Begin your adventure after cruising with the Heraklion ferries starting from the port of Piraeus to the immense capital of the biggest island in Greece, Crete!
Heraklion, Crete, is the largest city on the Greek island and tends to get very busy especially during the summer season. It is a very prosperous land so its economy is based mostly on agriculture, commerce but also tourism due to the fact that the entire island holds a very rich historical background. The well-known palaces of Knossos and Festos are surely very impressive even for those who are not that interested in history and archeology. Heraklion city’s Historical Museum is worldwide famous and exhibits findings from all over Crete and a visit would repay you. The imposing fortress near the port is a sight that cannot be missed since it is the first time you will see after landing.
Except for the many interesting places and sceneries, Heraklion, Greece, is very lively with many eating places, bars, shops beaches, hotels and it’s assured that you will have many options during your stay. It is recommended to try all the local products and Cretans’ alcohol drink, raki, at any of the city’s restaurants. Furthermore, keep in mind that you will have to do a little research in order to find Heraklion’s hidden beauty. The Cretan culture along with the charm of the place will definitely make your summer vacation very memorable. Just make sure that you book your Heraklion tickets with the ferry as early as possible because it is a destination with high demand.
The busy Heraklion port is located on the northern side of the city, hosting many ships and passengers daily. Athens to Heraklion is the most common route and more specifically from Piraeus, starting both in the morning and at night. It is worth mentioning that passengers who are using the camping on board option and travel from Italy to Greece, cannot continue staying in their vehicle during the Piraeus to Heraklion crossing and have to book a standard fare for passengers and vehicle instead. The average voyage time is 9 hours and there are only big conventional ships operating with many accommodation facilities and amenities onboard.
By the time you get off the ship, you have 2 transportation options to your accommodation or in any area of the city and these are:
There are several public bus transfer services with daily connections that connect every city and most towns and villages in Crete.
- The Urban Blue Buses serve the entire city of Heraklion and the Urban Lines connect the city of Heraklion with its ferry port, its airport, the archeological site Knossos and the surrounding suburbs. For more detailed information on schedules and timetables, please visit the Heraklion Urban Bus or call +30 281 022 0795, +30 281 022 6065.
- The Green Intercity Buses (KTEL) connect the cities and villages in Crete. For more detailed information on schedules and timetables, please visit the Heraklion Intercity Bus or call +30 281 024 5019, +30 281 024 5020, +30 281 025 5965.
In order to schedule a taxi transfer, please visit the Heraklion Taxi or call +30 697 002 1970, +30 694 502 7933.
Heraklion Airport to Heraklion Port
Heraklion’s harbor abstains only 3 km from the Heraklion Airport N. Kazantzakis so it is easily accessible and in very little time. Tourists who reach the arrivals terminals at the airport, will not find it hard to see the many taxis parked and waiting to transfer them. The fares do not go up to 20 Euros and the total time for the city center is approx. 10 minutes. There is also the opportunity to take the bus but keep in mind that the bus stop is not outside the arrivals terminal but on the main road outside the airport. Buses are the cheapest choice since the ticket price is 2 Euros and the journey time is about 20 minutes.
Note: Bus services stop after 21.15 so taxis are the only means of transportation after that hour.
There is no doubt that your holidays in Heraklion will be unique. You are stepping on a historical ground dating back to the early ages which now has become very modern and receives thousands of tourists from all around the world every year. According to researches, the island’s capital is the 2nd most visited place in Greece and is accepting more than 3 million travelers every year. While being there, you will find plenty of accommodation options, eating places, bars, boutiques and beaches.
There are many options to accommodate you during your stay, from Airbnb apartments and hostels to budget-friendly or luxurious hotels. It is advisable to book your room as soon as possible for their capacity for rooms is running out fast.
Below are some nice accommodation options:
- Galaxy Hotel
- Capsis Astoria
- Sofia Hotel
- Kastro Hotel
- Olive Green
The beautiful Sea of Crete possesses many dazzling beaches with turquoise waters. Organized or not, with services and beach bars or secluded for more relaxing moments away from the noise, you can find everything.
Choose your Heraklion beach from the following and have a nice time swimming or sunbathing under the hot summer sun:
There are plenty of activities to do and many sights to watch in Heraklion. The Venetian architecture is dominating the Old Town and the city in general. The ancient ruins of Knossos, the oldest city in Europe are close to the center and are a must-see. Furthermore, the Venetian Fortress close to the port, the Historical Museum, the Cretaquarium and the Palace of Festos are definitely worth the stop.
Day Trips from Heraklion
Especially during the high season months (April to late September), day trips from Heraklion to the Cyclades Islands and to the Dodecanese Islands are very popular. The ferries from Heraklion to Santorini and to Mykonos are the most frequent ones with 2 daily departures. The travel time to Santorini is 2 to 6 hours and to Mykonos 4 to 7 hours. Island hopping to Paros, Naxos, Milos, Karpathos, Kasos and Rhodes is famous as well.