How to travel around Crete? – Public transportation vs Car rental

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Complete with its own capital city in the form of Heraklion, Crete Island’s status as a part of Greece might have visitors wondering if it’s not a completely independent region. It’s the largest of the Greek islands, so naturally one might think it operates as somewhat of a traditional island nation. It doesn’t. It’s not like the likes of Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives, etc…

That means the public transport system isn’t really one which was developed with the idea of it driving the economy of the island. It’s more about getting around. In actual fact, you have to look at the public transport system in Crete as one which was designed to service the vibrant tourism industry, which in turn is not far beyond the luxury tourism industry. You can find many inexpensive thrills and enjoy your escape without breaking the bank, but by no means is Crete a budget travel destination.

If you keep the fact that the public transport system is designed to service the tourism sector in mind, you’ll be able to make better plans around its use. The discussion of whether to use public transport over hiring your own car becomes an inevitable one, because as with pretty much all other pure holiday destination islands in the world, there would never be much to expect in the way of vaunted efficiency.

To put it bluntly, a visit to the Rental Center Crete premises to pick up a rented car is just about the only way you can be sure to get around comfortably and with as little hassle as possible. Besides, even though there are taxis available for the general public, they’re not really what one would refer to as public transport proper. The only real means of public transportation in Crete is the bus.

It must be acknowledged though that Crete’s bus network is quite extensive, making it quite easy to get all around the island. And even though it’s a pure holiday destination island, by European standards, the government-regulated fares are pretty reasonable.

The main coastal road running along the north of the island is the busiest bus route, with an hourly service, while the south coast receives less frequent services along with the inland villages.

Major tourist attractions are also serviced, including Phaestos, Knossos, Moni Arkadiou, Gortys, Moni Preveli, and Omalas Plateau. Even Hora Sfakion is serviced, with a ferry that departs from Loutro and Agia Roumeli.

Ticket offices for the smaller bus stations might have you questioning their authenticity, such as a tavern which doubles up as one. Otherwise in the bigger towns there are covered, central bus stations. Tickets can also be bought on the bus, but schedules can change on a whim.

Taking a bus does deny you the option of stopping wherever it is your heart desires and perhaps exploring some of those places where you might enjoy a bit more seclusion and unique culture, so all in all I’d say that it’s a much better option to rent a car.

 Maybe take the bus just for a taste of what it’s like as an experience.