The largest city in Crete and one of the most populated in Greece overall, Heraklion is a vibrant modern metropolis that contrasts many of Crete’s more traditional towns. As the island’s key business district, Heraklion attracts business travellers as well as vacation makers. Whatever the reason for travel, Heraklion is easy to reach via its one airport. Getting from the airport to the city center and other destinations around Crete is just as easy when traveling via bus.
Alongside being this city’s only airport, Heraklion International Airport (HER) is also the main airport for the entire island of Crete. The airport is located very close to the city center (around 3 miles east), which makes it quick and easy to reach by bus (average journey time: 20 minutes). Heraklion Airport has one restaurant, a variety of snack outlets, two duty-free shops, a 24-hour medical centre, free WiFi and an ATM.
As a major business and tourism hub in Greece, Heraklion is well served by a number of airlines. Over 20 airlines offer various flight routes to Heraklion, but only five offer direct flights: British Airways, easyJet, Thomas Cook, Jet2 and TUI. Jet2 has the widest range of departure locations, with flights available from Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham. Note that all direct flights to Heraklion are seasonal, occurring almost exclusively in the peak summer season.
Taking a plane to Heraklion is far quicker and more convenient than traveling via a combination of trains and ferries. With direct flights available from 12 UK airports during the summer, vacation -goers have flexibility in their vacation plans when traveling by plane. There’s also the option to take a connecting flight when traveling outside the summer season. Depending on the departure airport of choice, passengers arrive in as little as four hours – a speed unmatched by any other travel option.
Heraklion is one of the rare metropolitan cities in the Greek islands. As such, it has a its own public bus system which follows routes around the city and its surrounding areas. Alternatively, travellers can also explore the city on foot. While Heraklion is a modern city, some of the best sites are the oldest. West of the city’s new harbour is the old Venetian harbour; there, travellers can enjoy the view, explore the history and visit the 16th-century Koules Fortress.