Car rental in Crete
Rent a car in Crete

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The largest island in Greece, Crete is a beautiful gem worth exploring. Explore centuries of history, captured in ancient ruins that dot the island. Discover gorgeous beaches, hike in the mountains, and enjoy the best Greek dishes the island has to offer. With cities like Chania, Rethymno, and Heraklion within driving distance of each other, the best way to discover Crete's beauty is behind the wheel of your car. Rent a car in Crete to enjoy the island at your own pace, instead of tracking bus routes or bargaining with taxi drivers.

It's your choice: Where to go in Crete

Crete is serviced by three international airports – Heraklion (HER), Chania (CHQ) and the smaller Sitia (JSH). Plenty of airlines offer direct flights to Crete from international destinations such as London. Once you disembark at any airport in Crete, the whole island is yours to explore. Buses from these airports to the city centres are infrequent. By opting to rent a car in Crete, visitors save themselves time from the moment their holiday starts. Both Heraklion and Chania airports have ATM machines dispensing cash withdrawals and advances. Exchange bureau kiosks are available at airports and city centres, so you can change to euros for a fee. For travel beyond Crete, there are a number of regional airlines that connect to other Greek islands such as Santorini, Kos, Rhodes, and Mykonos.

Things to do in Crete

Armed with a map of Crete, driving to one of the many attractions in the island is easy. Plan a day out at a water park in Crete for a fun-filled day. Located on top of a hill, Acqua Plus Water Park near Heraklion offers splendid views of the whole town. Gouves Waterpark Crete is in the town of Gouves, east of Heraklion. This water park is just 3km away from CretAquarium, home to a sea turtle sanctuary, so you can use your car hire in Crete to get there. Samaria Gorge is one of the longest gorges in Europe, and is part of the Samaria Gorge National Park. Running parallel to Samaria Gorge is the Imbros Gorge that is smaller and less crowded, which makes it a perfect place for a nature walk. Elafonisi Beach, on Crete's southwestern coast, boasts pinkish-red sands and small coves that you can explore.

Important info about Crete

Fashion your own itinerary to discover Crete's hidden gems. Car rentals in Crete offer you the freedom to do as much as you please. Visit Crete's various cities, hop onto a ferry to explore the popular white-and-blue coloured island of Santorini, or enjoy the natural beauty of Crete. Crete is known for having a landscape of many contrasts – from turquoise beaches and tranquil lakes, to deep gorges, Mediterranean woods, olive groves, and vineyards. The biodiversity of this beautiful island reflects these contrasts so you'll always find something new to discover in Crete. Crete is home to some of the most well-preserved ancient ruins in Europe, boasting attractions like the Arkadi Monastery near Rethymnon and the ancient city of Aptera near Chania.

Weather in Knossos
Facts
Country Greece
Language Greek, English commonly spoken
Currency Euro
Time-Zones Eastern European Time (UTC+2)
Country Code +30

Good to know

The landscape in Crete is varied, so driving can be a fun experience if you know what to do. Traffic in Crete drives on the right side of the road, and cars approaching from the right at a junction get the right of way. The winding mountainous paths turn around bends that offer incredible views of the sea when you least expect it, so stay alert on the roads. Plan a road trip in your Crete car rental to make the most of your holiday. In built-up areas, the speed limit is 50km/h, but 90km/h on highways. On narrow roads, you have to move to the hard shoulder so others can overtake you on the left. While petrol stations near the airport are generally open 24 hours, other stations tend to close by 9pm, so fuel up earlier in the day whenever possible. Most stations do not accept credit cards, so it is a good idea to keep some cash handy.

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Our tour suggestion for Crete

Going on a road trip on Crete is the best way to discover hidden paths and perhaps forge new ones. With a car rental on Crete, travelling within the island is a fantastic experience. Stop by the most important sights on the island, enjoy a variety of landscapes, and see Crete like a local. Cover the Lasithi region of eastern Crete by starting at Sitia's Kazarma Fortress, passing through the villages of Handras and Ziros to reach the Gorge of the Dead and the archaeological site of Kato Zakros. See Palekastro village and Vai Beach before returning to Sitia via the Monastery of Toplou. Alternatively, start at the port of Kastelli Kissamos and make your way to Topolia Gorge, pass through Chrisoskalitissa monastery, and end at the beautiful Elafonnisi beach.

What to taste in Crete

Located off the Greek mainland, Crete offers a unique cuisine that is traditional yet distinct from typical Greek gastronomy. Most dishes are simple, but made with locally sourced fresh ingredients such as Cretan cheese, mountain herbs, olive oil, and grape brandy known as raki. Most villages in Crete makes their own cheese. Made with the milk of sheep or goats, each type of cheese is distinctive in texture and taste. While myzithra is a mildly flavoured young whey cheese, graviera is sweeter and harder, aging to offer a nutty taste. Other iconic Cretan dishes include cheese pies, lamb, stamnagathi which is a mix of wild greens, and smoked pork. Sfakia pies are pancakes containing raki, fresh cheese, local olive oil, and honey.