that, you will need to catch the bus that will deliver you to Rethymno. While being at the airport, you should look for the bus running to Bus Station A in Heraklion. The main bus station sits 300 meters from it. The buses to Rethymno depart every hour.
The trip from the airport to the station will take you no more than 15 minutes. The journey from Heraklion to Rethymno will last about an hour and a half. The nearest bus stop stands near the exit of the arrivals hall. You can buy the bus tickets in a special ticket box on the stop or directly from a driver. Pay attention that local buses are painted blue, while the intercity buses feature green color.
Heraklion buses have a baggage compartment. It is prohibited to take suitcases in the cabin of the bus. If there is a large number of travelers, one will serve two buses at once. All the buses in Heraklion are equipped with air-conditioning. The stops are announced by a conductor. The final cost of a trip to Heraklion and then to Rethymnon is €10.1.
This solution is great for those vacationers who travel with a few suitcases and without children. The expectation of the necessary bus, making changes, and a walk to a hotel might significantly exhaust the children and spoil your first impression about a trip.
The distance between Heraklion Airport and Rethymno is 82 kilometers. You can easily overcome this distance by car within about an hour. That is why a taxi is one of the most popular modes of transportation in the area. A taxi cab can be ordered via a telephone or found in a special taxi stand. The main distinctive features of taxis in Greece are the yellow license plate and setts. If you decide to take a taxi from the airport, you should remember the following rules inherent to taxi service in Greece:
- telephoning for a taxi is a subject to extra cost;
- the tariff increases for 1.5 times on public holidays and at night;
- one kilometer outside the city is more expensive compared to tariffs in the town;
- not every taxi driver speaks English to understand your needs;
- quite often, the address pronounced with wrong stress becomes the reason for delivery in the wrong location – it would be great if you take a map and write out the necessary address or the name of a hotel in the Greek language;
- while getting into the car, do not forget to pay attention to the meter. It should be switched on at the very beginning of a trip and not long before it;
- while choosing a taxi, you will have to take care of the comfort of your children by yourself. Not every taxi cab can provide the age-appropriate car seat, let alone two in case if you travel with two children;
- being unaware of the area one comes for the first time, he can only hope to meet an honest driver. Quite often, the want for money significantly influences the budget of a traveler: he comes via a long road, thereby increasing the cost of a trip.
The major advantage of a taxi is a possibility to order a cab right before a trip. It is a perfect choice for short unplanned journeys.
Car hire is a perfect solution only for those travelers who have many years of driving experience or about to travel with a person who does not afraid of adventures in a strange area. This mode of transport will let you not only save some money, compared to trips by taxis but also visit all places of interest on the island. Depending on the number of passengers, the purpose of a trip, and the planned budget, you can order a car of any category – from the Economy Class and a minivan for group trips to vehicles of Premium Class. The rented car will be waiting for you right at the airport. You will need to sign a few necessary documents before you can go on a trip.
There are some crucial nuances related to car hire you cannot miss noticing. A person who drives a car must be older than 25 years. Some companies take additional charges if a driver is aged 21 to 25 and older than 65 as well. The main driver must have an international driving license. The same applies to an additional driver.
Before you rent a car, make sure that you are aware of the main traffic regulations and parking in Greece and on Crete, in particular, to avoid any possible issues and fines during holidays. Car rental is the best option for transportation on Crete if you like to be on the move, constantly changing the vacation spots, and visit various attractions not only in your region but in the neighboring areas as well.
A transfer is an excellent mode of transport for those people who come to Rethymno to unwind on its brilliant beaches, experience the romantic atmosphere of the city, and visit the most popular attractions. When compared to other means of transport, this service has a lot of advantages. Aktis.Taxi is one of the leading transfer service providers in Greece. It offers its customers favorable terms of vehicle booking:
- you have an opportunity to choose the vehicle of any class, following your wishes;
- a vehicle is booked beforehand on the website of the company and is served by the time of your plane landing. A driver will be waiting for you in the hall of arrivals with a name-tag;
- the cost of a planned trip is announced to customers in advance. It will not change due to the date, the availability of a public holiday or traffic jams on the way;
- if your flight is delayed, the vehicle will be waiting for you at the airport for about 45 minutes at no cost;
- you can rest assured about the comfort of your children because the vehicle will be provided with the car seat, matching the age requirements of your kid;
- airport transfers are the most popular service among tourists. However, there is also a possibility to plan an individual route to any point of the island;
- a transfer can be also booked for delivery of handicapped people and guests with pets;
- all the drivers speak English. Thus, you will have no urgent necessity to learn the Greek language;
- it is possible to pay for service in any convenient way – either in cash or via a bank card.
All the vehicles in the car fleet of the company are clean and have no unpleasant odors. Upon your wish, a driver can switch on the music, a radio, or air-conditioning and answer all your questions related to a stay on the island.
Crete can boast of having perfect roads. Thus, a trip will leave only pleasurable impressions.
Things to do in Crete Greece
Mysterious, beckoning, and shrouded with myths, the island of Crete is a real Paradise for the nature-lovers, people interested in antiquities, and authentic atmosphere. Everyone can find entertainment to his taste here. The abundance of gorgeous beaches, historic monuments, ancient churches, traditional taverns with the mouthwatering Greek cuisine dishes will hardly leave the visitors of the island indifferent.
If you love the myths of Ancient Greece, then you should necessarily visit Dictean Cave. According to one of them, it is the place where the goddess Rhea gave birth to Zeus. During the stay in Heraklion, you should also visit the Palace of Knossos that was built by Dedal. In the same area, you can see another landmark – the labyrinth, hiding the evil Minotaur. During Rethymno holiday, you can enjoy a stroll along the ancient streets of the Rethymno Old Town, or get pleasure from visiting various shops and taverns that impress tourists with fascinating dishes in the city center and along the promenade as well.
A visit to the magnificent monasteries of Agia Irini, Agia Triada, and Kera Kardiotissa, preserving the miraculous icons and the power of sacred, is obligatory if you want to gain spiritual harmony. You can experience the beauty of the island to the full extent if take a visit to the palm beach of Vai. It sits in the deep and picturesque Samaria Gorge, in the marvelous Balos Bay with white and pink sands and the sea of twelve shades.