Comming by Bus
The normal way to arrive in Crete is by plane. See Comming by Plane for details how to fly to Crete.
After arriving at the airport it is quite easy to get to Kato Zakros. It takes three hours to go to Sitia with a stop in Agios Nikolaos and another hour to Kato Zakros. It costs you about 20,- € per person or less (price list busses)
If you never travelled by bus in Greek this is a must. Going The busses are very relyable, very comfortable, clean and air-conditioned. To go by bus is a very common way to travel in Greek. Please make sure that you arrive at the bus-station ten minutes before the time, because it may happen that the bus starts three or four minutes earlier for not being late. Don't ask why.
During the week there are two busses over the day from Sitia to Kato Zakros. One is at 11 a.m. and the other one is at 2 p.m. After arriving in Kato Zakros it drives back at 12 a.m. and 4.p.m. During the weekend there is only the bus at 11 a.m. from Sitia that stays in Kato Zakros at the beach over the day. It drives back 4 p.m. as usual. This time-table is stable over the saison, but stops end of october. Then the bus turns back in Zakros allready. Please check this time-table with the external link and give me a note if anything changes.
There are many busses between Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos and Sitia over the day. If you miss the last bus in Sitia at 2 o'clock in the afternoon (not available on Saturday and Sunday) you can stay over night in Sitia or you order a taxi for about 50,- € for the trip from Sitia to Kato Zakros (see coming by taxi).
Heraklion - Agios Nikolaos - Kalo Chorio - Istron - Pachia Ammos - Sitia: 07.00, 08.30, 10.30, 12.30, 14.30, 16.30, 19.00
(takes 1:30 h from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos and 1:45 h from Agios Nikolaos to Sitia)
Sitia - Toplou (Monastery) - Vai - Paleokastro - Zakros - Kato Zakros: Monday - Friday: 06.00 (not down to Kato Zakros), 11.00, 14.00; Saturday & Sunday: 11.45 (no stop at Vai)
You need to get the bus at 8:30 in Heraklion or 12:00 in Agios Nikolaos to reach the bus at 14:00 in Sitia to Zakros.
Kato Zakros - Zakros - Paleokastro - Vai - Toplou (Monastery) - Sitia: Monday - Friday: 07.00 (not from Kato Zakros), 12.45, 16.15; Saturday & Sunday: 16.15(no stop at Vai) (2006 16:15 was 16:00 and 12:45 was 12:00, so take care)
Sitia - Pachia Ammos - Istron - Kalo Chorio - Agios Nikolaos - Heraklion: 05.30, 08.45, 11.15, 12.15, 14.30, 17.15, 18.45, 20.00, 22.00; Saturday & Sunday: 07.00, 11.15, 12.15, 14.30, 17.15*, 18.45, 20.00, 22.00
(takes 1:45 h from Sitia to Agios Nikolaos and 1:30 h from Agios Nikolaos to Heraklion)
If you start at 12:45 in Kato Zakros you get the bus at 14:30 in Sitia and you will arrive at 16:15 in Agios Nikolaos and at 17:45 in Heraklion.
If you start at 16:00 in Kato Zakros you get the bus at 17:15 in Sitia and you will arrive at 19:00 in Agios Nikolaos and at 20:30 in Heraklion.
When arriving at the airport you need to find the bus-station. There is an interesting trick with taxies as well.
When you come out of the arrivial-door there is on the right hand the taxi-stand. Don't go there, but go more to the left side. There is the big entry for cars to the air-port. The road to the right goes to Heraklion-Harbour a little bit along the airport. There is a bus-stop for the bus to Heraklion, but this is not where you want to go. Go again more ahead and a little bit away from the airport along the parking cars beside the big car-park 2 m higher than the street. It is the road to the high-way. After 20 m there is a blue bus-stop sign at the right side. Wait there even if you are alone between the parking cars. The bus will stop if it comes around and if you give the driver a sign. Check if the bus is going to Agios Nikolaos or even to Sitia.
Another way to get the bus is to drive by taxi to the bus station in Heraklion (say to the East, Sitia) and then later come along the same sign for the bus-stop. Maybe it stops anyway. This makes no sense, does it?
While you are waiting there at the bus-stop at the air-port, maybe some taxies stop. Try to get a good price. They came with some guests to the airport and have to drive back alone. So they offer you a price, not much more than the price for the bus. This works specially in the morning, when no bus goes so early to the airport and people have to come by taxi.
In Heraklion there are two bus stations. Take that one for the Eastern part of Crete. In Sitia there is only one, in Zakros the bus stops in the small center of the village, in Kato Zakros directly at the beach.
General rule with buses: ALWAYS check before making your arrangements to travel by bus -schedules in Crete can (and many times do) change unexpectedly. Double check until the last minute on public holidays (1 Jan, 25 Mar, 1 May, 15 Aug, 28 Oct, 25 Dec + Easter Sunday). In the summer, buy tickets the day before you will travel, be very early at the bus station/stop for best chance of a (good) seat. Buy tickets at kiosks for local buses and at bus stations or local agent (often a Kafeneio) for longer trips.