Getting Here and Getting Around

Getting Here

As we have already mentioned (we hope), Crete lies in a strategic position at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, and is just about the most southerly point in Europe (actually the island of Gavdos off the south west of Crete is actually the most southerly point), which means Crete is surrounded by water.

For most European gay and lesbian travelers the most popular way of getting to Crete is by air and on Crete we have three airports at Xania in the west, Heraklion (Iraklio), roughly in the middle, and Sitia in the east. 

During the summer months there are direct flights from all over Europe with varying schedules, as many of these are 'budget' airlines the prices tend to rise the later you book. If you are intending to make Crete part of a 'Grand Tour' then booking as early as possible will usually give you the cheapest flights.

The national carrier Olympic/Aegean Air has flights all year round with additional flights during the summer months. Quite often these flights appear expensive but bear in mind that they usually include 23kgs of luggage and you also get free cabin service which you don't get on the budget airlines. There are regular flights to the island from Athens as well.
Greek ferries are a little more modern.

The Greek islands, and especially Crete, are a popular destination if you are cruising, indeed there is the occasional gay cruise that visits Heraklion, and Crete is also on more than one of the scheduled ferry routes (the ferries are a lifeline to all of the Greek islands as they bring in food and other products from the mainland all year round, and agricultural products from Crete are exported back to the mainland), from Piraeus to Crete, Rhodes and then back to Piraeus via various other islands.

There is also a fast ferry that does daily trips from Iraklio to Santorini, Naxos and onwards to Mykonos leaving in the morning and returning about 8pm at night so you can cruise to Santorini for the day, or make a side trip to Mykonos for a couple of days without any problem.

Getting Around

Much depends on what you intend to do while you are on Crete, and many gay and lesbian travel lers tend to be of a more mature and experienced age group so travelling around the island becomes more important.
Just an idea.....

If you are just going to laze by a pool or on the nearest beach, visit some of the local bars or tavernas, stay out late, and then go back to your hotel at 6am then you will not need a lot of transport, except perhaps a taxi, or an ambulance if you drink to many mojitos!

If you intend to visit some of the remarkable beaches on the island then you will either need to rent a car, or use public transport which is cheap and reliable although a bit limiting with the timetable.
Rental scooters are widely available.

If you are just travelling locally then usually buses, your feet, or perhaps a scooter will be enough. If you don't like the idea of driving and want to visit a beach some way away from where you are staying then there are organised coach trips from most resorts, but be aware that you will have to be up early. For instance the coach trip from Hersonissos to Balos Lagoon leaves Hersonissos at 6am. On the other hand it is quite a long drive there and back, so the coach is a very reasonable option as there is quite a walk from the car park to the beach when you get there! Archaeological buffs will almost certainly need a car as some of the sites are a bit out of the way and if there is a group of you touring together do make sure that you rent a large enough vehicle with enough space for all the hat boxes and the trunk marked 'Not wanted on voyage!'