Rethymno Transportation Guide: Buses, Taxi, Car Rental & Bikes

Published by Cretan Bay Transfer
Rethymno Transportation Guide: Buses, Taxi, Car Rental & Bikes

Rethymno is the third largest city on the island of Crete, Greece, following Heraklion and Chania. Situated on the north coast of the island, Rethymno is located between the cities of Heraklion and Chania, approximately 79 km from Heraklion (1 hour and 15-minute drive) and 60 km from Chania (1-hour drive).
As one of the four regional units of Crete, Greece, it is located in the north-central part of the island and has a population of about 79,000 people. Rethymno is home to many historical and archaeological sites, including the Venetian fortress of Rethymno, the Minoan palace of Phaistos, and the Samaria Gorge, establishing the city's deep-rooted history.

Rethymno has been influenced by many different cultures over the centuries, including Greek, Venetian, and Turkish. This rich cultural heritage is evident in the city's architecture, food, and culture. One of the best ways to experience the vibrant culture of Rethymno is to wander through the city's old town. The old town has narrow streets, charming shops, and quaint cafes. There are also several historical landmarks, such as the Venetian Loggia, the Rimondi Fountain, and the Neratzia Fortress.


Rethymno is known for its stunning beaches, historic sites, and vibrant nightlife, including the popular Preveli Beach and Plakias Beach. Rethymno also boasts significant historic sites and archaeological attractions such as the Fortezza, a Venetian fortress, and the ancient city of Eleutherna.

Exploring Rethymno becomes convenient and enjoyable with the assistance of a taxi service. Taxis provide a reliable and efficient means of transportation to navigate Rethymno. Choosing a Crete taxi service ensures the expertise of professional drivers who possess familiarity with the local area. They can provide valuable insights and suggestions as they take passengers to popular landmarks, historical sites, beautiful beaches, and other points of interest in Rethymno.

What are the public bus options in Rethymno?

Public buses in Rethymno offer a practical and affordable method of transportation. For navigating within the city, local buses provide reliable service, allowing easy access to various neighbourhoods and attractions. The bus company that operates in Rethymno is KTEL Rethymnou. The city of Rethymno and its surrounding area are served by several bus lines that operate from early morning till late night. A single journey ticket costs €1.50, with the option to purchase day tickets or weekly passes for frequent travel. Tickets can be conveniently bought from bus drivers or at the KTEL ticket office. Designated stops are scattered throughout the city for buses to pick up and drop off passengers. 

For easy navigation, bus route maps can be found at the KTEL ticket office or accessed online. There are several bus lines; for example, Line 1 connects the city center, the beach, and the airport. Line 2 links the city center with the Venetian harbour and the Old Town, while Line 3 serves the city center, the suburbs, and the archaeological museum. Lastly, Line 4 provides access to the city center, beaches, and the national park. For longer distances, the KTEL bus network connects Rethymno with other major cities on the island, making it an efficient choice for intercity travel. KTEL also offers several amenities to ensure a convenient and comfortable journey for passengers. The station provides a luggage storage facility and free Wi-Fi during peak season. Moreover, a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes are within a short walk from the station, making it a convenient starting point for any journey in Rethymno or beyond.

Listed below are the buses options available in Rethymno:

  • Local Buses
  • Long Distance Bus Network (KTEL)
  • Hop On - Hop off Buses
  • Shuttle Buses

Local Buses

Rethymno's primary local bus service provides efficient and economical transportation throughout the city and to nearby villages. These buses, recognizable by their blue colours, offer a wide network of routes, each designated by a number displayed on the bus screen for easy route identification. The local buses are operating from early morning until late at night. With fares ranging from €1.20 to €2.5 for a single journey, this service caters to diverse travel needs. The purchase of tickets is convenient, available at the bus station or directly from bus drivers. With comfortable seating, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi available in some buses, KTEL offers a comfortable journey for all, making it a practical choice for exploring Rethymno's rich culture and scenic landscapes.

Long Distance Bus Network

KTEL is the collective name for Greece's long-distance public bus services, serving both mainland Greece and its islands, including Crete and Rethymno. KTEL buses are recognized for their wide network, connecting various towns and cities across the country. Rethymno, in particular, serves as a key hub in the KTEL network on the island of Crete.

Popular KTEL bus routes from Rethymno include services to Heraklion and Chania. The journey to Heraklion lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes, with tickets priced at around €10. The trip to Chania is slightly shorter, taking around 1 hour and 20 minutes, and tickets cost roughly €12. The ticket prices can vary depending on the route and time of year, with higher prices typically seen during peak season from June to August.

Hop-on Hop-off buses

Hop-on, Hop-off buses in Rethymno offer a unique and flexible way to explore the city. These buses travel around popular tourist destinations, allowing passengers to disembark and board at their leisure. This service is ideal for tourists who wish to explore the city's sights at their own pace. With frequent departures throughout the day, these buses ensure easy accessibility to Rethymno's major attractions. 

