Buses, Crete Island
Airport to Kokkini hani,Gouves,Analipsi,Anissaras,Chersonissos,Stalida,Malia, until Agios Nikolaos,Ierapetra and Sitia.This is a route of a bus from the station.The bus always pass in the airport in a certain time,so its easy if you like to take it to reach to your hotel.From the arrival area walk directly to the gate on your right,you will see a small wooden-cottage,its the stop of the bus.As of now,one way fare until chersonissos is 3 euros.check the website to know the route schedule.
Heraklion to Chania-- take the bus from the station,its near the port.
Heraklion to Rethymno- take the bus from the station.
Heraklion to Knossos- city bus is just next to the main bus station.
I would strongly advise taking the local bus. They are now air-conditioned and much more comfortable than they used to be when I lived there in the 80's. A taxi from Heraklion to Chania will cost you around 200Euros - it's a 2 hour drive!
Knossos is accessed by Bus Route No.2 (buses also have Knossos displayed in destination window). Cost was Euro 1.30 each way (January 24 2010). Tickets can be purchased from a little kiosk beside the tree at the bus station near the harbour. Buses drop visitors right in the Knossos car park; buses going back to Heraklion pull in here to pick up too.
We walked up to the main rd and the bus stop, we expected to see an old bus packed with locals and tourists (and possibly a couple of chickens) but were surprised when a smart blue Minoan Lines coach pulled up. Yes this was the bus and the conductor helped people on with their bags. As the bus pulled away the conductor comes around and asks you were you are going to be getting off. Gouves to Iraklion was just €2.10 each, at each stop or resort the conductor shouts out the name so people know when to get off. After about 20 minutes we arrived at Iraklion bus station.
When we were going back to Gouves we found that you have to go into the bus station and purchase a ticket to the place you want to go. This has the time, the bus number and the stand on it. We went to the stand (no1) and a bus pulled up with number 11 on it. Our ticket said the bus number was 73, so we presumed that our bus would come after this one. However, we wanted to make sure (as we are in Greece) so we asked the conductor who looked at our tickets, shrugged and said 'it's ok', so we got on and was dropped off safely at our destination.
So remember, don't just go off the number on the front of the bus, ask as well.
Busses daily from Heraklion to Sitia
the trip to Sitia is 2:50 minutes and the ticket costs 12 euro.
The busses are very confort and clean and all of them have A/C.
In Crete you can reach any place by bus. Buses stop as you wave and you can buy a ticket inside.
You can expect that a bus is going to be in time but mind the schedule - it shows departure time for departure place and not the place you are in (on the bus' route). I also found out that sometimes it is cheaper to buy a ticket at a bus station than from the driver.
If don't rent a car on Crete, don't worry, you won't be stuck. The island has an excellent bus system that goes all over the place in nice big comfortable buses. We took the bus from Iraklio to Knossos and back, from Iraklio to Rethymnon, and then from Rethymnon to Moni Arkhadi and back before we picked up our rental car on the third day of our trip and it was always a nice relaxing ride. I'm still glad we rented a car for the rest of our trip so we weren't bound by the bus schedule, but the buses served us well when we needed them.
THe roads in Crete are normally in a good condition though some of them are narrows and a lot of turns through the mountains. If you taje the bus from KTEL you can reach most of the touristic sites and attractions.
We did all of our travelling around on the island by service bus. We got all the way from Chania in the West to Sitia in the East and down to Matala in the south.
Busses are pretty regular between the major destinations and they're also reasonably cheap and the service runs until reasonably late at night (up to 10pm for busses between Chania/Rethymnon/Iraklion.
The busses are amazing, mostly modern Mercedes or Setra coaches with velour interior, aircon, belts (on many) and so very comfortable. They will also transport your luggage in the under-bus luggage compartment.
The service is run as a service, not as a grudging necessity as seems to be the case here. We saw several instances of a consideration to passengers that would be totally alien to bus drivers and service operators here.
At bus stations you can buy tickets in advance, either one way or return (though there's no saving on returns) or you can buy on the bus (there's a conductor on all busses).
I give Crete busses 10 out of 10.
The main form of transportation around the island is by bus. Unless you rent a car, of course. However, for the most part, Crete's bus system is sufficient. Reaching most parts of the island, including all the major tourist destinations, KTEL is the way to go if you are traveling on the cheap. One thing to consider is that the buses to more remote parts of the island do not run frequently, so there might be a long wait involved. At any of the tourist offices and ports, a detailed timetable is available to help you plan your adventures. I found the buses to be on time and the bus drivers to be very helpful. Hopefully, you will encounter the same.
When I travel I always am afraid of transportation because sometimes you cannot understand a word or cannot see any sign of destination. KTEL Buses are sometimes cosy sometimes not but it is fine to travel by them, you can see the landscape freely without having problems where to turn on the road whenyou have hired car. There are many lines and timetable is everywhere on the stops. Don't panic if the drivers will force you to get out on some stop because sometimes the longer lines consists of more buses so it is allright. I have such experience travelling from Matala to Heraklion when there on the half way we stood more than 10 minutes in the middle of the small town ;) finally there came other bus and transported us to the Heraklion
Well, do not expect buses on Crete are always ON TIME... ;-)
The picture here shows a bus that crashed into our little Daewoo Matiz... ;-(