Heraklion airport: 3 ways to reach your resort
Heraklion International Airport “Nikos Kazantzakis” is the main airport of Crete. There are 3 ways to reach your resort in Crete from the airport: by bus, cab or car. From this article you will learn details about each of the options, their prices as well as useful nuances.
Once the cradle of an ancient civilization, today Crete is one of the favorite vacation destinations of travelers from all countries of the European continent. There are three airports in total, but it is Heraklion that receives the most passengers. In Greece, the traffic is second only to Athens airport.
Despite its modest size Heraklion airport is one of the most popular in Greece
For many years, the Greek authorities have been planning to renovate the main airport of Crete, but the project implementation has been delayed for many years. Therefore, telling about how to get from the airport of Heraklion to your hotel, we will proceed from the realities of today.
The bus to Heraklion
As everywhere else in Crete, public transportation is the cheapest way to get to your destination. Buses from Heraklion Airport to the city run every 10-15 minutes from 6am to midnight. The stop is near the exit of the arrivals area.
If you see a blue bus with the inscription “IRAKLIO” or “ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟ”, feel free to get on – it’s yours. The fare is 1.5 euros (2022). Pay to the driver before boarding and only in cash.
The trip to the bus station, which is the final stop, will take about 20 minutes. And since few people stay in Heraklion for the whole trip, this circumstance is very convenient – you can go immediately to the final point.
B Bus Station near the ancient Venetian wall in Heraklion
The main carrier of Crete is the Greek company KTEL. And while the blue buses are city buses, the green ones go on intercity routes.
In general, there are two bus stations in Heraklion. The one you will arrive at (Station A), serves most popular destinations in the northwestern and eastern parts of the island. These include Chania, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, Sitia, Ierapetra, Hersonissos and Malia.
For those, whose hotel is located in the south coast, you should go to station B, west of the old town (Machis Kritis 7). From here you can go to Matala, Agia Galini, Timbaki and other towns.
Information about schedules and ticket prices is on the KTEL website.
Cab from Airport
The second way to get from Heraklion Airport to the hotel is by cab. It is faster and more comfortable, but also more expensive. You can find a car near the terminal, as well as book in advance online at the time of arrival of your flight. There is a good reason for that.
You can take a cab from the airport at any time
The drivers of ordinary city cabs often add a few euros on top of the posted price. Of course, the authorities are struggling with this in every way, but such precedents are still not rare.
For this reason, many independent travelers prefer to order a cab online before you fly. It allows you to avoid questions about inflated fares on the spot and know the full cost of the trip in advance.
When ordering via the Internet, the price of the cab is calculated automatically – even before confirming the request, so there is no human factor. You don’t have to pay anything extra on the spot. And even if the plane lands at Heraklion Airport with a delay, you will still be waited without paying extra.
Cab fare from Heraklion airport to the city
When ordering online, the driver meets passengers with a nameplate at the exit of the baggage claim area. He will help with the things and knows in advance where to go, so there is also no language barrier. If traveling with a child, you can pre-order a child seat in the meeting car, and at the airport you will be waiting for an equipped car.
Moreover, the prices of online transfers are usually cheaper than standard city cabs.
You can calculate the cost of a cab from Heraklion airport and learn more about the service on this page.
Cab fares to Crete resorts
To help you navigate, listed below are approximate cab fares from the airport to the most popular resorts in Crete.
- Heraklion Airport – City ~ 18 Euros. The distance – 4 km, the travel time – 5-10 minutes.
- Airport of Heraklion – Chania ~ 150 euros. Distance – 145 km, travel time – 2 hours.
- Heraklion airport – Rethymnon ~ 85 euros. Distance – 80 km, travel time – 1 hour 10 minutes.
- Agios Nikolaos ~ 76 euros. Distance – 60 km, travel time – 50 minutes.
- Bali ~ 60 euros. Distance – 53 km, travel time – 50 minutes.
- Elounda ~ 87 Euros. Distance – 70 km, travel time – 1 hour.
- Hersonissos ~ 35 euros. Distance – 22 km, travel time – 20 minutes.
- Sitia ~ 155 euros. Distance – 130 km, travel time – 2 hours.
- Ierapetra ~ 108 euros. Distance – 95 km, the travel time – 1,5 hours.
Check the actual cost of a cab for your trip dates and call the car at the time of arrival of the flight on this page.
Rent a car at Heraklion airport
Finally, the third way to get from Heraklion Airport to your resort is to rent a car. This method is ideal for Crete, because you can easily reach not only your hotel, but also the most interesting parts of the island.
