The University of Crete is based in the towns of Iraklio ( ) and Rethymno (), 80 km apart, on the island of Crete, in Greece. The division is roughly that the Humanities and Social Sciences are in Rethymno and the Sciences and Medicine in Iraklio. The Department of Mathematics is in Iraklio.
There are two campuses of the University of Crete in Iraklio. The old and the new, where all departments will eventually converge. So far the departments of Biology and Physics and the Medical School are in the new campus. Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Materials Science and Technology and Chemistry are still in the old campus, and Chemistry is packing (summer 2002).
The location of the new campus is in the southwest of the city center while the old campus is in the southeast, near (1 km) the famous archaeological site of Knossos.
You can either fly into Iraklio from Athens or come by boat from Piraeus (Athens). A boat ticket is usually at most half the price of the airfare (which is around EUR 80 one way) and the boat trip lasts for six to eight hours (it is usually overnight). The duration of the flight from Athens is roughly 35 minutes.
There are also direct flights from Thessaloniki (in the north of Greece) and Rodos (east of Crete). During the summer there are many charter flights from almost every European country.
The two ferry companies that travel to Iraklio are Minoan and ANEK. The two major airlines are Olympic and Aegean Airlines.
The harbor is walking distance (10 min) from the center of the town (online map) and the airport is located at the east end of the town (just east of Alikarnassos, a suburb). One can get to town from the Airport either by public bus, which will take you to the center of the town for less than EUR 1 and in about 20 minutes with no traffic, of by taxi. The taxi fare depends on where you go and how much luggage you carry, but should rarely be more than EUR 10 for a destination in Iraklio. The bus stop is located about 50 m away from the terminal gates.
Some of these places (Gouves, Kokkini, Hersonissos, to the east, Lygaria, Agia Pelagia to the west) are also served by bus, quite frequently. But, to come to the Department of Mathematics you would need to catch the city bus from downtown Iraklio, as well.
The city buses are usually colored blue (as opossed to the buses that serve destinations outside the city which colored green), although sometimes they are covered with so many commerial advertisements that it's hard to tell the color. You should buy your ticket (at the time of writing it costs EUR 0.60) before you board the bus, usually at a kiosk ( ) or other small shop. Tickets are also available at the student cafe in our building. Explain that you're going to the University and not Knossos, which is 1km farther out, as the price is different. Give your ticket to the driver as you are boarding. He may keep it or tear it and give it back to you.
If you made it at the first stop, walk on Knossos Ave for another 50 m in the direction of the bus, then cross the road (go to the left side) and go up a well hidden long stairway to the main University building (north entrance). If you got off at the second stop then just cross the road and go up another stairway to the main building's south entrance.
Most of the faculty offices are in wings E, Z, and H, at level 3, and in wing , level 1. Most applied mathematicians have their offices in wing .
If you're here for long you may also ask the Department for a library card that will enable you to check material out. A photo is needed.
If you're given an office and you want to dial out, dial 9 first. You may not be able to call abroad. Internal University numbers are 4 digits long, and Math Dept numbers usually start with 38. Local numbers (Iraklio and vicinity) start with 281 followed by 7 digits.
If you encounter six digit numbers for Iraklio they are probably old phone numbers as they used to be until 1/1/2002. After that date and until 3/11/2002 such numbers were to be prefixed with 0810. This prefix has now been changed to 2810. Similarly, if you encounter a seven digit number it's most likely a phone number in Athens and must be prefixed by 210.
Effective November 3, 2002 telephone numbers in Greece changed yet again. For stationary (that is, not mobile) phones the first digit changed from 0 to 2. For example, to dial my office from anywhere in Greece you were dialing 0810393834, but are now dialing 2810393834. From outside the country, you were dialing +30810393834 but must now dial +302810393834. Effective January 19, 2003 the first 0 of all mobile telephone numbers (now identiafiable as starting with 09..., but not 090 ...) will change from a 0 to a 6.
In the cafeteria, besides drinks, coffee, etc, one can get sandwiches of several kinds.
The student restaurant is open seven days per week (with very few exceptions throughout the year) for lunch from 1-4 pm and for dinner from 6-9 pm.
In both the cafeteria and the restaurant the prices are way below anything you may find off the University, and the quality is rather good.
The big drawback is that they may both be very crowded especially for lunch, and sometimes they are noticably less than clean.
When the student restaurant is crowded, you still have some options of restaurants within a few minutes walk from the building.
Across the street (Knossos Ave) from the south entrance of the main building there are two decent restaurants. If you walk north on Knossos Ave for 200 meters you will meet at least one place that makes souvlaki. The basic form of this is pork meat on a skewer, usually accompanied with fried potatos. It can also be wrapped in a pita bread.
For restaurants in the area of Iraklio in general, not restricted close to our campus, check here, which written by a colleague from Physics.
Most of them are located in the center of the city with the exception of "Studio" which is near the airport (accesible by bus). You can see the movies shown at any given time here. The information is in Greek, but, since most movies are in English, one can probably make some sense out of it.
The ticket costs between EUR 6 and 7.
There are many small companies that rent cars on the island. You can also find the big name companies, especially at the airport, but they tend to be more expensive. If you want a bargain, go to 25th August Ave, near Liontaria Sq, where many rental companies are to be found. Expect to pay around EUR 30 per day, for a small car (e.g. Opel Corsa) in high season, including all insurance. There is one catch regarding the insurance: it does not cover damages to the "lower part" of the car (wheels, etc). This is meant to discourage tourists from driving their rental cars over very rough roads, of which there are plenty in Crete.
Crete's weather is typical of an eastern Mediterranean island. Its thin shape and the high mountains also contribute to a large extend to its climate which is mild and healthy as each corner of the island is reached by the sea breeze and with high altitudes preventing the air from becoming damp. It is also very stable and does not suffer dramatic change. The high mountains contribute to an aggregation of clouds resulting in some rain during the winder. There is also some snowfall to be seen on the mountains but the long hours of sunshine generally assure a mild winter climate. In the summer also the weather is mild but can became hot and sometimes during the summer winds can be felt blowing in from the sea on the north or the south coast. (Plagiarized from http://www.plakias.com/.)