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Transportation to and from Crete

Hi, I would like some advice on transportation from Athens to Crete to Santorini and back to Athens.

We will be flying into the Athens airport on Turkish Airlines from the US (via Istanbul) on September 26 with a scheduled arrival time of 8:45 PM. We would like to fly on to Crete that same day. There is a 10:55 PM Olympic flight to Heraklion that same night (last flight of the day). Is 2 hours enough time to make it through customs, pick up baggage, etc., or do we need to plan on flying out the next day? We have a 3-hour layover in Istanbul, so are hopeful we will arrive in Athens on schedule

The plan would then to be to take a ferry to Santorini after a few days on Crete. Any advice on which ferries to take to Santorini? What are the rough costs and time for standard and high-speed ferries from Heraklion Port to Santorini?

After Santorini, we plan to take a ferry back to Athens.

We would appreciate any information or other tips you could provide. This will be our first trip to Greece and are excited about it.

Thank you.

Posted by
3134 posts

2 hours is enough time as long as you arrive in Athens on time. Print out your Olympic boarding passes before you leave home.

Ferry schedules to determine what's available on your travel date to Santorini: The trip will most likely be on a highspeed ferry leaving from Heraklion in the morning around 9am, and take about 2 hours. The fare is around €70pp. The "Prevelis", a conventional ferry that leaves once a week on Sunday evenings will cost about half the highspeed fare.

Posted by
11368 posts

You say that you want to head to Santorini after a “few days on Crete.” Crete merits more time than that. We spent two weeks just on the western portion of this large island and did not see everything we had planned. Choose a place to stay; I recommend Chania and give it at least five nights.

Posted by
911 posts

Athens is a relatively small airport. I have always found that Immigration goes quickly and the baggage reclaim is a short walk. No customs clearance just go through the green door and follow signs to departure level.

Have you booked your Turkish flight? It would make the transfer easier if your flight to Crete was on that ticket then you could check luggage through to Heraklion from the States and you would not have to check it again in Athens. Or pack light and just do carry-on