Rethymno offers one Hop-on Hop-off bus tours: The Rethymno City Tour makes 12 stops, including the Venetian harbour, old town, Rimondi Fountain, Neoria Fortress, and Municipal Garden, taking approximately 90 minutes to complete the loop. Adult tickets cost €12 and children's tickets €6. They offer multilingual commentary and operate from early morning to late evening with regular departures. These services provide a convenient way to explore Rethymno and its surroundings, offer unlimited boarding and disembarking for flexible exploration, ensure comfort with air conditioning, and provide insight into the city's history.

Rethymno Town Crete

Shuttle Buses

Shuttle buses in Rethymno allow travel between the city and the nearest airports, which are Heraklion Airport and Chania Airport. While shuttle buses in Rethymno offer a convenient and economical transportation option, they may not always be the best choice. There are several reasons to consider other options. Firstly, shuttle buses usually follow a fixed schedule, which might not align well with flight timings or personal schedules. Secondly, they tend to stop at various locations to pick up or drop off passengers, which can result in longer travel times compared to private or direct transportation options. Lastly, during peak tourist seasons or times of high demand, shuttle buses can be crowded, impacting comfort. Therefore, it can be worthwhile to explore alternatives like taxis, car rentals, or private transfers when planning trips in and around Rethymno.

What private transfer options are there in Rethymno for visitors?

In Rethymno, there are 3 options available for private transfers, catering to different preferences and needs of travellers. Listed below are the private transfer options in Rethymno: 

  • Crete Taxis: Taxis are a popular mode of transportation in Rethymno. They can be easily found at designated taxi stands or booked online. Taxis provide convenient door-to-door service, allowing passengers to reach their desired destinations directly.
  • Crete Airport Transfers: For travellers arriving at or departing from the airport in Rethymno, airport transfer services offer a convenient option. These services typically operate with pre-booked vehicles and provide direct transportation between the airport and the city or other destinations. Companies like Cretan Bay Transfer offer private transfers, ensuring a personalised and comfortable experience for passengers. They have a fleet of vehicles, including sedans, minivans, and minibuses, catering to different group sizes and travel requirements.
  • Rethymno Car Rentals: Renting a car is another popular option for people transfers in Rethymno. Several car rental agencies operate in the city, offering a variety of vehicles to suit different needs and budgets. Renting a car allows travellers to have flexibility and independence in their transportation, exploring Rethymno and its surroundings at their own pace.

Is booking a Crete taxi in advance recommended to get to Rethymno?

Yes, booking a taxi in advance to get to Rethymno can certainly prove beneficial, especially during peak tourist season or for early morning or late-night transfers. It guarantees a set ride at a specific time, thus avoiding the potential hassle of hailing a taxi or dealing with unavailability.

Taxis can be pre-booked from various locations in Rethymno, such as hotels, restaurants, and taxi stands. Additionally, many Crete taxi services in the city such as Cretan Bay Transfer offer online or phone booking options. These services typically operate around the clock, ensuring transportation availability at all times.

As for the types of taxis, standard four-seater taxis are commonly found in Rethymno. For larger groups or those with more luggage, bigger taxis or minivans can be requested at the time of booking. 

What kind of taxis are available in Rethymno?

In Rethymno, sedans, minivans, mini buses are available to cater to different needs and group sizes. Sedans are a common sight and are the standard type of taxi. These typically seat up to four passengers, making them ideal for individuals, couples, or small families.

Minivans are another option for larger groups or families. With a greater seating capacity, they offer a comfortable solution for groups of up to seven or eight individuals. Minivans also provide extra space for luggage, thus serving as an excellent choice for travellers with a large amount of baggage.

Mini buses are available for larger groups travelling together. These vehicles can typically accommodate up to 15-20 passengers, making them an excellent choice for large travel groups, big families, or event attendees. In essence, Rethymno offers a broad range of taxi types to ensure every traveller can find a vehicle to suit their requirements.

How much do taxis cost in Rethymno?

The average cost of a taxi ride from Rethymno to popular locations like Heraklion Airport or Chania Airport is typically around €90. However, for destinations further ahead, such as Sitia Airport, passengers can expect to pay approximately €250 due to the greater distance.

Other destinations also have their specific estimated costs. For example, a journey to Agios Nikolaos Port usually comes with a fare of around €170. Keep in mind these fares are indicative and can fluctuate depending on factors like the specific route taken, time of travel, and current traffic conditions. Rethymno taxis are readily available and can be found at designated taxi stands, hailed on the street, or pre-booked through taxi companies.

Are there any ride-hailing apps available in Rethymno?

There are no major international and local ride-hailing services available in Rethymno, 

Ride-hailing apps are digital platforms that connect passengers with drivers. These apps, which include Uber, Lyft, FreeNow, and Bold, offer a modern, efficient alternative to traditional taxi services. Users can book a ride with just a few taps on their smartphone, and a driver will arrive at their location in minutes.

The history of ride-hailing apps in Greece is complex. Uber launched in Greece in 2015, but suspended operations in 2018 due to regulatory hurdles and protests from local taxi drivers. This withdrawal from the market has created a gap in ride-hailing services, with no major international ride-hailing apps currently operating in the country.

