The Language....

The island of Crete is part of Greece, the spoken language is Greek although the Cretan dialect has several different words and often the pronunciation is different from mainland Greece. Most Greeks speak more than one language, more often than not this will be English, some are multilingual and will also speak German, French, Spanish, Italian.....etc.

Road signs and other important signs are in English as well as Greek although there is some variation in the spelling of place names.


Greece is in the Eurozone so the currency is the euro. At the time of writing (Feb 2015) the recent elections have caused a bit of a flurry in the currency markets so the US$ to euro exchange rate has improved considerably. Gay and lesbian tourists have commented, in the past that, Crete is 'very affordable', the current exchange rate makes it even more so. Compare this to Mykonos which can be a very expensive island!

Travel Links.....

Aegean Air (Click on the Union Jack for English)
Minoan Ferries
Anek Ferries
Hellenic Seaways (Fast ferry to Santorini/Mykonos)

Buses on Crete....

The web site is a bit odd, but the bus service is regular, and cheap. The main bus station for the east of the island is within walking distance of the Ferry port. Buses to the east also pass through Heraklion airport. Travellers heading west will usually have to transfer to another bus station, although there are some services to Rethymno and Xania from the port bus depot.

Car Rental....

There are a plethora of rental companies including the 'branded' ones like Hertz and Europcar. Usually the best option here is to book a car through the internet with one of the many online brokerage agencies. When you collect your car you may or may not find it is being supplied by one of the big companies, except you will have paid a lot less than booking direct with them!

Another tip here... Book the cheapest cars, they are perfectly adequate for the job, unless there is a group of you touring together (in which case a minibus is the best option!). If you are arriving in high season there is a good chance that ll the 'economy cars' will be out on rental already. The rental company will offer you an upgrade at extra cost per day, refuse the upgrade and they will still have to rent you an upgraded car at no extra cost!

Mobile Phones/Internet...

There are three carriers in Greece, Vodafon, Cosmote, and Wind. check with you mobile phone provider before you leave home to find out which is their preferred carrier in Greece so that you log on to the right network. You can also purchase a local SIM card when you get here. These usually cost 5 - 10 euros and include €5 of calls and maybe some data. Recharge cards are available at most kiosks.

If you have a smartphone or laptop etc. then you will find nearly everywhere has a free WiFi. It may be secured in which case just ask for the code if you are a customer at a cafe/bar. Even some KTEL buses and some tour buses have free open WiFi connections so you can be in the middle of nowhere and find a free WiFi.