Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Travel by bus... with your SMALL dog

Bus travel with your dog in Crete is not really an option unless : A) you have a dog to aid a disability B) you have a small dog in a suitable carrier

The bus company in Crete is divided into 2 sections, the first dealing with West Crete (Chania, Rethymnon), and the Central-East Crete section (Heraklion, Lasithi). Both sections are known as KTEL, but they have different websites.
Chania-Rethymnon: http://bus-service-crete-ktel.com
Heraklion-Lasithi: http://www.ktelherlas.gr/?lang=en

The West Crete KTEL does not mention transport of animals on their website, so I contacted them for information. I received the following response:

According to the decision B / 41804/4443 of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, we like to inform you that on the following routes you will be able to transport until 2 small animals – accompanied by the owner - within the passenger compartment:
Chania - Rethymno - Heraklion 6:30, 11:30, 14:30, 17:30, 21:00
Heraklion - Rethymnon - Chania 5:30, 9:30, 11:30, 14:30, 17:30
Chania - Paleochora 8:30Paleochora - Chania 12:00Chania - Kissamos 8:30, 16:30Kissamos - Chania 7:30, 16:30Chania - Sfakia 8:30Sfakia - Chania 11:00

According to the law, animal passport and legal cage is mandatory.
This still leaves open the definition of 'small animals', but I am guessing that my dog, for example, at 30 kilos would not be classed as 'small'. Note that transportation of animals is not allowed on every service, so check the timetable if you are planning to travel by bus with your (small) dog.

The Heraklion-Lasithi website mentions transport of animals under the 'General Information' section:
You can't have your animals, except for the handicaps’ escort animals or small pets, which are transferred by the appropriate means of transport in accordance with the driver’s judgement, who is appropriately trained for this purpose. Trust the driver!

This seems to be the same rule, that transportation of small animals is permitted, if they are in an appropriate carrier. For these regions, there does not seem to be restrictions on the routes you are permitted to travel with a small animal.

In summary, you can not put a large dog on the bus in Crete unless it is a guide dog. You can travel with up to 2 small animals, in carriers, but keep your pet's passport handy and check the timetables of the West Crete buses.

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