Greece's biggest island, Crete, is known for its stunning Mediterranean waters, Bronze Age artifacts and history, and excellent food. The two largest cities on the island, Heraklion and Chania, attract thousands of guests annually, and Crete's straightforward highway system makes travel easy. With a little preparation, drivers renting a car and sightseeing in Crete will spend less time at the counter and more time soaking up all the island has to offer.
Car Rentals in Crete
There are numerous options for car rentals in Crete, including international chains such as Avis, Ace Rent-A-Car, and Hertz. Local options, such as Club Cars, Anna Cars, and Just Rental, are also available, offering a variety of makes and models to choose from.
Arriving in Crete at Heraklion Airport, guests can pick up a rental from Avis, Budget, Eurodollar, Europcar, Holiday Auto, Hertz, Tourent, National, or Sixt before exploring the island. Passengers arriving at Chania International Airport can rent a car in Crete from Avance, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, Kydon, and Sixt. These companies are located in the Arrivals section of the airport.
Driving in Crete
Heraklion, Chania, and the other major cities on Crete are connected by a freeway system, with narrower, winding roads linking the smaller cities on the southern half of the island. The Heraklion Airport is a short 10-minute drive down Leof. Ikarou, and passengers who land at Chania Airport can get to Heraklion via VOAK/E75. This drive will take approximately two hours.
Driving along the wide roads of VOAK/E75/A90/A97 is simple and can take passengers from end to end of the island. Venturing off the highways, the smaller cities in southern Crete are connected by a system of narrow roads that can be difficult to traverse due to their many blind bends and often poor conditions. Many local drivers use mopeds, which warrants extra caution on all streets. There are no toll roads in Crete.
Things to Do in Crete, Greece
Visitors can cool off inside the CretAquarium, which features sea life indigenous to the Mediterranean. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum and the Historical Museum of Crete, also in Heraklion, and perfect for those interested in local history, and the Maritime Museum of Crete in Chania Town explores Crete's military history. A day tour of Samaria Gorge and off-road buggy rides in the Cretan mountains are excellent choices for visitors seeking adventure.
When it's time to eat, 7 Thalasses in Heraklion and Oinoa in Chania are two of the best places to sit down for some authentic Mediterranean fare.
Return a Rental to Heraklion or Chania Airports
Visitors leaving from Heraklion Airport will return their rentals at the same location where they picked them up, and the BP station off Leof. Ikarou is the closest gas station if a final refueling is needed. Those leaving from Chania International Airport will pass a BP and Eko station on A97.
Crete is an amazing place that should be seen more than once. From mountain treks to quiet evenings watching the ships pass on the Mediterranean Sea, the magic of the island will stick with visitors long after they've boarded their departing flights.