London to Crete by train & ferry

Overland driving routes and ferries
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London to Crete by train & ferry

Postby Rick » Mon May 11, 2020 4:23 pm

There’s been a lot of threads about driving to Crete, but has anyone ever travelled by train and ferry? I personally wouldn’t want to drive (too tiring and stressful), but the idea of travel by train and ferry seems a very appealing option - for example, retirees with time on their hands and not constrained to a tight budget.

It seems a civilised alternative to flying in these worrying times.
The attached link is very informative.

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Re: London to Crete by train & ferry

Postby Kilkis » Mon May 11, 2020 5:19 pm

That looks quite interesting but the last time I did a long rail journey almost 50 years years ago, Sheffield to Lake Constance, I found it more tiring than driving. There again some of the first class prices are amazingly cheap if you can book well in advance. I guess today I could afford some hotel overnight stays and restaurant meals while back then the limit was a couple of cans of beer, a cheap railway cheese sandwich and no stops.


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Location: Kalyves

Re: London to Crete by train & ferry

Postby filippos » Mon May 11, 2020 8:08 pm

If I remember rightly (I last looked at seat 61 about 12 or more years ago) London to Athens can be done in a little less than 48 hrs. London to Paris (Gare du Nord), short trip across town to get the overnight sleeper to (I think) Bari for the ferry to Patra and, back then, it was a coach ride to Piraeus as the rail line was being modernised and I have no idea if that project was ever finished. The last mainland stretch can't be too bad as Patra to Piraeus is a decent road and by car I used to do the run in under 2 hours.

I had some questions about the route and accommodation on the sleeper train (I was still running my web site for travel UK/Crete) and I e-mailed 'the man in seat 61'. Not only did he answer all the queries but gave his opinions about dining facilities/quality of food/service, comfort of bunks etc., and was generally very informative.

I didn't do the journey personally and am unlikely to do so in future as I've no great desire to visit the UK again but I have been thinking about other trans-Europe train jaunts. No problems about taking liquids, including alcohol, on the train; no great queues for security; windows with views of more than clouds and the occasional mountain top (and no chance of running into one); decent meals with real cutlery, no excess baggage worries; with a bit of planning plan some stops for a couple of days at interesting places etc. What's not to like?

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