bus services and timetables

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bus services and timetables

Postby katharine » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:27 pm

I’ve used the following site to get information about bus timetables in Crete, http://www.bus-service-crete-ktel.com/ . While staying in Kalyves I want to visit Hania and, although we will have a car, I don’t see any point in making life any more stressful than necessary and think it would be fun to go on the bus, but does the actual movement of buses bear any relation to published timetables in Crete or could we get stranded somewhere? I suppose if we got stuck in Hania, a taxi would always be a possibility, but if we got more adventurous, how reliable are buses in the less densely populated regions?


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Postby filippos » Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:21 am

We've used the bus from Kalyves to Xania regularly this summer and it's been reliable and pretty punctual (usually about 10 minutes late leaving Kalyves but departing Xania on time). They are comfortable, air conditioned coaches rather than the rattle-trap town buses. We haven't tried buses to other places but I believe they are similarly reliable with the possibility of slightly more erratic timekeeping on return journeys - sometimes late, sometimes early.

Last winter we had guests who stayed for two months, didn't rent a car and used the bus on an almost daily basis. They said they had great fun, saw a lot they wouldn't have seen from a car and were impressed by the 'personalisation' given to the service by many drivers, e.g. departing from the official route to drop off an elderly lady at her house, stopping to pick up and set down passengers between stops and so on.

If you're staying at Akti Galini apartments the main stop in Kalyves is at the "laundry" junction - the one where the Vamos & Almirida road joins the Kalyves/Armenoi road (it actually stops outside Valeria Travel). Buy two tickets each at the mini-market at the junction so you don't need to queue in Xania to buy the return and you can buy several days' worth if you wish.

Be aware that there are no numbered routes. This is OK going to Xania as there's only one bus to chose from but in Xania there's a bus station full of them. You need to listen for the announcement (in Greek and English) for the number of the bus you need, which probably won't be the same as the one you arrived on. The announcement is about five minutes ahead of departure which gives you ample time to walk along the rows of buses to find the one you want.

Have fun.


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Postby Kilkis » Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:48 am

The only problem I have heard of with buses in Greece generally is the fact that they often leave early. This seems to be mainly a problem on long distance routes, especially if your stop is a roadside stop half way through the route. If the bus makes good time and gets there early it will leave as soon as everybody is on-board. Friends who used to travel long distance routes on the mainland reckoned on getting to the stop an hour early to be on the safe side. I doubt if it will be a problem for the sort of distances that you are likely to travel on Crete but I wouldn't recommend getting there at the last minute.


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Postby SatCure » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:42 am

I know of one occasion when the bus heading for Xania was empty and the driver stopped to chat to the ticket office guy. He pointed out that there was a huge group of people waiting on the other side of the road so the bus driver did a U turn and took them all back the way he'd come!

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