Is it recommended to book Heraklion airport transfers from Rethymno?

Yes, booking an airport transfer to Rethymno is highly recommended for travellers seeking a convenient and hassle-free transportation option. Airport transfers refer to pre-arranged transportation services that transport passengers between the airport and their desired destination, such as hotels or city centres. In the case of Rethymno, this includes transfers to and from airports like Heraklion Airport and Chania Chania.

There are several benefits to booking Heraklion airport transfers. Firstly, it eliminates the need to navigate public transportation or search for taxis upon arrival, saving valuable time and energy. With a pre-booked transfer, a professional driver will be waiting at the airport, ready to assist with luggage assistance and provide a comfortable journey to the desired destination. Secondly, airport transfers offer peace of mind, especially for those unfamiliar with the area or arriving at odd hours. Knowing that reliable transportation is arranged in advance can reduce stress and ensure a smooth transition from the airport to the accommodation. Lastly, airport transfers provide a reliable and direct connection between the airport and Rethymno, making the overall travel experience more efficient and enjoyable.

When considering Heraklion airport taxi, it is advisable to research and book reputable providers, such as Cretan Bay Transfers, well in advance. These services offer a range of vehicle options to suit different group sizes and travel preferences. By booking airport transfers, travellers can enjoy a seamless and comfortable journey, avoiding uncertainties and delays associated with alternative transportation options.

Is there a metro in Rethymno?

No, there is no metro system in Rethymno. The city does not have an underground or subway system. Rethymno is a relatively small city, and its transportation infrastructure primarily relies on buses, taxis, and private vehicles to cater to the transportation needs of residents and visitors.

While Rethymno may not have a metro, it offers other modes of transportation that efficiently connect different parts of the city. Local buses, for instance, provide a reliable means of public transportation with designated routes and stops throughout the city. Taxis are also readily available for those seeking a convenient and personalised transportation option.

Though Rethymno lacks a metro system, its compact size makes it easily navigable by foot. Many popular attractions and points of interest in the city are within walking distance, allowing visitors to explore the city center and its charming streets on foot. 

How easy is it to rent a car in Rethymno?

Yes, renting a car in Rethymno is relatively easy and straightforward. The city has numerous car rental agencies and offices where visitors can rent a vehicle for their desired duration. These agencies offer a wide range of car models to choose from, accommodating different budgets and preferences. Rethymno car rental provides flexibility and freedom to explore Rethymno and its surrounding areas at one's own pace.

There are several advantages to renting a car in Rethymno. Firstly, it allows travellers to have full control over their itinerary and the places they want to visit. With a rental car, one can easily venture off the beaten path, discover hidden gems, and explore the picturesque landscapes of Crete. Additionally, having a car provides convenience and saves time, as it eliminates the need to rely on public transportation schedules or wait for taxis. It also offers the flexibility to visit multiple destinations in a day, making it ideal for those who wish to explore beyond Rethymno.

However, it's important to note that driving in Rethymno, like any other destination, requires adherence to local traffic laws and regulations. It's advisable to familiarise oneself with the local driving rules, road conditions, and parking options. Additionally, it's recommended to book a rental car in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability and secure the best rates. 

How much is the cost of a car rental in Crete?

Car rental prices in Crete can indeed range from €18 to €79 per day, depending on various factors such as the car type, rental duration, and the rental company. Prices for economy or compact Crete car rental models like the Fiat Panda start from around €20 per day. The Volkswagen Polo is another popular choice, with rental prices typically starting from €24 per day. For those seeking a slightly larger car, options like the Volkswagen Golf and Kia Stonic are available, with prices starting from approximately €31 per day.

If an automatic car or a hybrid option is preferred, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid is a choice to consider, with rental prices starting from around €41 per day. For those in need of more space or planning outdoor adventures, SUV models like the Nissan Qashqai are available, with prices starting from around €56 per day. Additionally, if a van with a larger seating capacity is required, options like the Fiat Scudo 9 Seater can be found.

Should bike rentals be avoided?

Yes, although the decision to rent a bike depends on personal preferences, comfort level, and the specific circumstances of the destination. There are several reasons to consider avoiding bike rentals in Rethymno. One reason is the potential cost, as bike rentals can be expensive, especially for longer rental periods. Scooter rental prices in Rethymno can vary, but as a general guideline, daily rental rates start from around €20-30 for a basic 50cc scooter. Prices may increase depending on factors such as the scooter model, rental duration, and any additional services or accessories provided. Additionally, safety can be a concern, especially if you are not accustomed to riding a bike in a city setting and sharing the road with cars. Navigating traffic can pose risks and require extra caution.

Are there any Covid restrictions on transportation in Rethymno?

As of March 27, 2023, there are no COVID-19 restrictions on transportation in Greece and Rethymno respectively. This includes both domestic and international travel. Masks are no longer required on public transportation, and there are no temperature checks or other health screenings required. However, travellers are still encouraged to practise good hygiene and social distancing measures.

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ᐅ Heraklion Airport to Rethymno: Bus, Taxi, Airport Transfer, and Car Rental