Cheap Flights to Crete, Greece (CRET)
Why visit Crete?
The island of Crete, said to be the birthplace of the Zeus, God of Gods, is a place of myth and legend. This isle is the largest of its kind in Greece, and is home to gorgeous beaches, peaceful olive groves, rocky shorelines, traditional villages, contemporary cities, ancient wonders and a friendly and warm people. Step onto the dreamy shores of this incredible island.
Things to do in Crete
The to-do list in Crete will be split into three categories: the beaches, the towns, and the ancient sites.
For the beaches, there are almost too many to pick from, from the Caribbean-style white sands of Balos, the crystalline waters of Elafonissi in Chania, the hippie vibes of Matala in Heraklion, the large sandy swathes of family friendly Rodakino in Rethymno, or the party beaches of Malia, there is a stretch of sand for every type of guest in Crete.
Of the towns, you should drop by Anogia, a traditional mountain village on the island, or Zakros, the Minoan village in Lassithi. There is the pretty fishing port in Almyrida, in Chania, where many of the island’s most picturesque beaches lie, and then Chania itself, which is often liked to Venice due to its gorgeous harbour. This is also a great base if you want to explore the UNESCO listed Samaria Gorge, one of Crete’s most stunning natural sites.
But if it is ancient sites that have you booking that flight to Crete, then make sure you visit the town of Heraklion, the largest city on the island, and the home of the wonderful Archeological Museum, and the stunning Minoan Palace of Knossos, built almost 4000 years ago, this is a stunning piece of human history. While you’re in town, see the Venetian-built Koules Fortress, a not-quite-ancient 16th century sea fortification protecting the town’s harbour. Lastly, make time for Phaistos Palace, another Minoan complex, and in its heyday, one of the most important centres for Minoan culture on the island.
Best time to visit Crete
· Crete has a lovely Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers and pleasant shoulder seasons.
· The peak time to visit is the deep summer (July-August) when you are guaranteed blue skies and warm weather. The days peak at about 29°C, and see lows of 22°C. It is also when the hotels charge their highest rates and the beaches are full of holidayers seeking sun.
· September-October, the autumn season is one of the best times to go to this island. You can expect temperatures of about 20-16°C, and hotels to slash their prices.
· Winter can be very dead, as many establishments close for the season, and unless you are heading there for the hiking, is best avoided.
Best time to book
· Getting a good price for flights out to Greece will require you booking about seven months ahead of time.
Expect to pay
· Euro (EUR).
· A coffee on this island should come to about 2.90EUR ($4.30).
Arriving in Crete by plane
· Though there are three airports on the island of Crete, the major one for international flights is the Heraklion International Airport (HER), with a secondary support from Chania Airport (CHQ). Sitia Airport (JSH) is a small airport and mostly used for short-haul flights. Airlines that will fly into Heraklion and Chania include Aegean Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Etihad Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Swiss Air.
· Heraklion Airport is 3km to Crete’s main city of Heraklion, whilst Chania Airport is 15km from Chania Town. Both airports have standard transit facilities, such as ATMs, foreign exchange booths, duty-free shops, an information centre, and a café or snack kiosks where you can grab some refreshments when you land.
· Almost all flights to this island will go through Athens (ATH) and a big international hub such as Doha (DOH) and Dubai (DXB)
· Australians do not need a visa to travel to Greece, though it is prudent to check these conditions are still applicable when you travel. Check the Australian government’s travel advice website for more information.
Transportation to city centre
· From HER Airport to Heraklion, expect to pay about 10EUR ($15), and for CHQ Airport to Chania City the fare should be around 15EUR ($22).
· Both airports have bus services to main ports, but if you are heading somewhere other than these destinations, it is better to organise an airport transfer online to meet you on arrival.
· If you plan to drive while you’re on the island, you can hire a car at both airports, but it is strongly advised that you organise a car in advance, especially if you are travelling in summer, as they can be in high demand.
Where to stay in Crete
· Chania is a beautiful part of the island to stay in, with its Venetian inspired township, with lots of amenities, beaches and hotel options.
· Malia is for night-time revellers that want to make the most of the club and bar scene in Crete.
· Rethymno, and in particular, Bali, is great for families, as there are tons of resorts, restaurants, and smaller bays to swim in.
Useful tips before you go
· Tipping in Greece is not obligatory, but common. You’ll find some restaurants add a service charge of about 16%, but for the most part it is up to your own discretion.
Please note that the information provided above is accurate as of June 2016
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Airports near Crete
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