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Just to confuse you, Crete is home to three international airports - Heraklion (HER), Chania (CHQ) and Sitia (JSH). Heraklion and Chania are the two big hitters, while Sitia is the smaller, younger sibling.
Heraklion sits near the centre of Crete’s northern coast, so it makes sense to arrive here if you’re throwing yourself into the 18-30s madness of Malia, living it up in the upmarket Lassithi area or staying in the eastern resort of Elounda.
Still on the northern coast but far closer to the western tip, Chania is the perfect arrival point if you’re staying in Rethymnon, hitting the beaches of Aghia Marina or making a beeline for beautiful Gerani at the foot of the White Mountains.
Wherever you land, you can be at your holiday destination in no time with the help of our page dedicated to getting around Crete.
Cheap flights to Crete in 2016 and 2017 are easy to come by if you’re travelling in season. Thomas Cook, Thomson, Aegean, easyJet and British Airways all operate direct flights from London Gatwick Airport to Heraklion several times per week between March and October, making it simple to jet off to the sunshine in 2016 or 2017.
Direct flights to Chania are equally straightforward to snag. If you’re travelling on a shoestring, Ryanair offers cheap flights to Crete in 2016 at rock-bottom prices, leaving from Stansted several times a week. Norwegian and easyJet operate flights from London Luton to Chania. Norwegian, easyJet, British Airways and Thomson operate direct flights to Chania from Gatwick, giving you plenty of options to consider.
Beyond the big smoke, you can snap up flights to Heraklion from Manchester, Doncaster, Leeds, Bristol, Nottingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow and Belfast. The list feels endless and if you compare low-cost flights to Crete, you’re bound to stumble across a deal that matches your budget and preferred departure point.
Outside of London, you can book a direct flight to Chania with Ryanair from Bristol or Glasgow in summer 2016.
Flights to both Heraklion and Chania thin out between November and March, so you’ll need to think ahead if you want to fly to Crete in the off-season. Booking indirect flights to Crete from Birmingham or London, for example, could be an option (winter flights might include a stopover in Athens, which is no bad thing).
Buying up flights to Crete isn’t the only way to set foot on Cretan soil.
If you’ve got a little money and plenty of time, try setting off on a Greek island-hopping adventure, flitting between beaches, ruins and hilltop towns all over the archipelago. Simply fly to Athens, make your way to the port at Piraeus and hop on a boat.
You can buy ferry tickets online in advance or wing it and see where the wind takes you. There are 227 inhabited islands in Greece, so you’ll certainly be spoiled for choice!
If you decide to sail directly from Athens to Crete, you’re looking at an overnight journey that will set you back just €38… if you’re happy to sleep out on deck.