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Heraklion Airport, Crete

Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport

Liondaria Fountain - downtown Heraklion

Heraklion Airport is located in the central north of Crete, 4.5 km from Heraklion town.

This is a busy international airport receiving many flights from Athens and European cities every day.

In turn domestic flights depart for other points in Greece such as Santorini, Rhodes and Thessaloniki.

Use code HER

Local air companies using these routes include Olympic Airlines, Aegean Airways, Sky Express and Minoan Air.

Other services include Ryanair and easyJet.

Check out info for Chania Airport

Don't know which airport to choose? See our Crete airports page here

Check flights to Crete

Check flights with Aegean Airlines here

Check flights with Olympic Air here

See the location on the map below

Kounaros Square in Heraklion

Transfer Facts

The local bus service leaves every few minutes from outside the terminal to Eleftherias Square in the centre of town (return also).

Car rental desks are inside the airport terminal. The taxi stand is outside the arrivals hall and a taxi to the center of town should be around €14-16.

Distances and  taxi transfer times:

  • The trip into Heraklion centre is around ten minutes, and depending on the route, 4-5 km
  • From this airport to Agios Nikolaos in the east is 60 km
  • From Heraklion airport to Rethymnon town is 80 km
  • From this airport to Chania town in the west of Crete is 140 km

See more on our page about getting around in Crete.

Heraklion City Bus

Heraklion City Bus at night

The Heraklion city buses run from the airport to town regularly. Just buy a ticket from the kiosk before boarding the bus, which will be blue and similar to the bus in the photo on the left. Buses start early in the morning and stop late at night and run every 10-15 minutes. The journey takes about 20 minutes.

See timetables at:

Choose the Airport to Gazi route, which takes you through the centre of town.

KTEL Regional Buses

See more about regional buses here.

See timetables here:


All central hotels in Heraklion are nearby to Heraklion airport.

Our pick in the centre of town would be the Lato Boutique Hotel for its central location, comfort and view of the Heraklion old  harbour. This hotel is close to 25th August Street and the Liondaria Fountain. This hotel really is a stylish inner city hotel, with a restaurant on the rooftop over looking the old harbour with its fishing boats, restored arsenals and Venetian fortress. The hotel is close to the bus stations and the port, and it handy for those in transit. Ferries for Santorini leave from close by.

Heraklion Youth Hostel

The Heraklion Youth Hostel - a good budget hostel near to the Liondaria fountain and pedestrianised central streets of Heraklion, and the 1866 Markets.

Georgia Hotel - Ammoudara Heraklion
Georgia's Garden Hotel Ammoudara
Budget accommodation symbol

For beach accommodation in Heraklion at Ammoudara Beach, the small Georgia Hotel is one street back from the beach, stylish and modern with a lovely pool and restaurant. Just 4 km from the centre of Heraklion town, this spot is only 8 km from Knossos.

Walking distance to the beach, convenient to buses to the town and airport, with comfortable rooms at affordable prices, lovely breakfast, garden, kids playground and family-run.

Archontiko Villa Courtyard New

For a character-filled rural accommodation nearby, we would recommend the beautifully restored manor house in the village of Archanes 16 km inland and away from town. The Archontiko Villa is a peaceful restored home in a quiet village only 12 km from the Palace of Knossos. This is our suggestion for a relaxing way to start your holiday in Crete, without the hustle and bustle of the city. The village is charming, with many cafes and restaurants and good services.

Heraklion Town Video

Enjoy our video about Heraklion town.

One Day in Heraklion

If you do fly into Crete via Heraklion Airport, you may want to stay a while to enjoy the highlights of Heraklion town, which include:

  • Liondaria Fountain
  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum
  • Old Venetian Harbour and Koules Fortress
  • Agios Titos Church and Square
  • Pedestrian Shopping Streets
  • 1866 Local Market
  • Koraii Cafes and Bars
  • Memorial to Eleftherios Venizelos
  • Kournarou Square

Explore Heraklion Beaches

Matala Beach in Crete (image by Shadowgate)

Kokkinos Pirgos Beach on the south coast of Heraklion, a big wide beach and fish taverna, eat with your toes in the sand.

Matala on the south coast overlooking the Bay of Messara, is a very beautiful beach with unusual rock formations and plenty of history.

Matala history of the sixties includes a song by Joni Mitchell.

Matala Beach Festival is held in June each year.

Agiofarago Beach is remote, walk through the gorge to get here.

Agia Pelagia on the north coast, 23 km west of Heraklion town, is a beachside village with a delightful cove of turquoise waters.

Ammoudara Beach just west of Heraklion town, a wide sandy beach of 7 km, with the convenience of the city close by.

Tris Ekklisies Beach relax on the south coast.

Kato Gouves, on the north coast is east of Heraklion.

Anissaras Beach just 25 km east of Heraklion town.

Keratokambos Beach on the south coast, to the east of Pyrgos is a wild remote beach, where you can escape and find the wind in your hair.

Heraklion Airport Map

Below is a map of Crete with the airports and ports marked, showing the location of Heraklion airport:

Getting Here

Heraklion Airport- get here from many hubs in Europe into the Heraklion International Airport which is just 5 km out of town.Or fly from Athens in just one hour.

Or take a ferry from Pireaus Port of Athens, the crossing takes 9 hours and the ferries travel overnight.

Fast ferries come from Santorini in the evenings, the journey takes less than 2 hours - all details below.

Car hire in Crete is a really good idea as it is a large island 60 km by 260 km. There is so much to explore.

When you book with our car rental partners - Rental Centre Crete - you are supporting a local company with excellent service and easy online booking. We are sure you will be well looked after by the team. Choose from hybrid, electric or regular vehicles.

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Book My Car


We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the We Love Crete team. Evíva!

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