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About Heraklion

Heraklion is the capital of the popular tourist island of Crete, Greece. It is the island’s largest and Greece’s fourth-largest city. The city gets its name from the nearby Roman port named Heracleum (Hercales’s city). The city, which was Latinized as Candia, bears the traces of Roman, Andalusian, Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman civilizations. Author, poet, and philosopher Nikos Kazancakis, who translated Greek literature into foreign languages, was born in Heraklion in 1883. He passed away in 1957 in Freiburg, Germany and was buried in Martinego Bastion, the Venetian walls surrounding Heraklion. The inscription on his tombstone reads, “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.” Located in the north of Crete, Heraklion generates significant revenue from not only tourism but also the production and export of grapes, wine, olives, and olive oil. Lions Square and the Morosini Fountain in Lions Square are popular entertainment centers and meeting points in the city. Despite its small size the square accommodates large crowds.

Heraklion is located 8 km from the ancient city of Knossos, an important site for those interested in the Bronze Age. This ancient Minoan city features the ruins of palaces and buildings. The artifacts unearthed in Knossos are on exhibit at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. The major attractions in the city include Koules, Grave of Nikos Kazantzakis, Basilica of Saint Mark, Church of Agios Titos, Heraklion Bazaar, Eleftherias Square (Freedom Square), and the Historical Museum of Crete. The city, which has a Mediterranean climate, offers air and sea transportation methods. For sea transport there are regularly scheduled ferryboats to the mainland and other Greek islands. The Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport is located 5 km from the city center. 

Transportation to Heraklion City Center from Airport

Although Heraklion is the largest residential area in Crete, especially the old city district is proper for walking. You can explore the whole city with a comfortable shoe, but you should always consider the weather. On the other hand, it is possible to explore the city by participating in the tours of many tourism agencies. Public transportation in the city is provided by buses. You can get to the whole city by buses, which will take you from the main bus stops A, B, and C.

Of course, there are many ferry and boat services in Heraklion, the biggest port city of Crete island. From there you can travel to many ports such as Santorini, Ios, Mykonos or Rhodes. Daily ferry service to Piraeus Port is also organized. It is possible to reach Athens from this port. You can rent a car in the city. Motorcycles and scooters, as well as cars, are quite common. It provides not only an ideal way of transportation to visit the city in warm weather but also an easy access to the other settlements of Crete Island such as Ayios Nikolaos and Chania. You can reach these cities by following the E75 highway. Traffic in the city can be really busy from time to time. Usually, there is an irregular traffic flow and road works are done. You can see the taxi almost everywhere in the city. However, it is not allowed to stop a taxi on the road, you need to use the taxi stops. You can see the taxi stops in front of the port, the bus station, and the airport. It is possible to use it not only for short trips but also as a private tour vehicle as well.

Taxis do not have a standard price policy, so if you can agree on the fare you can travel the whole city by having breaks at the important places of the city. All signs in Crete Island are written in English, using Latin alphabet as well as Greek alphabet, so you will not have trouble during transportation. The most used transportation vehicle from Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport to the city center is taxi. Buses are available for those who prefer to use public transportation. If you rent a car at the airport, you can easily reach the surrounding cities, not just the city center.

Bus

You can use the buses to the city center from bus stops at the airport terminal exit. The services are quite frequent, buses depart every 5 minutes. The services are rare only on Sundays. Buses start to pick up passengers early in the morning and continue its services until late in the evening.

Taxi

You can easily see the taxi stop when you leave the airport arrival terminal. Getting to the city center by taxi is easy and fast. If you wish, you can reserve a taxi for you by contacting the airport taxi station in advance.

Rent a car

Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport has 9 different vehicle rental companies that you can rent cars or motorbikes. You can make your vehicle rental operations online before your flight. You must remember that you must have international competence in order to be able to drive in Crete. The airport is located right on the E75 highway.

Last Updated: 16 Aug 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

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To which airport are the flights to Heraklion arranged?

Heraklion flights are organized to Heraklion Intl. | Nikos Kazantzakis Airport.

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