I have done the drive from Crete to UK and back 7 times in two and a half years and I find that this route is the most cost effective and shortest in terms of actual driving time on the road.
Where possible I will give driving time and approximate kilometres between points and ferry/fuel costs. I should point out that the route has road numbers but to save constantly looking at a road map it is better to make a list of the towns and cities you will head for and then all you need to do is look out for the signs to those places, I know it sounds a bit vague but it does work, trust me.
Leave Iraklio port at 9pm on a Minoan Lines Ferry. The Vehicle Cost €153.00 (SWB Transit Van). Passengers €69.50 each fora two bed Cabin (Dogs and Cat went Free. We arrive Pireaus 6am next morning.
Drive out of Pireaus port and turn left head towards Korinth, approximately 60kms. Stop at Korinth to see the famous canal then on towards Patras, approximately 150kms. Minoan Lines ferry to Venice leaves at 23.59hrs from Patras to Venice. (The Superfast only goes to Ancona as of writing.) Patras to Venice sailing time is 32 hours. Vehicle cost €70.00. Passengers €126.00 (for two nights in a SHARED cabin).
On arrival at Venice take the A4 heading for Padova -> Verona then get on the A22 to Trento -> Bolzano -> Innsbruck. Then head for Obstieg on the E60 (this is a good place to stop for the night as there are some nice hotels in that area).
Keep heading north towards Kempten -> Ulm then turn onto the A8 signposted Stuttgart, stay on the A8 past Stuttgart heading for Pforzheim -> Karlsruhe -> Landau just before Landau turn off for Pirmasens and head for Saarbrucken -> Saarlouis -> Luxembourg then Arlon (be careful here as the signposting is a bit iffy).
Stay on the A4 heading for Namur then turn off onto the E42 for Charleroi, Mons is the next City, followed by Lille (A7 then A16) from Lille you will see the odd sign for Dunkerque (Dunkirk) and Calais.
All of the cities in this route are less than 150km apart, so you never get that "Oh No, how far!!!??" shock and have to grab for a map.
Diesel used on this last trip €160.00 from Venice to Calais.
Total Driving MILES was 914 from Venice Port to Calais Port.
Total Tolls going this route €16.00.
Author: Geoff, the first Brits in Crete webmaster.
Geoff took this Crete to UK overland route, the last time in October 2006.
Enjoy the trip!
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