Hiring a boat is the ideal way to explore Crete, the largest island of Greece. Crete is situated in the southern part of the Aegean Sea and is separated by the Libyan Sea. An island with a unique natural beauty, endless beaches and rare history that ensures a top holiday experience in Greece. Crete has many organized and functional marinas where you can find the ideal yacht, sailboat or catamaran of your choice. You can directly contact the owners or simply allow a BednBlue travel expert to guide with some suggestions for your trip.
You have plenty of Options:
You have the opportunity to hire a sailboat or a speedboat with a skipper or without if you own a licence, and enjoy a one or two-day cruise to the nearby islands including Antiykythera and Gavdos. You can book and hire a motor yacht for a romantic wedding proposal or a catamaran to throw a birthday or bachelor party on board in the famous blue lagoon of Balos or any other beach you desire. A speedboat will allow you to cruise the large coastline that extends over 1,000km and this way you can swim and tour various beaches you desire during your summer holidays with ease. Finally, a sailboat is the best option for longer itineraries where you can hop by the islands of Milos and Santorini at a fair price.
Crete is the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean and is a mystical yet warm and welcoming island that offers an enchanting experience to every visitor. Some of the towns that compose the island of Crete include Chania, Heraklion, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Ierapetra, Hersonissos, Sitia, Sfakia. Crete plays a precious role in Greek history and culture, in fact, the very first civilization in the history of Europe started there. On the island you can find some of the most important attractions and sights of Greece, including the ancient Minoan findings of Crete, the Palace of Phaistos, the old town of Malia and Kato Zakros also containing ruins of ancient civilization that are worth discovering. There are also a significant number of monasteries dating back earlier than the 15th century including the holy Monastery of Preveli in the northern side of Rethymno, the historical Monastery of Arkadiou and the Monastery in the north of Heraklion. The castles of Crete are also of paramount importance, they were built under Byzantine and Venetian rule. The Castle of Chania and the Venetian Fortezza of Rethymno are striking buildings that stand tall, open to the public. The Kazarma fortress in Sitia, The Frangokastello located on the south coast of Crete, the Monte Forte in Lasithi and the castle of Heraklion are a few examples that are scattered in Crete and highlight the historical significance of the island.
Boat hire in Chania will give you the opportunity to visit unspoiled islands away from all the crowds and swim in tropical waters in various beaches. Theodorou island is a popular day trip from Chania, here you can dive into a superb beach where you will find wrecks dating back from WW2, the island remains to be uninhabited but promises an exhilarating cruise with a catamaran. Balos in the province of Chania is one of the most photographed areas in Greece and in fact, was also visited by Princess Diana and Prince Charles. The beach is also accessed through boat hire in Rethymnon, the feeling of stepping in the pink coral sands is simply divine and the turquoise waters are shallow enough to make it great for snorkeling too. Falasarna is considered one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean and you can easily make stops to Balos beach on the same day or Gramvousa where you can enjoy beautiful views from the Pirate castle. Elafonisi beach is a few kilometers away from the lagoon and here are canteens, sun beds and a great swim is guaranteed. The village of Elos is in close proximity to Elafonisi, every October there is a chestnut festival taking place and the village makes a great stop to eat in-between sailing. The exotic beaches of Preveli, Agios Pavlos, Triopetra, Ierapetra and palm beach of Vai are also worth exploring. If you truly want to get away you can visit Menies bay which has a secluded beach and has thousands of worshippers who visit ancient temples from Roman times till today. Other boat trips in Crete include visiting the island of Spinalonga from Elounda, Agios Nikolaos or Plakia. After Knossos, Spinalonga is the most popular archaeological site where visitors arrive to visit the ancient ruins or drop anchor with their boat to the scenic bay of Mirabello.
Crete also displays an ideal destination for all types of nature adventurers. There are perfect alleys and routes for walking and hiking, the Faraggi Samaria (Samaria Gorge), the route from Paleochora to Agia Roumeli, the Preveli Gorge and the Zakros Gorge are all routes with spectacular scenery and sunsets above beautiful bays. The Cretans are proud of living in a sustainable and self-sufficient landscape, of which they constantly benefit from. Famous products of Crete include: The cretan graviera cheese, the wild herbs that are produced in the Cretan land including the stamnagathi, the dandelion and the different types of wild or sweet radish. Different types of dishes you must try include the cooked snails of Crete, the dako salad (tomato and feta cheese with paximadi bread), cheesecake, the small cheese pies, lamb served with stamnagathi, the wedding pilaf (gamopilafo) and lemon-filled artichokes. The renowned tsikoudia is an alcoholic beverage often called raki that is found in every household in Crete. Of course you can eat at any cretan tavern whenever you like but boat rentals in Crete also offer cocktails and snacks on board to ensure you have the best vacation in Greece.
Some of the marinas that Crete occupies include:
Marina Heraklion: The Venetian port of Heraklion is only 3km away from the airport and has been a hotspot for maritime trade for centuries. The marina allows mooring of fishing boats in the inner quay and the marina berths different types of yachts.
Marina Agios Nikolaos: Has all the necessary facilities and provisions for an overnight stay for visitors and ensures the security for all sailors who dock their vessel. The marina can berth up to 255 vessels.
Marina Rethymnon: Situated 60km from the airport of Chania and 80km from the airport of Heraklion. The marina occupies a berthing capacity of 174 yachts up to 60m.
Marina Plakias: 35km from the south of Rethymno, Some boat charterers offer trips to the Paximadia islands from this marina where you can go for excellent diving with your group. There are plenty of restaurants, shops and a great beach by the marina.
Extra useful information:
Airports in Crete: Crete has three airports, the Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Heraklion, the Ioannis Daskalogiannis airport in Akrotiri Chania and the smaller airport in Sitia. Overall booking a flight in Heraklion tends to be cheaper than the other two airports and takes on average 45 min long from Athens.
Public transport: the local buses are the main form of transport in Crete, which is operated by the KTEL. Buses are comfortable and provide cheap services. For the bus station to Rethymno and Chania use the phone number 2810-221 765, to Hersonissos, Malia, Stalida, Agios Nikolaos, Siteia: 2810-245 017(9).
Port Authority of Chania: Tel.: +30 28210 98888 | Address: Akti Tompazi 21
Port Authority of Souda: Tel.: +30 28210 89240 | Address: Port of Souda
Working Hours: Banks are open from 8:00 AM- 14:30 PM from Monday until Friday
Public services are usually open from 7:30 until 13:00 PM in most cases.
Supermarkets in cities are open from 8:00 AM-20:00 PM from Monday until Friday, on saturday
they close at 18:00 PM.
Chania General Hospital St. George +30 28210 22000 & +30 28213 42000 Address: Mournies Chanion
Marine Hospital of Crete: +30 28210 82538 Address: Souda Chania
Distance between major cities:
Chania is 60km from Rethymnon taking approximately a 30-45 minute drive
Chania is 138km from Heraklion taking approximately a 2 hours drive
Rethymno is 78km to Heraklion, you will need roughly 90 min to drive to Heraklion
Heraklion is 65km from Agios Nikoalos, taking you 1 hour to drive there approximately.
Weather in Crete: the weather is sunny with temperatures rising quite drastically in July and August. The water temperatures maintain a 22-27 C in summer months or 15-18 C in winter months.
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