The journey to Plakias or Crete is generally unproblematic. The most frequently used option is the flight. Many large airlines fly to Crete, for example from the UK, France and Italy. The most popular destination for flights to Crete is Heraklion, other flights go to Chania.
Charter flights and regular flights to Crete
During the holiday season from the end of April to the beginning of November there are many direct flights to Crete.
Outside this time and in winter there are regular scheduled flights to Crete with a short stopover in Athens. Further information can be found on the websites of Aegean-Airlines und Olympic Airways.
Airport Heraklion (HER)
The airport of Heraklion “Nikos Kazantzakis” as the main airport is also the largest airport of Crete. In terms of the number of passengers handled, it is the second largest airport in Greece after Athens. The IATA code is “HER”.
The airport was named after Nikos Kazantzakis, a writer and philosopher born in 1883 in Heraklion, Crete.
Unfortunately, the airport is completely overloaded and the high season is very chaotic. Altogether the airport is not designed for the high number of passengers. In the meantime parts of the building have been modernized and rebuilt, but the situation is sometimes still very unpleasant. The sanitary facilities and the shopping and waiting area with catering facilities are now largely ok. But
the check-in can still be a test of patience.
By the way, there is no hotel at the airport, but Heraklion offers enough overnight accommodations in the price ranges cheap to high-priced.
But food and drinks are available at the airport at surprisingly fair prices as well as even cheaper opposite the airport building at the kiosk or at the Souvlaki snack bar.
Airport Chania (CHQ)
The second airport of Crete in the west of the island is less frequently approached than Heraklion. Accordingly, it is calmer and more orderly.
In the last few years it has been modernized and rebuilt. If it can be organized and timed, you’d better fly back from here.
Flight search: flights to and from Heraklion or Chania
Arrive in Crete as early as possible and depart late = spend more time in Crete and have less stress driving from the airport to your holiday destination and back. And all this at a good to at least acceptable price.
The usual search engines such as expedia, cheapoair or google flights will help you to find a suitable and inexpensive flight.
Who (also) does not reject a flight with change, finds beside "normal" flights and connections also interesting flight combinations with kiwi.com. My experiences with this provider have been very good so far.
Transfers from the airport to Plakias
Read here how to get to Plakias by bus after arriving at Heraklion airport in Crete.
Read here how to get to Plakias by bus after arriving at Chania airport in Crete.
Public bus service on Crete
Once you have arrived in Crete, either by ferry or by plane, the journey continues comfortably and cheaply with the state bus company KTEL. The coaches are air conditioned, often drive and are punctual. The bus connections all over Crete are very good, especially in the season.
The KTEL website offers an up-to-date overview of connections with departure times, travel duration and price. The timetables are regularly adapted to the season and season, so you should inform yourself about the current status at the latest shortly before your arrival.
In the bus stations of Chania, Rethymno and Heraklion (and in all major cities) you can buy your ticket at the ticket office before you start your journey. In smaller cities or if you get on at a bus stop or on a free route, you can buy the ticket directly from the bus driver.
A seat number (“Seat No”) is indicated on the printed tickets – but this has no meaning, the free choice of seat applies.
Always keep the ticket until you reach your destination. Controllers occasionally get on the free track and want to see the ticket.
Rental cars in Crete
A rental car can be rented in advance or directly on the spot in Plakias, or pre-ordered.
It may make sense to rent a car directly from the airport. This way you are flexible and independent from the bus timetable when travelling on to Plakias.
This is helpful, for example, if your flight arrives late in the evening in Crete.