However, the idea of renting a car at the airport itself can be a failure, especially in the summer season. As a rule, everything is booked for weeks in advance and only the most expensive models are free.
Therefore, it is better not to delay the search for a car and monitor available cars in advance in one of the services comparing prices of car rentals. The earlier you book, the more attractive the price will be.
The system collects data from all available car rental companies around the airport and displays them on one page. So in a quiet atmosphere you can choose the most suitable variant for you, and at the same time to study in detail the contract and tricky items under the asterisk.
To pick up and book a car at Heraklion Airport, follow this link.
If this article was useful to you, be sure to save it to your social network and share it with friends. You will need it many times during your trip.
How to get to and from Heraklion Airport
Here is my personal experience of how to get from Heraklion airport by bus and back, and how much a cab costs.
The airport of Heraklion Nikos Kazatzakis is just a few kilometers from the city center. You can get to Heraklion and other Cretan resorts only by bus and cab.
Bus from Heraklion city center to Heraklion airport
To find out which bus to take from the center of Heraklion to the airport, where to get on it, and where to buy tickets, we had to run around the city. In the end, this is what we learned.
There are buses #5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 31 to the airport – it says so on the ticket machines. The app Moovit gave us a route with buses 5, 11 and 12, and Google suggested we walk 4.5 km only! Surprisingly, the route number 1 is missing everywhere, but it has the airport (Aerodromio) as its final destination. In the end, we went to the airport by bus number 1, just to be sure.
You can buy tickets from the driver or in ticket machines. A ticket from the driver traditionally costs more than in the machine – 2 €. Automatic vending machines are not available everywhere – only at major bus stops such as the bus station, airport and Astoria. So if you want to go to the airport from a secondary stop, it is better to buy tickets in advance. To buy a ticket from the machine, switch to English and be sure to choose the A’ zone whole orange for 1.1 € . It is called the A’ zone whole and is located in the upper left corner. In front of us tourists who bought a yellow ticket for 0.60 € were asked to pay extra for the difference on the bus.
At the ticket machine buy a ticket for 1,1 € for the whole zone A. To do this, press the orange button in the upper left corner. You can choose English at the bottom by clicking on the British flag. And this is what the ticket machines look like. They are only at major stops like the bus station, airport, Astoria. If you want to go to the airport from a secondary stop, it is better to buy tickets in advance.
As far as we understand, most routes go through the bus station stop (coordinates: 35.338941, 25.140085) and “Astoria” (coordinates: 35.338222, 25.137002). To get to the airport in time, we got off at the Astoria Liberty Square stop, but on the MAPS.Me map it’s listed as Eleftherias Square.
To be sure, check the routes and bus stops in the Moovit app and on the official website. At the airport, the bus stops across the street from the departure terminal.
Travel time is 15-20 minutes. Major stops have an electronic scoreboard with bus arrival times. Buses run from about 6 a.m. to midnight. Those arriving at night will have to take a cab.
This is what the bus stop #1 looks like near Astoria Liberty Square. Just as our bus to the airport arrived.
Bus from Heraklion airport to the center
To go to downtown Heraklion, when you exit the terminal, cross the ring and go right. Just past the motorcycle parking lot you will see a stop with ticket machines. Read all the other information about travel times, routes, and ticket prices above.
This is what the bus stop at the airport looks like. Buy tickets at the blue-gray vending machines; you can only pay in cash.
Of course, a cab is the most convenient way to get to the center of Heraklion and the resorts. We didn’t use a taxi transfer in Heraklion, but we know that a cab from the center to the airport costs 10 €.
Book a shuttle or look for a cab if you have a lot of luggage, flew in at night or have a large group. When we travel, we book our transfers at one of these sites: Intui.travel, Gettransfer.com or Kiwitaxi.ru. We go to each first, compare prices and choose the most convenient and inexpensive one.
Bus from the airport to the resorts
If from Heraklion airport you need to go directly to a resort, such as Rethymno or Chania, you will first need to get to the bus station in the city. Then read how to do that above.
However, on the way to the airport I noticed the Intercity stop from the bus window, where the sign said Malia, Agios Nikolaos, Hersonissos, and, I think, Sitia. I assume these resorts are accessible directly from the airport. The stop is located approximately here: 35.336437, 25.172388.
Rent a car at the airport
The bus service is well developed in Crete, but not all places of interest can be reached by public transport. If you want to explore the island thoroughly and visit the most remote beaches, rent a car. We booked a car on the site Localrent.com. It’s reliable and convenient, we use it for a long time. We rented it at the airport of Chania, and returned it in Heraklion the day before our flight, that’s why we had to take a bus to the airport.