The best way to get around Crete is by car. The island is 162 by 38 miles, so it is a large island. Although there is a public bus that connects Heraklion, Rethymnon and Chania via the National Highway, service is sporadic at best. You can rent a car in any major city as well as at the Heraklion International Airport (HER) and the Chania International Airport (CHQ). Rent a car allows one to leave the overdeveloped tourist trail and explore the real Crete. If you plan to do a lot of exploring, keep in mind that the island is larger than it may appear; you can avoid spending excessive amounts of time behind the wheel by planning your itinerary in advance. The roads are a little smaller in the rural areas, and signage is almost non-existent, so you know you are having a real adventure. There are many benefits to driving in Crete. The roads in Crete are quiet on the whole, except in the center of the large towns. This means you can almost guarantee how long it will take you to get somewhere, because there is virtually no congestion or traffic jams! Roads in Crete can sometimes be a problem if there are road works, but the low volume of traffic generally means that queues are the exception rather than the rule.

You should be warned to drive with care as Crete has an exceptionally high road fatality rate due to rough surfaces and curving mountain roads, particularly in the south. Rent a Cars are available for pickup from the airports at Heraklion and Chania, and from town centers in each capital town of Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklionn and Agios Nikolaos. Beware as well of one-way drop off charges, these can vary from a reasonable 35 euros to an exorbitant 80 euros.