Iraklio in detail

Flights & getting there

Air

About 5km east of Iraklio city centre, the Nikos Kazantzakis Heraklion International Airport has an ATM, a duty-free shop and a few cafe-bars. It receives numerous daily flights from throughout Greece and Europe as well as Tel Aviv with Bluebird Airways (www.bluebirdair.com).

Boat

The ferry port is 500m east of Koules Fortress and the old harbour. Iraklio is a major port for access to many of the Greek islands, though services are spotty outside high season. Tickets can be purchased online or through travel agencies, including central Paleologos. Daily ferries from Iraklio’s port include services to Piraeus and faster catamarans to Santorini and other Cycladic islands. Ferries sail east to Rhodes via Sitia, Kasos, Karpathos and Halki.

Popular services from Iraklio include the following. Price and duration vary by ferry company; frequency reflects the summer high season (June to September).

Halki €22, 12 hours, two weekly

Ios €69 to €71, 2½ hours, one to six weekly

Karpathos €19, eight hours, two weekly

Kasos €20, six hours, two weekly

Mykonos €55 to €84.30, 4½ hours, daily to five weekly

Naxos €77.80, 3½ hours, daily

Paros €64.70, 3¾ hours, daily

Piraeus €29 to €46, 8½ to nine hours, daily

Rhodes €29, 14½ hours, two weekly

Santorini (Thira) €42 to €68.80, 1¾ to two hours, daily to five weekly

Ferries to Thessaloniki are on again, off again seasonally – it's best to fly.

Bus

Iraklio's long-distance bus station opened to fanfare in 2018 on the site of a revamped soap and olive-oil factory east of the centre on Ikarou. This highly organised depot serves major destinations in eastern and western Crete, including Hania, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, Sitia and the Lassithi Plateau.

City bus 2 to Knossos (€1.70, every 10 to 30 minutes) leaves from its own stop on the site of the old long-distance bus station on the backside of the GDM Megaron Hotel 200m or so northwest of new long-distance station. Perhaps more conveniently, you can also catch it at Plateia Eleftherias.

Little more than a parking lot just beyond Hania Gate west of the centre, the now-decommissioned Bus Station B serves the traditional village of Anogia (€4.10, 1½ hours, 9am, noon and 2pm). There's a ticket office inside Restaurant Chanioporta across the street.

KTEL Heraklion Lassithi Bus Station

DestinationFare (€)Duration (hr)*Frequency
Agia Galini8.7025 daily
Agia Pelagia2.70¾hourly 8.30am-9.30pm
Agios Nikolaos7.70half-hourly 6.30am-8.45pm
Arhanes2½14 daily
Hania15.103half-hourly 5.30am-9.30pm
Hersonisos3.30¾20 daily
Ierapetra127 daily
Kastelli46 daily
**Knossos1.70½frequent
Malia4.101hr18 daily
Matala8.5027.30am & 12.45pm
Mires611 daily
Phaestos7.10every 2hr
Rethymno8.30hourly 5.30am-9.30pm
Sitia1634 daily

*Frequency reflects the summer high season (June to September).

** Leaves from stop adjacent to KTEL Heraklion Lassithi Bus Station.

Long-Distance Taxi

For destinations around Crete, you can order a cab from Crete Taxi Services or Crete Cab. There are also long-distance cabs waiting at the airport, at Plateia Eleftherias (outside the Capsis Astoria hotel) and at KTEL Heraklion Lassithi Bus Station. Sample fares for up to four people include Agios Nikolaos (€84), Hersonisos (€40), Malia (€50), Matala (€86) and Rethymno (€101).