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Getting Around
Road Network

In northern Crete there is one highway, National Road E75, which links Kastelli in West Crete with Sitia in East Crete via Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and Ayios Nikolaos. The national road is a single carriageway, meaning that there is one lane in each direction. There are, however, some stretches with two lanes, between Malia and Heraklion in particular. New, wider roads are under construction all over the island.

Rent a Bike / Car

Motorcycles, Vespas and quad bikes are widely available for rent in Malia at the local rental firms. Reputable firms demand a motorcycle licence for any engine, also for a motorcycle up to 50cc. All agencies require you to leave either your passport or a valid credit card as security or a cash deposit up front.

Minimum age requirements vary and non-EU drivers officially need an international driving licence, but in practice your national licence is acceptable.

Rental prices vary. The initial rental price almost never includes tax, collision damage waiver fees or personal insurance. All these are essential.

Quad bikes are officially off-road vehicles. They are not harmless on the road, as they behave like motorcycles but take up the space of a small car in traffic. You won’t loose your balance on them, but they really do not always go where you want them to go.

There are several car rental firms in Malia. In theory the terms of rental are the same as with the bikes. Minimum age varies from 21 to 25 years old. Rates usually include third party insurance and unlimited mileage. Furthermore it is advisable to take out a CDW insurance. You cannot take the car on a ferry without written authorization of the rental firm.

Public Means

Bus services are operated by the KTEL cooperative. In general they are good, with the best services provided between major towns and tourist resorts. Here the buses are fast, frequent and comfortable. In Malia and Stalis they leave in both directions about every 20 minutes – to Heraklio in the west and Ayios Nikolaos in the east.

Tickets can be bought at bus stations and inside the bus when you get on at a bus stop (but not from the driver; just take a seat and a conductor will come up to you).

Taxis in the area of Malia are widely available and generally inexpensive. They are a safe and easy means of transport, with well looked after cars and considerate drivers. Taxis are metered so make sure the meter is set or fix a price on beforehand to avoid problems. Tipping is optional but common.

There are two basic tariffs, depending on the time of the day and journey.

  • Tariff 1 - Day rate (5am – 12pm) and within the taxi’s limit zone.
  • Tariff 2 - Night rate (12pm – 5am) and outside the taxi’s limit zone.
Distances Between Localities of Crete

The chart below can be used to plot distances between major towns and villages in Crete. Distances (in km) are indicators only. (Some of the places listed can be reached over more than one route, therefore distances may vary.)

AY. NIKOLAOS MALIA IRAKLIO RETHYM. HANIA MALIA 31 34 113 173 AY. NIKOLAOS 31 65 144 204 ARKADHI 166 135 101 22 82 ARHANES 85 54 20 99 159 ELOUNDA 10 41 75 154 214 GHORTYS 110 79 45 124 184 HANIA 204 173 139 60 HERSONISSOS 38 7 27 106 166 HORA SFAKION 212 185 151 72 70 IERAPETRA 37 68 102 181 241 IRAKLIO 65 34 79 139 KASTELLI (KISS) 258 227 193 114 54 KNOSSOS 70 39 5 84 144 LASSITHI PLAT. 66 35 58 137 197 MATALA 135 104 70 149 209 OMALOS 248 217 183 104 44 PALEOHORA 254 246 212 133 73 RETHYMNON 144 113 79 60 SITIA 73 104 138 217 277 VAI 98 130 164 242 302 ZAKROS 106 134 176 259 316