When is the best time to visit?
The largest city on the island of Crete, Heraklion is a perfect blend of ancient culture and contemporary city life. Book a flight to Heraklion to discover hidden gems beneath the city’s tough cosmopolitan exterior, which includes excellent architecture, delicious culinary delights and some of the most famous sites in antiquity.
Heraklion's high season falls within July and August when the weather is warmest and the number of visitors rapidly increases. Many flock here to enjoy the various beaches and outdoor excursions, but expect prices to be much higher during this busy season. The months of May and June, as well as September and October, are ideal for visiting Heraklion, not only because the weather is pleasant without being overbearing, but because the region is much quieter. Also, as most of these months fall within school term times, this is the ideal time to book a cheap flight to Heraklion.
The Haraklion Summer Arts Festival takes place annually from July to September. Bringing together a variety of ballet, opera and theatre performances, many of which are internationally renowned, it is clear why this festival has become famous for its diversity. The performances take place in a number of outdoor theatres which are often set in some historic locations across the city. Some of the events are free, however, tickets need to be purchased for some.
During late March, locals descend on Heraklion to commemorate the 1821 Greek uprising against the Ottoman Empire. This is another great time to travel to Heraklion to see soldiers take part in an impressive parade through the main streets.
Heraklion, an ancient city once thought to be the home of the legendary Minotaur, it now stands an incredible urban fortress, offering visitors a unique experience steeped in myth and history.
In just a day, you can stroll through the old city towards the Venetian Koules Fortress, a formidable structure overlooking a beautiful harbour, before lunching at a seafront restaurant to sample some of the region's local cuisine. The Historical Museum of Crete, and the nearby Archaeological Museum, are also just a short walk along the coast offering visitors a once in a lifetime glimpse at a wonderful collection of Crete's historical treasures. If it's ancient life you seek, take a quick drive to one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, the Palace of Knossos.
As night falls around Lions Square, home to the famous Morosini Fountain, you'll enter a central hub for night-time activity. The fountain leads to a street full of picturesque gift shops, markets and boutiques, perfect for spending an afternoon browsing in before heading to the surrounding bars and cafes for a relaxing evening under the stars.
Getting from the Airport to the CityGetting to and from Heraklion International Airport (HER), otherwise known as Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, is relatively easy with plenty of transportation links into the city. A regular bus service is in operation outside the airport, as is a local taxi rank. Both are available and can take you directly into the city. Whilst the taxi service is reliable, it's always best to agree on a fee beforehand.
Getting around Heraklion
A large and heavily populated city, Heraklion has a good public transport system. For a small fee the local bus route offers trips as far as Knossos. Whilst most attractions can be reached on foot, taxis can easily be hired for a pre-agreed price. You'll find these stands near to squares, such as Lion Square. If you prefer, there are also a number of rental companies within the airport.