how to go around the Crete and along the Crete
You can get from major European airports to Chania or to Herakleion by plane in approximately three hours. I don't know Chania airport, I wasn't there, and else in Herakleion is small airport, but solid. Landing aeroplanes are decreasing above sea surface, under the water you can see water plants. You've got the feeling that the plane should be everywhen destroyed by the surface and dived into the sea, (there is a breefing at the beginning of the flight, what to do in the event of the emergency landing on the surface -- primarily take off the shoes), but at once turns up the landing runway and the plane easily lands.
The dispatch on airport is only formal for the EU members. Before the year 2000 were terrible queues beside the window of the passport control.
If you travel with some travel agency, you have to learn its name and after the dispatch in chaotic hall you have to find a chap retaining a schedule with the name of the agency (he will send you to the bus).
If you fly on own hook, you can take public service bus from the airport to Herakleion (or, if you like, to Chanie). The airport is close to the city but you can't go by foot. If the buses don't move, you can take a taxi (designated by a schedule ΤΑΞΙ).
I recommend Rent-a-Cars otherwise you won't be able to make all the tourist attractions.
There is every automobile mark in the liveries. I don't understand the automobile marks (I differentiate them according to the color), but you must choose something strong. Crete isn't Elbe valley. If you'll borrow a car with used tires, you'll enjoy skidding in the mountains. Skids are very unwelcome on Cretan roads -- on the worst places there is a rock on the left side and a real depth without crash barriers on the right side. But it isn't really dangerous if you pay attention. Patholes and damaged surface of the roads are much greater problems.
Price of the lending for one day is different. Before the beginning of the season it is about 25 Euro for one car, per one day. In the season is the price larger. It's not so expensive, they won't indemnify the cars against the theft -- you shouldn't ride out of the island. You need only driving licence to make a contract, but I don't know if it must be international. More likely, yes. You ought to know about insurance and participation rate. Certain liveries don't lend a car to drivers younger than 21 years or with new driving licence.
Some travel agencies offer free lending a car per two days. Get wise on it. That are the worst wrecks and they forgot to mention a necessity to pay an insurance for 18 Euro per day. You should rather to ask in advance.
The car is lent with the petrol in a tank and you ought to return it next day in the morning, including full tank. The price of petrol is the same as Czech prices. Mostly you tank in the evening and let the keys on the hotel reception. Agent of the livery comes in the morning and you can sleep long.
One evening we didn't refuel and the tank was almost empty. Simply, we tried it. In the morning knocked the agent on the door and with the broken English said: "fuel". I was smiling and gave him 10 Euro and everything was all right. But perhaps it doesn't suppose to be in this way.
Except the cars you can lend some scooters (it's like a motorcycle, but I don't understand it). Maybe it's more cheap. You can ride on it. On the other Greek islands, which are smaller, it is good vehicle, but for Crete are cars better.
If I remember, there is no problem with parking, even near attractions aren't tolls. It is not like in Slovakia where you pay fifty crowns and even you don't know you are in parking-site.
There are also scooters and several motorcycles in the liveries. They are a little cheaper and better for two people and short distances, actually they can be lent for shorter period than one day. Don't ride on motorcycle to badly available roads, at least I don't recommend it, that's by a nose.
Really strangely. Crete -- even if belongs to Europe -- it is island between Europe, Africa, and Asia. On the open roads it is OK but you shouldn't drive into cities very much. There is maybe a priority for the right side, but rather isn't, it seemed like that. Here rates the priority of the faster and cheekier one.
Well, I'll write it more plainly. Greeks just drive like maniacs, get wise on it! Accident frequency is according to statistics in Czech but accidents aren't normally seen so often. Here on Crete are, mainly in Herakleion (but they don't drive so fast and the accidents aren't grave). Traffic jam and tooting are daily and ordinary, curious one-way roads, simply rough.
Speed limits are not followed, like in Czech Republic. In urban area is allowed 50, on the common road 80 and on highway 100. You have to ride on the right in spite of the fact that it's not always obvious.
I don't know how look Greek highway on the continent but the main Cretan highway is very strange. Contra-flow-lanes are differentiated only by a double line in the middle and the roadsides are very badly drawn. I think that it's not roadside. It couldn't be. But it seems like that. Cretan highway roadside is thick line which bears in the middle of the middle of highway, so it differentiates two straightaway lanes. But the left lanes is narrower and the car can't properly get in it. I really regret that I didn't take a photography of Cretan highway.
It's interesting that the roadside isn't comprehended as a lane separator but as something like guide-line. Cars in the right lane have left wheel on the left from the line and faster cars in the left line have right wheel on the left side from the line. If they want to overtake, they drive a bit to upstream. A little adrenaline sport.
The highway goes from Chanie round Rethimon and Herakleion to Stalis. Now is building by-road of Malia.
Many roads aren't in maps. On the contrary, some roads, which are in map, aren't on Crete. Guide-posts are missing or they're badly converted to Roman Character. Navigation is point of feeling. Worst-cases are Herakleion and wilderness.
There are quite cheap public service buses on Crete. I don't know, if there are any time tables. You must wave on the bus, or it won't stop. In the tourist districts are bus stops and you can make a trip a few kilometers longer. Or it is good for the trip to Herakleion (there's no point to ride there, it gets on nerves).
We saw bus stops in the villages. Reputedly it plies twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.
This isn't my own experience already. Ships are mainly tourist with several attractions and rides round the shore or between little islands. I don't know how much does it cost. It's up to you if you find interesting the trip at sea.
Taxis are reputedly cheaper than in Czech Republic, but I don't know it. They have taxi-meter in the cities and in the countryside is used contractual rate.
If you'd like to pretend fat Germans, go to the small train which goes by the tourist coast. Tourist coast -- while we're on the occasion -- it is bore, and while you use this train, it'll be the best fake.
Coast and mountains - that's Crete. The coast is boring for tourism, mountains amazing. You need good shoes to the mountains. Walking on Crete is delight if you have good maps and a lot of water.
I didn't take note whether there were any camps on Crete, maybe rarely on the shore. Car-camps are forbidden. When you take a car, a tent and a sleeping-bag and go to the mountains, no one can find you. Only goats. But they have bells so you can hear them. It is possible to camp in tent on pastures behind every village, on desolated coast, etc.
kreta.rovnou.cz writes Yuhu