We were to leave for Crete at 5pm. This gave us a few hours to spend walking around Fira, the main town of Santorini until around 2:30 pm. We have arranged for a port transfer (€30) from our hotel at 3 pm. We were advised by Arlene to head to Athinios early because traffic leading down to the port can take more than an hour. We arrived at the port just a few minutes shy of 4 pm. Cholo and I had Greek coffee at one of the restaurants to kill time.
Our SEAJETS tickets cost us €137.60 from Santorini to Crete. This was our last boat ride for this trip. We left Santorini a little behind schedule. The port of Santorini was undergoing a major overhaul plus the docks can be quite full. I overheard some one said, “The boats leave and arrive, but rarely on time.”
Our airfare (including one domestic flight) and boat tickets for our trips to the islands has already been paid for prior to our arrival. This goes for our hotel and Air BnB bookings as well. We actually prefer doing this because it eases us from paying a huge amount of travel debt when we get home and we get to enjoy spending our pocket money for the stuff like food and a tiny bit of shopping. It all boils down to proper planning and spacing of payments.
We purchased our tickets to Athens 8 months before our scheduled departure. Our lodging 4 months before our scheduled arrival in Greece. I had to do this because things get booked quickly even when you travel here during the shoulder season. Our boat tickets and one domestic flight were purchased a month and a half before leaving. So this gives us time to “save up” and gradually pay off these big ticket items. It isn’t as shocking as paying one huge amount of money in one go.
Yes, it is a bit risky when doing this because what if visas don’t get approved or if something happens and things need to be cancelled – before booking, I double checked the class of our ticket to see its limitations and to be sure that we can reschedule if necessary, of course for a fee. Our hotel bookings were also cancelable – and we paid a small “add on” premium to our bookings made on booking.com for this. It is also not in our nature to change plans mid travel. It’s too risky, stressful and that can prove quite costly. So it pays to plan properly. Remember, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING!
Prior to flying, Cholo and I discussed where we would like to go whilst in Greece. Since this was our introductory trip to the country, we decided to do Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete – the most well known island destinations. While doing research – I found out that Greece has different island regions and our island choices, except for Crete, were part of the Cyclades. So that in itself made it easier for us – they were all reachable by boat without the need of heading back to Athens. Luckily, we were travelling to the Cyclades during the first two weeks of our trip. I read that most of the Greek island start closing by the 15th of October in preparation for winter. Thus, if you have been reading my blogs about this trip, you might have chanced upon me saying that bus trips have already been reduced in some islands. Santorini, as well as Crete, stays open all year round but only select villages stay open.
I can’t remember the exact time we boarded our boat for Heraklion, what I do remember that it was quite a fiasco. Some tourists were lining up, but they were not scheduled to ride the boat the boat that was boarding – I have seen this happen a lot at the ports here in the Greek Islands – it was mind boggling to me how some people can be so absent minded. But then again, there was really no proper boarding announcements, so it was quite a scramble.
The boat ride from Santorini to Create takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes. We found out on this trip that this was the last SEAJEATS boat that would connect the two islands for the season. We arrived in Heraklion at around 7 pm.