Are you going to visit Greece and the Greek islands of the Mediterranean Sea? Follow the guide to go from Athens to Crete by ferry!
After a road trip through the Balkans and mainland Greece, do you want to continue to Crete, or are you planning to travel from Athens to Crete by ferry? That’s a great idea! Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 8,336 km². With a population of 632,674, it is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean basin, where it attracts 16 million visitors per year.
It must be said that Crete – the cradle of Minoan civilization and the theater of multiple myths dating back to antiquity – has a history and a multi-millenary heritage, a selection of unique culinary flavors to taste, heavenly beaches and seaside resorts bordered by warm and turquoise waters, as well as unmissable cities to visit, such as Heraklion, Chania, Rethymnon, Ierapatra and Agios Nikolaos. Even better, if you care for a daytrip you can go to the neighboring island of Gavdos, a naturally beautiful haven of tranquility.
Are you planning to travel from Athens to Crete by ferry? We tell you everything you need to know to discover the archaeological, architectural, historical and cultural heritage of this splendid island in the southern Mediterranean basin.
Ferry companies linking Crete to Athens
Unlike other crossings between the mainland and a large island, such as the crossings to Corsica, Sardinia or Sicily from Toulon or Marseille, there are many private shipping companies operating between Athens and Crete. It must be said that the latter attracts a large tourist population, equivalent to the tourist frequentation of Corsica and Sicily combined. The reason for the existence of a large number of shipping companies is also geographical: more than 9,000 islands – only 200 of which are inhabited – belong to Greek territory. Between the Cyclades, the Dodecanese or Crete, one fifth of the Greek territory is composed of islands, and are archipelagos that logically have to be branched out to the territory of continental Greece.
From Athens, there are no less than four different companies to travel from Athens to Crete by ferry: Anek Superfast, Anek Lines, Minoan Lines and Golden Star Ferries. The ships operate at 4 ports in Crete from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina in Athens, with 51 connections per week and 5 regular lines. It will therefore not be difficult to find a route to Crete by ferry from Athens!
Plan a ferry trip in Crete with Direct Ferries
Direct Ferries is one of the most common comparators of crossings and shipping companies in maritime transport. The platform makes it easy to book a trip from Athens to Crete by ferry, and to compare the best fares according to different time slots.
The choice of destination port – Heraklion, Chania (Chania), Sitia or Rethymnon – will be made according to the dates and times available, but also according to your choice of routes in Crete. Arriving in Sitia will allow you to explore the eastern part of Crete. Disembarking at the port of Heraklion will be an interesting place to visit the centre (including the ruins of Knossos), while the ports of Rethymnon and Chania will offer a route to the beaches of the west coast (Falasarna, Balos Beach, Elafonisi, Gramvoussa) or the White Mountains. Are the trips to Chania incompatible with your dates? Probe the crossings for the other three ports!
How to book your ferry trip to Crete from Athens?
Rather than comparing prices with the four shipping companies, the Direct Ferries search engine compiles your information to offer crossings at the times and dates mentioned: you have access to the cheapest rates according to crossing times (7 and a half hours, 9 hours, 13 hours).
To make the reservation, we advise you first of all to proceed in advance in order to avoid excessive price fluctuations. Then, as soon as you have found the crossing that suits you, you choose the desired cabin (optional, but you would risk sleeping on deck), with 1, 2, 3 or 4 berths, you then fill in your civil status information, your coordinates and you proceed to payment.
A confirmation of the reservation will then be sent to you by email. For €1.99, the site offers to send the booking details as well as an SMS the day before departure to specify the recommended check-in time. It may be advisable to subscribe to free cancellation insurance in order to be able to cancel without charge up to 48 hours before departure.
At the time of writing this article, we find journeys to Athens by ferry from $120 for a single person without a vehicle, for 9 hours of crossing, with a departure at 21 hours. If you travel with several people, in order to avoid spending the night outside, it may be a good idea to opt for the cabin with berths!
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