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Road traffic

(updated July 14, 2007)

Introduction

At first glance, the traffic movement on Crete is a chaos. But, in practice, it isn't. Simply do like everyone does and it all works out pretty well.

Crete's biggest highway (New National Road) stretches from Agios Nikolaos, in the east, to Kissamos, in the west. The road runs along the major cities, Heraklion, Rethymno and Chania. Also, the road runs along places like Chersonissos and the airport at Heraklion. If you want to get around by car on the island you will, sooner or later, need to use this road. The quality of this road is generally good. A lot of effort is made to improve the road.

There is also the Old National Road. This was created after the Second World War with the help of money from the Marshall Plan. The quality of this road is much less than that of the new highway. However, the views and the setting where this road runs through are very nicely. Especially the part east of Chersonissos is beautiful.

In the area around Heraklion several highways are constructed currently to make parts of Crete easily accessible.

Across the island are smaller roads. The quality of these roads varies enormously. Most roads are so narrow that you need to slow down for upcoming traffic. Most roads run through small villages. In these villages the roads are often narrow. There is a great lack of sign posts and there are many blind curves. Some outlying roads are not paved and only accessible by jeep. It is not recommended to drive through the interior when it's dark and you don't know the situation. Given the condition of the roads that's asking for trouble.

Maximum speed

Highways:90 km/h
Outside built-up areas:70 km/h
Inside built-up areas:50 km/h

Here are the speed limits on Crete. All limits are valid unless otherwise indicated. You will not easily reach the speed limits on the island. On the highway you can travel an average of 80 km per hour. Sometimes you come against speed limits in places where these seem superfluous. These spots are often used by the local police to deal out speeding tickets. Stay alert!

Fines

Parking Error:€ 30, -
Crossing speeds up to 20%:€ 60, -
Crossing speeds up to 40%:€ 150, -
Motorcycling without a helmet:€ 150, -
Driving under the influence of alcohol
(between 0.5 and 0.8 ):
€ 150, -
Driving without seatbelts:€ 150, -
Driving against the direction of travel:€ 150, -
Shed waste from car:€ 300, -
Crossing red light:€ 300, -
Overtaking on the right:€ 300, -

On Crete traffic fines can be classified in several categories. There are low fines for offences where no one is at risk. Higher fines are handed out when the administration of the car is not exhaustive and the highest penalties are handed out for offences which, possibly, put a third party at risk.

When you've made a very serious offence or caused a serious accident, according to Greek law you've committed a crime committed and you will be arrested. You risk a sentence of 1 to 2 years in jail.

Tips

Distances

Below you'll find a table showing the distances between various important places on Crete.

Agia Galini -
Agios Nikolaos 144 -
Anogia 118 104 -
Elafonisi 224 314 218 -
Chania 119 209 113 105 -
Hora Sfakion 45 215 119 70 70 -
Ierapetra 137 36 140 352 247 182 -
Heraklion 75 69 35 247 142 148 105 -
Kissamos 137 263 167 51 54 124 301 196 -
Kolymbari 144 234 138 65 25 95 261 167 14 -
Malia 112 32 72 284 179 185 68 37 233 204 -
Matala 29 138 104 253 148 123 131 69 265 173 106 -
Omalos 163 253 157 149 44 114 291 186 98 69 223 255 -
Paleohora 206 296 200 64 87 157 335 229 51 65 266 298 131 -
Plakias 50 198 94 200 95 44 187 123 149 120 161 79 139 183 -
Rethymno 62 152 56 162 57 63 190 85 111 62 122 91 101 144 39 -
Sitia 199 73 177 387 282 290 62 142 336 307 105 211 326 369 265 227 -
Spili 26 182 86 192 87 68 163 215 141 112 252 55 131 174 24 30 257 -
Tzermiado 130 49 90 302 197 202 85 55 252 222 44 124 241 284 178 139 122 270 -
Zakros 235 106 211 421 316 322 98 176 370 341 138 229 360 405 285 259 36 289 155 -



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