How to reach Heraklion, Crete

  • By air:
Heraklion is served by the 'Nikos Kazantzakis' International Airport (airport code: HER). There are 8-10 direct flights from Athens (ATH; Athens International Airport 'Eleftherios Venizelos'), and 2-4 direct flights from Thessaloniki (SKG; Thessaloniki International Airport 'Macedonia'), daily. The two main airline carriers operating flights to and from Greek destinations, including Athens and Thessaloniki, are Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines. Sky Express and Cyprus Airways also offer regular flights to Heraklion from Athens and Cyprus. The duration of the flight from Athens is 35 minutes, and from Thessaloniki 60 minutes. Between the months of April and September, there are also frequent, direct charter flights to Heraklion from most major European cities (Austrian, Condor, Delta, easyJet, Jetair, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Transavia, TUI, others; check this link for more info).

  • By sea:
Three main ferry operators offer daily boat service to and from Athens (Piraeus port): Minoan Lines, SuperFast Ferries and ANEK lines. The duration of the trip varies according to ship type. Fast boats take less than 6 hours (day trip), or 8 hours (overnight trip), while conventional ferries take 9 hours.  There is a variety of accommodation standards offered by all ships, ranging from luxury cabins to deck seats.

Getting to the city
Here is a map of Heraklion. When you arrive at the port or airport, you have two options to get to the city, or to your hotel. You can either use public transportation (a bus) or a taxi. Bus stops and taxi stations are located just outside the airport and the port. The taxi option is recommended/more convenient, since you will be able to find one immediately outside the boat docks at the port, or the arrivals building at the airport, and it will take you directly to your destination. You can also walk from the port to some hotels and to the city center (~15-20 min).

How to reach our lab at IMBB-FORTH

Our main lab (Room A102) is located at the IMBB wing of the main FORTH building (image). The FORTH campus is located ~7Km south-west of Heraklion center, next to the main campus of the University of Crete (Voutes area; image). FORTH is within a ~10 min walk from the Medical School and a ~15-20 min drive from the city center. Local transportation options are listed below:

  • By Taxi:
  • Heraklion taxis are silver-grey. Taxi info can be found here and here. Some telephone numbers for calling a taxi are:

  • (+30) 2810-210210

  • (+30) 2810-210102

  • (+30) 2810-360960

  • (+30) 2810-321330

  • By Car:
  • You should drive, heading towards the "Giofyro" interchange, at the west end of the town. The interchange is reachable by the north shore road, through the center of the town using Kalokairinou and 62 Martyron avenues, or via the south national road (if you are coming from the airport -- take the exit to the direction of Rethimno). Upon arrival at the Giofyro interchange, head south towards "Mires" or "University Hospital". Turn right after ~1700 m at the traffic lights towards the University Hospital or FORTH. After ~1500 m turn right towards FORTH (you will see a kiosk a few meters before the turn). You will then pass through the University campus and turn right at the second turn after the University Buildings (first turn leads towards the University Sports Hall), following the signs to FORTH. You will see FORTH approximately 200 meters after your last turn. Enter the FORTH area and park at the parking lot to the right.

  • By Public Bus:
  • There are two city bus lines you can use to get to FORTH. Ticket vending machines are located next to most bus stations. You can also buy tickets from most kiosks around the city. A convenient downtown bus stop for taking the bus to FORTH is the one located in front of the Astoria Hotel at Eleftherias Square. Please keep in mind that city traffic may affect departure and arrival times.

  • Line 8 takes you directly into the FORTH campus. The sign on the bus reads "I.T.E." and its schedule is (subject to change):

  • Airport - FORTH
  • 07:20,  08:30,  11:30,  14:05,  15:05,  17:20,  19:40,  21:15

  • Astoria Hotel - FORTH (approximate times)
  • 07:30,  08:40,  11:40,  14:15,  15:15,  17:30,  19:50,  21:25

  • FORTH - Airport
  • 08:00,  09:15,  12:15,  14:50,  15:50,  18:00,  20:10,  21:30, 23:00

  • Line 11 drops you off at a bus stop ~200m away from the FORTH gate (at an intersection). The sign on the bus reads "PA.G.N.H." (the University Hospital) and its schedule is (subject to change):

  • Airport - University Hospital:
  • 06:25,  hourly from 07:50 to 18:50,  21:45

  • Astoria Hotel - University Hospital (approximate times):
  • 06:30,  hourly from 08.00 to 19:00,  21:55

  • Bus Stop near FORTH  - Airport (approximate times):
  • 06:55,  hourly from 08:30 to 19:30,  21:25

  • You may find more up-to-date information on bus schedules here and here.

Hotel Information
  • Some recommended hotels in Heraklion:

Local Weather
  • You can find local weather information here: