Getting there & away
Minoan Lines (21041 45700, 28102 29624; www.minoan.gr) operates ferries each way between Iraklio and Piraeus (seven hours). The ferries depart from both Piraeus and Iraklio at 10pm. Fares start at €29 for deck class and €54 for cabins. The Minoan Lines’ high-speed boats, the F/B Festos Palace and F/B Knossos Palace, are much more modern and comfortable than their ANEK rivals.
In summer, Minoan runs extra 6½-hour services (deck class €37) on weekends and some weekdays. This is the most convenient way to get to/from Iraklio.
GA Ferries (28102 22408; www.gaferries.gr) runs four ferries weekly from Iraklio to Thessaloniki (€46.50, 31 hours) via Santorini (€16, 4½ hours), Ios (€18.80, 6½ hours) and Paros (€24.30, 10 hours), stopping at several other islands en route. GA also has a weekly ferry from Iraklio (leaving Fri 5pm) to Rhodes (€26.40, cabin €39.20, 14½ hours,) via Kassos (€19.40, six hours,) and Karpathos (€17.40, eight hours).
Hellenic Seaways (www.hellenicseaways.gr) has a daily high-speed service to Santorini (€31, 1¾ hours), Ios (€36.70, 2½ hours), Paros €47.80, 3¼ hours), Naxos (€41.70, 4¼ hours) and Mykonos (€48.70, 4¾ hours).
LANE Lines (28103 46440; www.lane.gr) leaves Iraklio for Sitia, Kasos (€19.50, six hours), Karpathos (€19.50, eight hours), Diafani (€17.90, nine hours), Halki (€18.20, 11 hours) and Rhodes (€27, 14 hours).
Iraklio Port Authority (28102 44912) at the port has ferry schedule information.
Iraklio has two intercity bus stations. Bus Station A (28102 46534; www.ktel-heraklio-lassithi.gr), which serves eastern and western Crete (including Knossos), is on the waterfront near the quay, though there were plans to relocate it. Bus Station B, (28102 55965) just beyond Hania Gate, west of the city centre, serves Phaestos, Agia Galini and Matala.
Services reduce on weekends.
The airport bus stops in the centre of town at Plateia Eleftherias.
Aegean Airlines (www.aegeanair.com) City (2810 344 324; fax 2810 344 330; Leoforos Dimokratias 11); Airport office (2810 330 475)
Olympic Airlines (www.olympicairlines.com) City (2810 244 824; 25 Avgoustou 27; 8am-3pm Mon-Fri); Airport office (2810 337 203, 2810 397 129)
Olympic and Aegean each have at least five flights daily to Athens (from €75) from Iraklio’s Nikos Kazantzakis airport, as well as daily flights to Thessaloniki (from €106). Olympic also flies to Rhodes (from €89). Both airlines have regular special fare deals, although rarely in the summer peak season. Aegean’s earlybird internet bookings are excellent value but dates cannot be changed. If you are flying last-minute, Olympic is normally cheaper.
The newcomer Sky Express (2810 223 500; www.skyexpress.gr) has daily flights from Iraklio to Rhodes and Santorini and up to three flights a week to Mytilini, Kos, Samos, Ikaria (from €79), though baggage is restricted to 12.5kg (they are small jets).
Iraklio has lots of charter flights from all over Europe, with flights to London available from €80 to €150. Skoutelis Travel is a good place to ask. GB Airways (www.gbairways.com) also has weekly scheduled flights from Gatwick to Iraklio.