Santorini to Crete

Old Feb 19th, 2001, 01:36 AM
  #1  
Kate
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Santorini to Crete

We need to leave Santorini on Good Friday 13 April to meet relatives at Heraklion at 4pm. Unable to find any flights or ferries as schedules aren't out yet. Supposedly they come out mid March after we leave Australia. Could anyone advise the likelihood of transportation on that day or should we fly back to Athens and over to Heraklion? Also after Crete we wish to travel from Athens to Istanbul by train (with sleeper). Any recommendations?
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 05:41 AM
  #2  
Paulo
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According to the Olympic Airways page (http://www.olympic-airways.gr/), unless they insert a direct flight from Santorini to Heraklion during Easter week, you'd have to fly to Athens (leaving at 7:25am, arriving 8:15am) and then take one of several flights to Heraklion. I take it that if you take this option you may book now.

Right now, there's a Minoan Lines Ferry that leaves Santorini on THURSDAY at 3:45pm, arriving in Heraklion at 7:30pm. This schedule is good only up to April 4th.

Maybe your best chance is to leave the matter to a tourist agency in Athens. Dolphin-Hellas (with Kiki) appears to be a reputable one (I contacted them in the past - and Kiki was very responsive - but a friend that travelled with me ended up dealing with an agency run by a Brazilian).

Athens to Istanbul by train ... wow! Can't you reorganize your itinerary? You'll be in Heraklion. To me it would look more "natural" to find your way to Rhodes. From there to Marmaris you're sure not to have problems (short trip, plenty of daily hydrofoils). Once in Marmaris you may take a bus to Kusadasi/Selšuk and visit Ephesus. A shot dolmus ride would take you to Izmir and from there youmay catch a flight. There are also direct flights from Marmaris.

Paulo
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 05:59 AM
  #3  
cmt
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The following info is NOT current, but I offer it in case it may be somewhat useful.
Two years ago I flew from Santorini to Heraklion, and then a week and a half later, from Chania to Athens. That was in early Oct. At the time there were several flights a day on these routes. However, the Santorini to Heraklion flight was often subject to delays and sometimes cancelled because of extremely strong dangerous winds, which apparently were very common. I don't know whether that was a seasonal problem. The flight from Crete to Athens was also delayed by several hours. At the time I looked into ferries, and found that the ferry to Santorini would be extememly inconvenient and not worth the relatively small savings in terms of price. (I also had a hard time finding ferry schedules applicable to my time period.)
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 06:06 AM
  #4  
Patrick
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Paulo's suggestion is very good. A train from Athens to Istanbul would be a nightmare for me. Getting from Crete to Rhodes that time of year is not real easy either, except by taking a connecting flight from Crete through Athens. As an alternative if you are short time, you could take the connecting flight from Crete through Athens to the small island of Samos for a day or two and from there take a short ferry to Kusadasi (Ephesus) and then make your way to Istanbul, cutting out the south coast of Turkey (sadly). And of course if you are really short on time, you could just take connecting flights from Crete to Istanbul, through Athens. Olympic seems to be one airline that actually offers one way fares at bargain prices.
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 06:16 AM
  #5  
cmt
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Paulo's suggestions are always good.
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 07:26 AM
  #6  
Paulo
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Currently there's a flight between Heraklion and Rhodes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, leaving at 5:25pm, arriving 6:15pm. During/after easter if any, the service sdhould increase, Patrick

The Crete-Rhodes ferry connection is currently been held twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays out from Agios Nikolaus). There's a chance that during and after Easter week this frequency will increase.

If there isn't convenient transportation at the time you need it, Kate, and you're forced back to Athens, I fully agree with Patrick, and Samos should be considered. Should you ellect doing this on a ferry, there's currently a daily overnight service (leaving the Piraeus at 5pm and arriving between 4:40am and 6:30am, depending on day of week). There are also 3 daily flights between Athens and Samos (currently).

Paulo
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 10:39 AM
  #7  
Patrick
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I stand corrected on the issue of flying Crete to Rhodes. Thanks, Paulo. This past summer when we were there in June this was impossible without going through Athens. Service nonstop was going to start July 1, I believe for the summer only, but maybe they continued it.
By the way, we took a hydrofoil from Heraklion to Santorini. We had planned to take a regular ferry, but the hotel told us it was not operating. We went to three major travel agencies in Heraklion and they all also told us there was only the hydrofoil on that particular day. As we arrived at the port in the morning, we saw the big ferry taking off for Santorini. Getting a truthful answer about ferries is very difficult in Greece. I would find it hard to imagine however that there would not be some boat daily from Santorini to Crete any day around Easter or any other time.
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 01:12 PM
  #8  
Paulo
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Patrick is right about travel "uncertainties" in Greece. And it doesn't only concern the ferry situation. Outside the high season it may also concern flights. When interisland flight demand is low on a particular day, scheduled flights may be cancelled for whatever "technical reason" ... and they make you fly via Athens instead. The only right you'd have is to not pay any extra for flying the detour. On the other hand, a flight through Athens is normally more expensive than a direct flight when this is scheduled. In other words, as of today (this should change till Eastern) you'd pay less to fly between Heraklion and Rhodes on tghe specified days above than on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

I would also be very surprised if it turns out that there won't be any ferry service between Santorini and Heraklion during Easter week. The Greek ferry scene is a zoo but Greeks don't seem to be stupid at all

Paulo
 

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