Bus(updated August 4, 2007)
The landscape of Crete does not lend itself to the construction of a railway line. That is why all the public transport on the island is provided by buses. In approximately 90% of the public intercity transportation the bus network is used. The bus services are carried out by the Association of bus service companies (KTEL) in the regions of the island.
Buses on Crete are owned by certain individuals or small companies, who posses one or more buses. They join KTEL, which allows them to offer bus services. Revenues from all lines within a given area are divided among the owners of the buses, according to the number of miles they drove on which routes. The same happens with the costs incurred by the drivers. The system with the various owners causes the fact that different rules count in the different buses. In all buses it is forbidden to smoke. In buses on short lines soft drinks may not be consumed, while they are often allowed on the longer journeys.
Buses drive between all major cities and almost all tourist resorts in Crete. The buses are very modern and comfortable. Almost all the buses are very recent top models of Mercedes Benz. On the busy routes they run very frequent busy and provide a fast connection between places.
Officially buses drive according to a kind of timetable. In fact, however, only the departures are scheduled. On the website of Crete Travel (cretetravel.com), you can check details on the departures. In the summer buses halt in beach resorts link Chersonissos and Malia. These buses drive to or come from the direction of Heraklion. The costs for a ride to Heraklion from Chersonissos are low; around € 3.50 per one way journey, depending on where you enter the bus.
The buses are identified by the matrix sign on the front. This displays the destination of the bus. You have to enter the bus through the rear entrance. During the ride a conductor will come along for the tickets. You can buy a ticket at the bus station, but you can also pay to the conductor.
The biggest cities on Crete have a bus station. On such a station, you can buy tickets, have a drink and there often is a kind of kiosk. When a bus leaves this is conveyed in Greek and in English. In this message a bus number is called. This number can be found at the front of the bus. Usually, the number is in a sticker with the Mercedes logo. So, you can check whether your bus is the right one.
Large cities like Rethymno and Chania are easily accessible by bus. When you are staying in Chersonissos, you can make a day trip to places like Rethymno and Agios Nikolaos without problems. Chania is a bit far away for a day trip. Smaller towns and villages are difficult to reach because the buses run less frequently, sometimes only once a day. The buses on some lines are combined school buses.
The personnel on the buses is set to tourists. Especially the staff on the buses understands the fact that tourists do not understand everything at once. Despite the fact that the conductors on the buses often barely speak English, they will try to help you whenever they can.